In an appeal released last week, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) encouraged its members to continue supporting the victims of the Beslan school hostage tragedy through both prayers and financial donations.
“It is now recognized that support and counseling will be needed for many months and years ahead. Both the Russian Union and Mission Vera have plans for helping with this need. The Baptist Church in Beslan plans to develop its work with children especially those traumatized by this tragedy,” the BWA wrote.
The school hostage tragedy that erupted last month in Russia claimed the lives of more than 340 people; the majority of those killed and harmed were children whom were attending their first day of class.
“There are many physical needs to be met, and plans have been made to ensure those children who survived will have an easier winter and a happy Christmas. Psychological help is also being made available,” the BWA wrote.
According to the Baptist World Aid (BWAid) director Paul Montacute, long-term assistance for the victims is just beginning.
“While the tragedy has moved off the radar screens of many,” said Montacute, “the real horror is only just beginning for many of the survivors! Our BWAid Appeal to assist Russian Baptists as they care for these folk will continue, and I hope that Baptists will respond.”
Meanwhile, Lisa Rothenberger, the American Baptist Churches USA World Relief Officer, said the denomination would continue to support the BWAid in its ongoing efforts.
"Our hearts continue to go out to the people of Beslan, as they struggle to recover from this tragedy," said Rothenberger. "We encourage churches to support BWAid in their evangelical and counseling efforts to meet the ongoing spiritual needs of the people as they walk through the days and months ahead."
To give to the Beslan fund through the BWAid, please visit: http://www.bwanet.org/BWAid/Donate.htm