Kubic's Pets

Donna and Larry Kubic are cat lovers and have several. They recently added to their menagerie with a much smaller critter. Their three-year-old Siamese cat, Ben, is a generous soul with his food. Larry captured this picture of Ben and his pal, Mouse, sharing breakfast. According to Donna, the Kubic motto is "Live and Let Live". One can't help but wonder what sort of pet will arrive on their doorstep next.

Christmas Bazaar

The Christmas Bazaar will be held on Sunday, November 20th from 1:00 until 4:00 p.m. at the Holy Cross Parish Hall. There will be lots of holiday shopping, food, raffles and much mroe. To reserve a table, contact Sandy LoDico at 448-2004.

Earthquake News

Most of the readers here are aware that L.D. and Sue Ryan's son, Mitch, is a doctor in Pakistan. Judi Meister was kind enough to forward on email updating us as to what's happening over there. Rather than try to pick and piece together parts, I decided it was better to include the complete letters in order to give folks a better idea of the conditions there. Thanks, Judi.

Dear everyone,

Many of you are waking up to hearing about the massive earthquake in northern Pakistan. 

Mitch had been in Gilgit for 3 weeks, but arrived back to Chiang Mai this morning (two days early). He was in Islamabad yesterday.

We are hearing reports that our friends in Islamabad are fine.

A little further north, Murree Christian School is 45 km northeast of Islamabad.  The earthquake's epicenter was 95km northeast of Islamabad.  The kids felt the walls shaking and ran out, but the school buildings are still standing and no one was hurt.  The town of Murree itself is full of rickety buildings built on the side of the mountain, so we don't know what damage has happened in town. 

(One of the girls at Murree whose parents are in Kabul heard that the school families there are ok.)

2 hours north of Islamabad on the Karakoram Highway is Bach Christian Hospital.  We have heard that the people we know there are ok, but there is building damage.  The highway further north is blocked by landslides in several places. 

Ashar wrote from Gilgit and the hospital itself is fine.  It's built to be earthquake resistant.  He doesn't know yet about people in the town itself, or around Gilgit.  They are saying many roads are blocked by landslides and there is a lot of other damage around the area. 

Pray for coordinated relief efforts.  This is also the month of Ramzan which will add to people's stress.

Thank you,

Caryl and Mitch


16 October 2005

Dear everyone,

We'd like to update you with information that we've received from friends of ours about the earthquake in Pakistan . Gilgit and the Northern Areas were not much affected. People felt the walls shaking and ran outside, but there doesn't seem to be much damage.

The earthquake is described as the worst to ever hit Pakistan . Winter is coming. Survivors in remote areas have now been living in the open for a week. Snow is visible from Muzzaffarabad town and temperatures continue to drop. Families urgently need tents, bedding, and warm clothes. There is extreme concern about the state of surviving children in remote mountainous areas. Aid has not reached these areas. Many people who were lucky enough to have survived the earthquake have injuries that need urgent medical attention. There is a real danger that there will be further loss of life.

Save the Children-Pakistan

Bruce Rasmussen , who was the Gilgit Eye Hospital administrator for 3 years, is now working for Save the Children. He is the USA Field Office Director in Pakistan . He's been coordinating massive relief efforts from Islamabad . Within the first 2 days after the earthquake, they had 14 trucks on the road and up to Balakot and Batagram full of blankets, plastic sheeting and collapsible gerry cans to be used for drinking water.

After some initial distribution of these relief goods over the past couple days, Save the Children is beginning to focus on the Batagram area north of Mansehra, about 3 hours north of Islamabad .  They've established a field hospital since the existing hospital is not functional.  Dr. Laurel Kietzman, an emergency room doctor, whose husband is an ophthalmologist at the Gilgit Eye Hospital , volunteered for 2 days. She worked there with one of Save the Children's senior doctors.  Several large tents were set up, a couple small generators, mattresses, and sundry supplies in order to be able to do surgery and to provide other medical care.  They are able to use much of the equipment and supplies from the existing hospital and there are plenty of doctors, including orthopedic specialists, who have arrived on the scene--but with no facilities to work out of.  Laurel triaged quite a few people and helped see that 52 people were flown out of Batagram in one day for medical care.

Bruce says, “Another of our senior doctors has been very active in helping to organize the District Health Hospital in Mansehra as well as support the NWFP Health Minister in coordination efforts, etc. The hospital building collapsed in the earthquake and Save the Children is setting up 150 tents and providing management support. Three main valleys in the area--Kaghan, Sirin and Alai --are all cut off and very few people are getting out yet.  The relief effort urgently needs more helicopters and more tents.

People's main needs are shelter, medical attention and food.  In theory, tents are the most immediate shelter option, but getting thousands (we want to get 25,000, just a 10th of what might be needed in areas north of Mansehra) of tents is going to take time.  Pakistan is a great tent manufacturing country, but nothing's left on the shelf anywhere and production takes time.  We're looking internationally but having difficulty finding this amount.  We'll work on food distribution, some from WFP, and some we'll buy locally.  Then we want to turn our attention to children and their particular needs as the most vulnerable in this situation.  Safe play areas, rudimentary schools (both in large tents), and beginning to try to bring some sort of structure and normalcy back into their lives--as well as allowing parents to focus on immediate survival issues--is critical. 

Ongoing psycho-social support for children is important and we have people trained in these things coming to assist.”

