Typhoon Morakot Update

The following is a letter sent to the ACUCA Secretariat this month from St. John's University in Taiwan.

Dear friends,

On behalf of St. John’s University, Taipei, may I express to you my sincere thanks and gratitude for your concern and prayers for the tragic situation in southern Taiwan as a result of Typhoon Morakot last week. 

As the disaster unfolds, it is clear that many lives have been lost, homes and buildings buried, crops and livelihoods destroyed. Unfortunately one of our students lost his life when his car was swept away from a broken bridge into the flooded torrents of the river. We have more than 70 students from the affected areas, including around 10 students whose homes have been damaged and whose families need help.

This past weekend, a group of students from the university student Christian group have gone with the chaplaincy assistants and counselors to Chia-Yi County Government to assist the Red Cross with the relief work. Much of this work involves unpacking boxes of donated items, sorting them into clothes, food, water, medicines etc, arranging the storage; followed by packing up the trucks ready for dispatch to the mountain areas. Our students went together with a group from the local Episcopal churches, and yesterday afternoon they were personally visited by the Bishop of Taiwan, the Rt. Rev. David J. H .Lai, who encouraged and prayed for them. 

This coming week we are sending a group of about 20 students to Taitung on the east coast to help clean an elementary school ready for the start of the new academic year on September 1. Many schools, as well as homes, have been inundated with mud, and need to be cleared. We hope that much of the relief work can be accomplished very quickly as this is the typhoon season, and more typhoons are expected. 

In the USA, ‘Episcopal Relief and Development’ has set up a Disaster Response Fund to provide help. Here in Taiwan we are doing our own fund-raising to help our students who have been affected. If you would like to contribute, then all donations will be most welcome. 

Thank you again for your continued concern and support at this time. 

Yours sincerely,

Jean-lien Chen

President, St. John’s University

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