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Filipino medical team treats quake victims in Pakistan


Working in near-freezing temperatures, a team of medical workers from churches in the Philippines ministered to earthquake survivors in Pakistan.
The scenery was breathtaking, said team leader Gigie Carranza, but “the stench of death was everywhere.”
The Oct. 8 earthquake claimed an estimated 80,000 lives and left thousands homeless. Many of the displaced are living in tents on the ruins of their homes. Several have died from pneumonia and hypothermia in recent weeks, according to the United Nations.
The six=member team is part of MARCH for Christ, a medical ministry based in the Philippines. The town of Balakot, Pakistan, served as the group’s base of operations. Balakot lost two-thirds of its population in the earthquake and most of its buildings.
“It was as if a bomb was dropped in the middle of the town,” Carranza said. Survivors are encamped at various relief sites in the Karakoram Mountains.
The church members worked with SAHARA for Life, a non-profit founded by popular Pakistani singer Abrar Ul-Haq. The church in Lahore, Pakistan, helped the Philippine church members make arrangements.
“Our Muslim hosts are unbelievably kind to us,” Carranza said in an e-mail from Pakistan. “They feed us and watch over us.”
Luis Cusi, who coordinates MARCH for Christ, said, “We pray that through (the team) Christ will be glorified and Jesus’ name (will) be known.”
Nashville, Tenn.-based Healing Hands International also has sent aid to the affected region through local church workers.

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