Kunhar Christian Hospital in Ghari Habib Ullah

This hospital is operated by a Christian Pakistani doctor whom we've had contact with for many years. The hospital is located near to B alakot which was one of the worst hit areas of the earthquake. Large trucks can drive to Ghari Habib Ullah, and then smaller vehicles can take relief items on into B alakot.

Kunhar Hospital compound sustained enough damage that the people are living and working out of tents. TEAM brought a large hospital tent to them within a couple days and they have been able to work in this tent.

Dr Haroon is from a family that was converted through the ministry of B ritish missionaries working in Multan 50 years ago. Two of the Lal Din sons, Yunis and Haroon, have become significant leaders in the Pakistani Christian community. Haroon studied medicine at R awalpindi Medical College . He married the daughter of a pastor from that city and then served in a TEAM mission hospital near Abbottabad N.W.F.P. However, he had a vision to establish an indigenous Pakistani missionary enterprise which led him to leave the hospital and to start a Christian Clinic in Ghari Habib Ullah at the base of the Khagan valley. Over time, the work of the clinic grew and the facilities developed to become the Khunhar Christian Hospital . They are known for giving quality medical care and have established a clear Christian testimony.

Update from Dr Haroon at KUNHAR CHRISTIAN HOSPITAL October 15

“A couple of medical teams have arrived to assist in the area. These teams will focus on heading out into villages where road access is minimal. We are grateful for Terry Wiley who has come to coordinate the volunteers and teams of people who have come to assist and provide help. Terry is also helping with logistics and future planning. We are very grateful for the provision of an x-ray machine.

Tremors are continuing and we are still mainly living and cooking outdoors, although thankfully these tremors do seem to be less frequent.

The 3 Lal Din students are home from Murree Christian School for a week's break from school. A team of 6 staff accompanied them home and will stay for the week to help out with jobs mostly around the compound.

The current need is for blankets and tents/shelter that can be distributed to those people in need in the surrounding villages. As well as focusing on the immediate needs of the hospital the villages around, we are taking time to look at the ‘big picture' and long term plans of rebuilding, particularly as winter is drawing near.

Please pray for God's wisdom as decisions are made, as well as strength for all the staff here at KCH.

Blessings on behalf of Dr Haroon, Miriam, family and staff

Earthquake Relief Donations

If you would like to contribute to any of this urgent need:

To contribute to Save the Children, look at their website at: www.savethechildren.org

Any donations sent for the earthquake victims will be used for that purpose

To contribute to Dr. Haroon's hospital, please send a check to:

Earth Mission

608 S. Hico, Siloam Springs , A R 72761

Be sure to indicate it is for EARTHQUAKE RELIEF.

These funds will be used to help those who have been affected by this disaster and the needs of that hospital.

On a different note, Curfew in Gilgit:

Yesterday, I had an email from Ashar, our administrator in Gilgit.

2 Sunnis killed 2 Shias last Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Shias were at their mosque protesting. The R angers from Karachi , who have been in Gilgit to keep order since last January, tried to stop the Shias from protesting. One Shia fired on a R anger. The R angers then opened fire on the Shias. 2 R angers were killed and 5 injured. The R angers killed 30 Shias and injured many. There is now a full curfew on Gilgit. No one to be out after curfew or you will be beat up.

Please pray for peace and conflict resolution in Gilgit in particular as so much of Pakistan is grieving over the earthquake.

The curfew directly affects our hospital's ability to give care and to generate income, as the patients cannot come. Or, when the curfew is lifted, many are still afraid to come. The schools close, many businesses suffer.

We continue to be thankful that God is in control, and that He gives strength as we need.

Mitch is in the US for 10 days, visiting a church and some friends in Seattle and San Diego . He'll then attend his brother's wedding, see Josh and family and come back here 25 October.

I apologize for the length of this update, but the amount of information will be interesting to some.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Caryl and Mitch

Lions of Michigan Youth Exchange Program
May Be Looking For You!

Lions of Michigan Youth Exchange program offers summer opportunities for youth to travel and expand their knowledge of family and community life in other cultures.

Young people between the ages of 16 to 21 may participate. Youths traveling must be of good health, both mentally and physically and be willing to learn new customs and cultures. Knowledge of foreign languages is not mandatory, except in France where the participant must have previously studied at least two years of French. However some knowledge of the country that a youth chooses to travel is helpful.

Each cultural exchange is approximately four to eight weeks long, depending on the country visited. Youths traveling on the program are responsible for their fees and fares but may write to local Lions clubs and organizations to request sponsorship. Youths traveling on the program will stay with Lion approved families.

We are also looking for families who would like to host a youth for three to six weeks in the winter or summer months.

For more information on the Lions Youth Exchange Program please call.

Lion Karen Ates home phone 810-735-9039 or email to lionkaren32@yahoo.com

Pirouette of the Leaves

Copyright 2003 by Ruth Gillis/Photos by Phyllis Moore

Dancing and prancing, they put on a show,
vibrant in costumes of radiant hue;
upward they spiral then downward they go,
waltzing with vigor in their flaming revue.

Twirling and swirling, in time with the wind,
flashing their colors in vivid array;
red, gold, and orange in picturesque blend,
they are the stars of the day.

Making the most of their transient time,
loftily flaunting their power,
reigning supremely in rhythm and rhyme,
they are the queens of autumn's brief hour.




Page Two of the News on the 'Net