Nepal Death Toll Over 5,000; Survivors Struggling To Survive

The death toll from the weekend earthquake and aftershock in Nepal has flown past 5,000 and is not showing signs of slowing down as rescuers say it’s almost impossible to reach some of the more rural regions because of landslides.

The aid group Samaritan’s Purse says that at least 8 million people are in immediate need of food and water.  A spokesman said that many of the families have lost everything they owned and have no way to support themselves.

“There are a lot of people sleeping out in the streets,” said Samaritan’s Purse team leader Patrick Seger in a report from Tuesday. “They are fearful of the buildings and don’t want to sleep inside. They are sleeping in the rain because they don’t have any other shelter.”

The BBC reported that the government is attempting to provide free services to the residents but they have no way of providing to all those impacted.

“There’s a rush to get out of Kathmandu. Thousands of people are trying to flee — some trying to head out to the remote districts to see how their families are, others including tourists trying to head toward India by road,” BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder said.

“But there simply aren’t enough buses to take them out and the highways are choked with vehicles, people and relief convoys. Tempers are flaring. The police came to the bus station to restrain those trying to board crowded buses, which made it worse.”

The Gorkha district, where the epicenter was located, is out of food.

“We haven’t had any food here since the earthquake,” said Sita Gurung, whose lost his home in Gorkha. “We don’t have anything left here.”

An Army spokesman told reporters they are trying their best to reach the region but admitted remote areas are trapped by terrain.

Operation Christmas Child Collects 10 Million Shoeboxes

Samaritan’s Purse has announced they exceeded their donation goal of 10 million gift-filled shoeboxes in 2014.

Operation Christmas Child collects boxes from the United States and 12 other Western nations.  The boxes are filled with small, age-appropriate gifts for children around the world who would not have a Christmas without the donations.

The organization said that 10.4 million shoeboxes came in for 2014, 8 million from the United States.  The boxes then are distributed in over 100 nations around the world.

“The 10 million shoeboxes are being distributed worldwide right now. We are sending these gifts to local churches in more than 110 countries around the globe this year,” Operation Christmas Child’s domestic director Randy Riddle told The Christian Post. “That was our worldwide goal and our global goal: collecting shoebox gifts in 13 countries and sending them around the world. We are very thankful to surpass our global 10 million goal.”

In addition to the gifts, each box contains information about Christ.

“This is many times the first time that these children have ever received a gift of any kind,” Riddle explained. “Working with our local church leaders, this platform allows us to share the Gospel with children who have never heard about Jesus before, or never had an experience like this before to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel.

“We have Gospel literature that is handed out alongside every shoebox gift and there is typically a verbal proclamation of Gospel with the shoebox gift,” Riddle continued. “It teaches these children that there is someone here on this Earth that loves them and cares about them and has not forgotten them and that there is a God in Heaven who loves them as well.”

Samaritan’s Purse Sends 90 Tons of Aid To ISIS Victims

Christian relief group Samaritan’s Purse announced they will be airlifting almost 90 tons of aid and supplies to those who have been forced to leave everything behind to flee the Islamic terrorist group ISIS.

“Winter is coming to the area, making a difficult situation even worse for these families,” read a Samaritan’s Purse press release.  “The airlift will bring critical supplies to the region, including winter coats for children, blankets, warm socks, sleeping bags and shelter materials.”

Items in the airlift include over 2,500 kerosene heaters for families to keep their makeshift homes warm.

Christian groups working in the area have decried the lack of support for Christians and other minorities that are fleeing the murderous Islamic group.

“I think you’re seeing the rise of ISIS because of a lack of attention to the freedom of expression within the Middle East. You have extremist groups within Islam, like ISIS. It’s not true of every person who is Islamic. But there are extremist groups like this who want to force people to convert to Islam at the point of a gun,” David Curry, the CEO and president of Open Doors USA, told The Christian Post in an interview in September.

“Unless we understand that threat, not just to Christians in the region but to people worldwide, we’re not going to respond properly. I think it has risen because of a lack of attention and a lack of concern for Christians and other minority groups.”

Second American Ebola Patient Flies To Atlanta

Nancy Writebol, the missionary with SIM USA who became infected with Ebola while working in a relief hospital in Liberia, has arrived in Atlanta to be treated at Emory University Hospital.

Doctors at Emory University Hospital have confirmed that Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, who was transported last week, are being given a very experimental vaccine for Ebola that had never been tested in humans.

Officials say that both Writebol and Brantly agreed to be “human guinea pigs” for the vaccine and went into it knowing the side effects of the drug would be unknown.

A spokesman for Samaritan’s Purse said that both patients saw marked improvements in their conditions after undergoing the experimental treatment.  Dr. Brantly has even been able to visit with his family although separated by several layers of thick glass.

SIM USA released information that said Writebol became infected while she was working to disinfect the protective suits worn by the doctors and nurses inside the isolation ward.

