May 16, 2008

Today's letter from Half the Sky

Isaiah 54:10 - Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

I wanted to include the maps below again to show where the earthquake was and how far Josiah is from it. Click on this link to see a larger copy of the first map.$File/rw_EQ_chn080516.pdf?OpenElement It's a really good map that shows specifically where the destruction happened, where lives were lost and where people are still trapped.

The earthquake was in central Sichuan (brown). Josiah lives in southern Henan (also brown). Sheehan lived in Shaanxi (purple). I heard through my Xi'an Yahoo group that the children at Sheehan's old orphanage were evacuated, 12 children to a crib, but everyone was ok, nobody hurt:

Josiah lives in Xinyang, in the south of Henan. We will travel to Zhengzhou (north central) and then hopefully to his orphanage in Xinyang when we go.

Here is another letter from Half the Sky. Jenny mentions that 24 more children were brought to one of the orphanages because they are now orphans due to the earthquake.

Dear Friends,

I dearly wish I had more good news to report. The very best thing I cantell you is that we have not had a single report of injuries from thewelfare institutions.

As of this morning (Friday) there were 19,509 people confirmed dead. The State Council today said there will likely be more than 50,000. Today’sgovernment report describes one terrible scene after another: thousands homeless, thousands missing, thousands injured, thousands trapped or buried alive. Hope for survivors is dimming. There is an urgent call for body bags to prevent the spread of disease. There have been over 4,400aftershocks.

HTS Director, Child Development, Ma Lang has arrived in Chengdu and sendsthis note: I am deeply touched by your moral and emotional support. I only slept twoof the past thirty hours. The first thing I did after landing was todonate some medicine to the Chengdu Red Cross. It was very much appreciated – exactly what was needed. They gave me a wish list forfurther donations: antibiotics for children and adults, medicine fordiarrhea, cold capsules (not instant medicines that must be mixed inwater), bandages, gauze, tape, iodine, cotton swabs, herbal medicine tostop bleeding and some for pain relief. Other much-needed donationsinclude tents, tarpaulins, warm clothes and shoes. People in Chengdu aredoing everything they can to help with the earthquake rescue. I saw allsorts of vehicles carrying things to the donation centers. I registeredfor blood donation and was put on the waiting list – the blood center wasoverloaded with donated blood and it’s difficult to transport the blood tothe hardest-hit areas. More to come… Lang

Here is the confirmed information we have regarding welfare institutions: The following institutions not mentioned in yesterday’s note suffered noserious damage:

Chengdu 2nd SWI, Chengdu 3rd SWI, Ziyang SWI, Neijing CWI, Chengdu SOSchildren’s village, Leshan SWI, Ganzi CWI, Guang’an SWI, Suining SWI

The following report damage, but, again, no injuries. Your generousdonations will help meet all of these requests for assistance:

Bazhon CWI – Severe damage to building; children are fine.
Meishan SWI – Cracks in buildings, have evacuated all children (50+) totents. They have adequate food, water and clothes but request 20 cribsand bedding.
Guangyuan SWI – Damaged buildings, all children have been in tents for 4-5days, often in the blazing sun. They request food, baby formula water,diapers, bedding and other daily necessities. They urgently need drugsand food supplements to protect against disease and heatstroke.
Nanchong SWI – There was substantial damage to buildings, all children(100+, more than half under 6 years-old) are living in tents. They needmore tents, disposable diapers, children’s clothing, wagons, cribs andbedding.
Deyang CWI – Dormitory for school-age children was severely damaged. Although the other buildings seem fine, pending inspection, all childrenand staff have been moved to tents. There has been constant rain and muchthat was pulled from the buildings has been ruined. They request beddingand children’s clothing. They still have disposable diapers left from ourassistance during the winter storms but will be running out of those aswell as infant formula in the coming days.
Mianyang Zitong CWI (update) – Children have been moved back from themilitary base to a safe building in the institution. There is adequatefood and water but they request clothes, bedding, infant formula, diapersand medicine for colds. They are now caring for 66 children, 23 of themunder 2 years. Sadly, 24 new orphans – earthquake survivors - arrived at the institutionyesterday.

We are still unable to reach these orphanages: Abazhou CWI (52 children)and Mianzhu SWI

Please give what you can to help the children who survive go on with theirlives.If you would like to donate to Half the Sky’s Children’s Earthquake Fund, it would be great if you would do so at Global Giving. My apologies forgiving incorrect information yesterday; the Ford Motor Company isgenerously matching EMPLOYEE gifts to Global Giving, not ALL! Still, itis an easy and convenient way to make a donation and helps HTS by handlingprocessing of your gifts. Now maybe some other corporation would like tostep up and match ALL donations?!
If you prefer to donate directly to Half the Sky, of course that’s fine.Here are the various ways: You can donate by calling Half the Sky (+1 510525 3377) or on our website:'s+Earthquake+Fund

Thank you for your tremendous support. Although it is heartbreaking to write these reports, we are so honored to be in a position to help during this terrible time.

with love,
Jenny Bowen

Half the Sky was created in order to enrich the lives and enhance the prospects for orphaned children in China. We establish and operate infant nurture and preschool programs, provide personalized learning for older children and establish loving permanent family care and guidance for children with disabilities. It is our goal to ensure that every orphaned child has a caring adult in her life and a chance at a bright future.

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