Bill Bray, a retired foreign correspondent and missionary journalist, is available this week for media and radio interviews regarding Christian Aid’s ongoing efforts to assist flood victims in the Islamic state of Pakistan. His interviews on behalf of the Pakistan flood victims are being underwritten by Christian Aid Mission.
|Shocking floods envelop Pakistan|
“With the controversies over Koran burning and Mosque building in the United States, there is a danger that we as Christians can lose sign of our basic duty to help the suffering millions in Muslim states like Pakistan,” asserts Bill Bray.
The 63-year-old Christian journalist has covered the South Asian sub-continent for almost 40 years including reporting trips to nearly every country in the region, the rise of Jihadism, two Indo-Pakistan wars and the emergence of Bangladesh in what used to be known as East Pakistan.
“There is an urgent need for American Christians and churches to continue to show their love and concern for the victims of the flooding in Pakistan where millions are still displaced and living under the open skies during this monsoon season,” says Bray.
Although the secular news media have nearly forgotten the flood disaster in Pakistan, local Christian mission teams still carry on the grueling relief efforts every day. Delivering aid to one family at a time, they are often forced to use public transportation and walk to remote villages. Native missionary volunteers are finding that a family can survive and start to rebuild with about $100 in emergency supplies.
Bray is in touch with indigenous missionaries reaching stranded families with emergency relief supplied by Christian Aid Mission based here in Charlottesville, Virginia. Christian Aid delivers help to over 750 native mission agencies working among the poor in 3000 people groups around the world. Contributions are being accepted by Christian Aid Mission for Pakistan at www.ChristianAid.org
In his interviews, Bill Bray will answer questions about how aid is getting through to local believers in countries like Pakistan throughout South Asia. To schedule an interview, call him directly on his cell phone (434) 227-0811 or his private line at the office (434) 327-1262.
Christian Aid sends help to native mission groups in almost every underdeveloped country of the world, and the assistance varies according to local needs. In Pakistan, for example, they are helping to supply flood survivors with the immediate items needed to recover personally – food packages, bed frames with nylon netting, blankets, canteens and water bottles, metal trunks, mess kits, pedestal fans, and changes of clothing. These kinds of goods are produced and purchased within the local economy — and rarely provided by the government or foreign aid agencies.
|Rescued from the flood waters … Christian Aid
Mission grant aid is sent to local mission teams in
Pakistan to help flood victims like these in the
terrible floods that have displaced 20 million
people along the Indus River basin
Native Christian leaders along the hard-hit Indus River basin are saying that the damage is much worse than first thought and they believe that recovery will take years.
So far only about half the affected population has been reached with any emergency aid. The situation continues to deteriorate, say authorities, especially for children most affected by contaminated water. According to the government, about 20 million are involved in the flooding. Many parts of the country are still impassible lakes. “No one was prepared for a disaster of this magnitude,” says one local mission leader, “every hour of the day brings more news of devastation and the monsoon season continues.”
Christian Aid was founded by the American evangelist Bob Finley in 1953 when he returned to the USA from preaching his way around the world after World War II. In China, Korea, India and other Asian countries he discovered that a new generation of indigenous leadership was ready and willing to take over the gospel task from foreign missionaries.
“From the start, a part of Christian Aid’s mission has been to help local leaders help the poorest of the poor in some of the poorest places on earth,” says Bray. “Christian Aid seeks to help local church mission committees focus on needy neighbors as Jesus Christ taught — on the widows, prisoners, the sick and especially orphaned or fatherless children.
“Rather than give money to local governments like many international development agencies must do, Christian Aid believes in distributing funds to trustworthy local mission committees so that every dollar has maximum impact. The mission has been doing this for many decades now, and those who donate to Christian Aid expect us to help Christian ministries which are helping people at the grassroots level.”
The work of responding to Pakistan’s flood tragedy will go on for years. Long term help from individuals and churches is needed. For more information, pastors and concerned Christians can contact the Donor Relations Department at Christian Aid Mission, 1-800-977-5650.
Special note to editors from Dan Wooding: I have known Bill Bray for many years and he has been interviewed by me personally and by ASSIST News on several occasions. He has been a volunteer writer and contributor to the ASSIST News Service on many occasions, especially on subjects related to missions. He will make a good interview on this subject and he is getting first-hand, daily updates from the field.