Monday, October 31, 2011

Australian Lutheran World Service Update

Thank you to those who have supported ALWS - here is the latest update - scary stuff:

"Greetings from Nairobi. I'm here with an ALWS team en route to South Sudan. We had hoped to visit Dadaab Refugee Camp, but the security situation means that is not possible. Your prayers are urgently requested because our Lutheran team (and other aid agencies) are facing many challenges. Yesterday a UNHCR vehicle was hit by a remote-controlled explosive, while on the way to Dadaab. This follows a number of other attacks, and means 'normal' aid work cannot continue for the moment in camp. Particularly at risk are our surveyors opening up new plots of land for shelters, and teachers going out into the community. The phone-call with the news of the attack came through as I was interviewing our Program Coordinator in Dadaab, Lokiru Matendo. He says this puts security at the Critical Level. Staff are scared, and prayers are requested for safety and a peace solution. What's amazing is that emergency lifesaving care is still being given. The Lutheran motto here is "We go where others stop". The practical evidence of this is that despite the danger a Lutheran team will continue going out into the camp at 8 each morning, and monitor the condition of refugees. The team prepare a report for each aid agency on any issues that may affect their sector (water, latrines etc), so they can be solved. This is incredible courage, and comes from a passion to help the people. Lokiru said:"It's not just a job - you want to address the suffering. Whatever little you can do, you do, to make a difference." This is typical of the attitude of all the team delivering your care to these people who have lost so much. Please know your help is noticed and appreciated here. We visited AusAID in Nairobi yesterday, and they were amazed at what we Lutherans have been able to do. The Lutheran World Federation team say the same. Lokiru summed it up: "We feel connected with the people of Australia through ALWS." This is you standing side-by-side with Lutheran teams as they minister to people who have lost everything.

On their behalf, thank you. Jonathan KrauseCommunications Manager, ALWS1300 763 407 * PS: The Australian Government continues to match donations for East Africa dollar for dollar until 30 November."

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