Saturday, May 17, 2008

Seeing and Giving

"Two catastrophes have struck this month — the cyclone in Myanmar and the earthquake in China. As the death tolls in these two countries mount, so does the need for aid. But Myanmar has been reluctant to let relief workers into the country, and China says it will accept foreign aid on its own timetable. So where does all that leave charitable contributions? How do people give if they want to help victims of the disasters, and where will their contributions do the most good?" -From NPR's "All Things Considered"

If you've turned to a news page or turned on a television in the past month you've been reminded of the tragedies taking place all over the world. Most recently, the cyclone in Myanmar and the earthquake and China, have brought forth valid questions about our response in giving. In a report by Alix Spiegel of NPR, I learned that the organization "Save the Children" saw $626,000 in aid donated over the Internet within the first 10 days of the disaster. Contrast that to the funds they received after last year's tsunami within 10 days...$7 million.

One of the reasons this disaster is not receiving the funding may be the lack of trust felt towards the government's handling of the situation, but other experts say that has to do with everything we aren't seeing. Photo journalists have been limited in Myanmar, while accepted in most of the earthquake devastated areas of China. Because we aren't seeing it, Spiegel surmises, we aren't giving. (To hear the full story click here.) What will it take for us to remember to give this time?

After hunting around the web today I've discovered that the Myanmar government is allowing aid to trickle in from around the world, but have specifically asked for help from the country of India. Gospel For Asia, an organization and ministry I've been supporting for years, happens to have a large presence in India. GFA's native missionaries have been among some of the first allowed to provide for the needs of survivors.

If you've been looking for a trustworthy organization to give through, then consider Gospel For Asia. For more information or to donate directly please click on the web banner below.

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