An Appeal for Disaster Relief


With pouring rain and tempestuous seas, the cyclone of the century on May 2 swallowed up broad swaths of coastal Myanmar, taking the lives of some 70,000 people with over 50,000 still missing, and making homeless a million or more souls. Floods turned vast areas into swamps, destroying all crops thereon. The populace stood alone, lacking aid, food and water. They huddled in their broken homes, waiting for help. Yet the military government of Myanmar maintained its closed-door policy in utter disregard for the lives of its citizens, so that relief work was severely hampered. Only after 3 weeks did the military government slightly change its attitude, and allowed neighboring countries to assist in the disaster relief.


On May 12, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 rattled Sichuan, the “Celestial Kingdom”. The ground opened up, collapsing countless structures and extinguishing the souls of tens of thousands in a split second. After the initial tremor, there were numerous aftershocks. Add to that days of heavy downpour which threatened the ruined townships with the danger of mudslides and floods, and the rescue work was made even more difficult. Ten days after the quake, the number of dead had risen to 50,000, with 40,000 still missing and 5,000,000 without shelter. Countless families were torn apart: parents mourned lost children; children wailed over deceased parents. Teachers called out the names of their students among the rubble of school buildings. Grief swept over every inch of land. This earthquake not only cast a pall of sorrow over the whole province of Sichuan, but also brought tears to overseas Chinese like us for suffering China.


Dear brothers and sisters. How do we respond to the human suffering in these two lands caused by the horrendous calamities? Besides calling upon God on behalf of those in dire circumstances, interceding for those workers engaged in rescuing lives, ameliorating hazards, assisting the needy and distributing aid, and asking God for His mercy and comfort for the victims, we should also put thought into practice and give monetary support to the tasks of relief and re-building. “Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.” As for choosing the right voluntary aid organizations as recipient, this writer has the following suggestions: 1) pick those institutions with good reputations and solid experience in disaster relief; 2) pick those institutions that apply a smaller percentage of donations to their administrative costs; and 3) pick those institutions with Christian backgrounds.


At our meeting last Sunday, the elders and deacons of the church unanimously approved the donation of $2,000 from our Caring Fund to the Gospel Operation International for relief and rebuilding in Myanmar after their cyclone, and $2,000 to the Chinese Christian Mission of Canada in conjunction with the Culture Regeneration Research Society for rescue and school-rebuilding in Sichuan after their earthquake. As well, this writer calls upon everyone on behalf of our Pastoral team, elders and deacons to give generously as individuals and as fellowships towards this disaster assistance, sparing nothing, thereby displaying our love in action so that God may be glorified.


If brothers and sisters are moved to have a part in the good deeds of relief and rebuilding, and wish to donate towards the above charitable works, you may choose to do the following: 1) remit your donation to the aforementioned organizations through the church. Please put your gift into one of our church’s offering envelopes, check off the box for Caring Fund and write down either Myanmar or Sichuan. If you don’t, the finance department will split your sum equally between the two places. The church will list all benefaction offerings received between May 25 and June 1 as either for Myanmar or Sichuan disaster relief and rebuilding, and issue tax receipts accordingly; 2) members directly post their donation either to the Gospel Operation International, marked “Myanmar Disaster Assistance Fund”, or to the Chinese Christian Mission of Canada, marked “China Earthquake”.


The Canadian address for the Gospel Operation International is

63 Silver Star Blvd., Unit C17

Toronto ON M1V 5E5


The address for the Chinese Christian Mission of Canada is

4533 Kingsborough St.

Burnaby BC V5H 4V3


By: Daniel To