Monday, May 19, 2008

Chinese Mourn and the World is Moved

Today began a three day period of mourning in China. At 2:28 people across China stopped what they were doing. Construction stopped, transportations stopped, workers of all types paused for three minutes of silent prayer and mourning. It reportedly was not always quite as this nation of over one billion people found it difficult to grieve silently. The pain found a way out.

And so it will go for the next three days. 70,000 dead, far more homeless and a major impact on the economy of this giant cannot be minimized. The ripple effect of pain as families, neighborhoods and villages cope with the loss of so many can not be imagined.

I remember feeling poisoned by the agony of Katrina. That disaster had a horrible death toll of over 1000, this is so much larger.

Bricks-The Great Wall Appeal is collecting funds from around the world. While this proud nation is accepting financial assistance for its citizens it is not accepting rescue teams. Australia, Japan and South Korea have all attempted to send teams and have all been politely rebuffed.The Chinese state the conditions are simply too dangerous to place others in harms way.

The Vatican usually declares May 24th as a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. However, the Pope has called for all to join with the Chinese now to pray and mourn for the death of so many and the suffering of even more.

Our prayers are with the Chinese people over these next three days. Prayers and contributions may be united with The Great Wall Appeal. With so many dead there is a great hole in our family and it is time for brothers and sisters to share in the suffering and give comfort to one another.

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