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VOL. 16, NO. 3 • FALL 2010

UPDATES FROM: Haiti, Chile, China, New Orleans, New York City, So. Pacific/East Asia


PERSPECTIVE

As the ground shakes We’re the first in and the last out God is our refuge and strength, an BY ever-present help in trouble. Therefore CHRISTIN we will not fear, though the earth give DAVIS way and the mountains fall into the

heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging (Psalm 46:1-3). We practice for it in school. We debate the safety of seeking shelter in the doorway (which is not recommended). We prepare readiness boxes with food and water. Yet, when the ground shakes beneath you, it’s always a little unsettling. This year has brought a number of news headlines reporting major earthquakes and widespread devastation. In recent days, a number of Salvation Army disaster services personnel have told me that it’s hard to describe the destruction they witnessed in these areas. The Boston Globe depicted the scene in China’s Sichuan Province following the earthquake in May as “almost apocalyptic devastation: mountaintops sheared off into valleys, cities reduced to rubble and dust, cracked dams, collapsed bridges, and at least 80,000 dead.” Be it a natural calamity or the result of human action, hazards that threaten life, health and property come to realization in our world almost every day. These disasters can be individually devastating, or can strike at the heart of us all. They can reach beyond oceans and borders, and are not discriminating in who is affected. A disaster doesn’t always have one point of impact; oftentimes, one results in another, creating lasting impact and sometimes lasting disaster. Ready to respond When disaster strikes, we all feel a sense of unease, vulnerability and risk. With official presence in 121 countries, The Salvation Army has people ready to respond around the world.

Developing countries seem to suffer greatest when disaster hits—20 times greater than industrialized countries according to some reports. To combat this, the Army’s International Emergency Services currently provides aid in places like Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Iraq, Guatemala, Northern India, Indonesia, Philippines and Taiwan. In Jacmel, Haiti, for example, The Salvation Army recently completed construction of 576 housing shelters to assist in relocating earthquake-displaced Haitians back to their home communities. The long-term rebuilding process has employed more than 400 Haitians as carpenters and construction crewmembers. “The level of care and steps taken to rebuild Haiti has been astonishing,” said Lt. Colonel Dan Starrett, executive director of The Salvation Army World Service Office, based in the U.S. “The Salvation Army has had a major presence in Haiti since the 1950s and we’ll continue to provide earthquake relief services for as long as the need is there.” We’re there This issue is about The Salvation Army’s work in areas of disaster—the food and water distributed and support provided as the rubble settles, as well as the construction plans and sustainability strategies that develop in the years that follow. The Army recognizes how crucial it is to transition from providing immediate relief to implementing plans for long-term recovery. In these pages, you will find the strategy, motivation and skills that are behind the Army’s delivery of emergency services, and updates from personnel around the world who continue to work in areas of major disaster from the past decade. We’re still there in New York…New Orleans…the South Pacific…Haiti…Chile…China. We’re the first in, and the last out. n Christin Davis is the managing editor of Caring.

DOING THE MOST GOOD

FALL 2010 CARING PAGE 3


As the ground shakes