South Georgia ministry aids tsunami victims - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia ministry aids tsunami victims

January 13, 2005

Albany-- For many years, the Albany First United Methodist Church has supported the Karakonam Hospital in Southern India. It's run by one of the church's former members.

Karakonam Hospital in Southern India is located in an area where 20,000 to 30,000 people were killed by the tsunami. Now it is the only source of medical care for the disaster victims in that area.

The Albany church is raising money and sending medical professionals to help.

The Hospital, run by former Albany Doctor Isiah Azariah, has been pushed to the limit to care for the victims. His former Albany Church is working to rush badly needed aid.

Dr. Van Knowles said "It's amazing, there are just not any other significant hospitals in this area. Nothing."

This week Albany First Methodist Church members shipped 36 boxes of medical supplies to the hospital. "Hopefully the resources and the funds that we will be able to send will help them get through this period of time," said Knowles.

Dr. Van Knowles is preparing to lead a 13 member team of Doctors and Nurses to the Indian Hospital in February. Knowles has lead medical mission teams to India since 1984, helping build this hospital to a well staffed 350 bed teaching institution. "Trained surgeons, internists, and pediatricians and obstetricians, that can handle most of the problems that come along," Dr. Knowles said.

But this disaster is overwhelming. The Albany church is raising money to send to Dr. Azariah's hospital, knowing the money will get to the victims. "Trust is there. Therefore every dollar that we give one hundred percent of that dollar gets applied absolutely to the need," Minister Mike McAfee said.

Church members will hold bake sales and car washes in the next weeks, to help disaster victims through a hospital they helped build, needed now more than ever. If you would like to help the Albany Medical Mission team with in its tsunami relief, you can send donations to the Albany First United Methodist Church.

posted at 4:35PM by dave.miller@walb.com