Ebola Patients Brought To U.S.

Two American missionaries who contracted the Ebola virus while working to help the African victims of the disease are being brought to the United States.

Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol are being flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.  The two will be held in a very strictly controlled wing of the hospital inside a chamber with negative pressure keeping air inside the wing.

Both of the patients are said to be in grave but stable condition.

The patients are reportedly going to be transferred on a special plane chartered by the CDC that has isolation pods.  The move comes on the heels of an experimental treatment being sent to Liberia.  Dr. Brantley refused to take it and demanded it be given to Nancy Writebol.

The CDC issued a warning to travelers to avoid Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Samaritan’s Purse, SIM and the Peace Corps are all pulling their volunteers from those countries because of the uncontrolled outbreak of the virus.

Christian Doctor In Liberia Diagnosed With Ebola

A doctor with the Christian humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse has been confirmed as a victim of the Ebola virus.

Dr. Kent Branley has been heading up one of the relief and treatment centers hosted by Samaritan’s Purse since last October.  He had been in Liberia with his wife and children, who have since been evacuated to the United States.

“Samaritan’s Purse is committed to doing everything possible to help Dr. Brantley during this time of crisis,” the organization said in a statement.  “We ask everyone to please pray for him and his family.”

The group has been working with the Centers for Disease Control, Doctors Without Borders, the World Health Organization and Liberia’s Ministry of Health to control the outbreak that has infected almost 1,100 people and killed 660.

A second American doctor, Nancy Writebol, is suspected to have contracted the disease as well and is undergoing confirmatory testing.

Christian Organization Responding To Ebola Outbreak

A Christian organization has announced they are stepping up to help the outbreak of a lethal virus in Africa.

Samaritan’s Purse announced the will be sending emergency medical supplies and also sending staff and materials to launch an awareness campaign in an attempt to stop the spread of the Ebola virus.

“This is a very serious situation that could become even more critical in the coming days,” Samaritan’s Purse head Franklin Graham said in a statement. “Our team in Liberia is committed to doing all we can to share God’s love with Liberian people by providing medical support and other relief.”

Samaritan’s Purse said the want to contain the outbreak to the capital of Monrovia and the surrounding county where seven people out of 14 cases have died.

The outbreak has been called the worst Ebola outbreak in history according to the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders.  They said the spread of the virus across four nations thus far is complicating efforts to contain the virus.

Volunteers Fly Thousands Of Miles To Help Alaskan Church

It will be a very merry Christmas for Nome Covenant Church.

The church in a town of under 4,000 where the average temperature stays well below zero is on the far reaches of the Alaskan frontier. The church met in a building that was 75 years old and was literally being held together by cables.

The church’s pastor lived in fear of the church collapsing.

“Our old church was 75 years old, it was built with available materials at that time,” Pastor Harvey Fiskeaux told Fox News. “I was actually fearful it was going to fall in.”

The church found an outpouring of Christian love from Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian humanitarian organization known most for their Operation Christmas Child outreach.

The group flew 140 volunteers from all over the country to help the church build a brand new church and outreach center next door to the old church building.

“As a church we are there to help the infrastructure of family, children, and youth,” said Fiskeaux. “We are trying to help people’s lives.”

Operation Christmas Child Sends 60,000 Gifts To Children In Philippines

The annual Operation Christmas Child drive to provide gifts and necessities for children in need around the world is sending over 60,000 boxes to children in areas hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Franklin Graham, head of Samaritan’s Purse, spoke of the importance of these gifts to those children.

“Do you know what these gifts are going to mean to these kids? It means that somebody loves them, it means they haven’t been forgotten. It will mean everything in the world. It will give these little kids hope,” Graham said at an event in New York.

The New York event included families impacted by Hurricane Sandy last year.

“I packed stuffed animals, which I think they will hold at night and fear for nothing and know that God will be in control,” 11-year-old Diana Barbacena told the Christian Post. Barbacena had to be evacuated last year from her home when Hurricane Sandy struck the Atlantic Coast.

Overall, Operation Christmas Child celebrated its 20th anniversary by collecting around 9.8 million shoeboxes full of gifts and supplies for children in over 100 countries on six continents.

Morningside’s Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child program was started in 1993 by Reverend Franklin Graham who is the President of Samaritan’s Purse. This is a wonderful humanitarian organization that helps suffering people worldwide by meeting their needs and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Franklin Graham has led Samaritan’s Purse in following the example of the Good Samaritan throughout the world. Explosive growth has been experienced because of God’s blessing on this organization under the leadership of Franklin Graham.

Samaritan’s Purse has delivered a message of God’s love through gift-filled Christmas shoe boxes. Over 100 million boys and girls in more than 130 countries have experienced God’s love by receiving these shoeboxes. These gifts are a means to reach the hearts of children with the life-changing Good News of Jesus’ love. Continue reading