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Haiti Stuck by Earthquake; Mission Organization Prepares to Help

Contact: Tim Rickel, Vice President of Communication, World Gospel Mission, 765-671-7283

MEDIA ADVISORY, Jan. 13 /Christian Newswire/ -- At 4:53 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, the country of Haiti was struck by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated the capital city of Port-au-Prince and knocked down buildings and telephone and power lines throughout the country. The initial quake, which was centered about 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, was followed by nearly 30 aftershocks of 4.0 magnitude or greater.

According to Paul Shingledecker, World Gospel Mission's regional director for the U.S. and Caribbean, phone lines are still down and he has not been able to make contact with national Christians at Radio Lumière. However, the area where the network's main studios are located is one of the hardest hit by the quake and many buildings have collapsed. Christian radio station Radio Lumière is WGM's main ministry in Haiti.

Online reports state that there is still no clear estimate of how many people were killed or wounded in the earthquake, but the Red Cross estimated that 3 million people were affected.

World Gospel Mission will be sending crisis relief funds to our partners on the ground in Haiti as they reach out with the love of Christ to their neighbors. WGM works in crisis situations with our partners on the ground to bring immediate and ongoing relief and reconstruction as needed. Click here to join these relief efforts through WGM's Crisis Relief Fund.

This earthquake is the most powerful to hit the country in more than 200 years and follows the 2008 destruction caused by four hurricanes that swept across Haiti within a three-week span. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80 percent of its population living below the poverty line.

Radio Lumière (French for light) held its first broadcast on February 20, 1959. As the country's main Protestant radio station, Radio Lumière covers more than 90 percent of the country with Christian broadcasting. Currently, the Radio Lumière network has nine stations, with the main station and studios and a television station located in Port-au-Prince. The network's other eight stations are located at strategic points around the country.

For more information, please contact Tim Rickel, WGM's vice president of communication, at (765) 671-7283 or visit www.wgm.org.