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In my mind I could hear the death cries of little children, husbands and wives and grandparents. Buildings that housed scores of families suddenly in 45 seconds of horror were transformed into pyramids of rubble. Under those pyramids lay buried all the hopes and dreams of a generation. Just 45 seconds and then si- lence and it was over. Our driver had stopped the bus at a spot over- looking the entire area. Pointing to a distant, vacant spot, he said, “That was once a city.” When the quake came, the whole city was flattened. A city…45… seconds and then there was NOTHING! The devastation had been so great that total recovery proved to be im- possible. The quake had snuffed out more than 25,000 lives and had left 500,000 people homeless. Thousands of people whose homes had been destroyed found themselves without shelter. From the freezing December cold they sought refuge in anything. The tons of aid had arrived in steel containers which were now empty. People who had owned ev- erything but whose lives had been abruptly shattered by the quake now set up temporary housing in the con- tainers. Ten years after the quake we saw hundreds of the old aid containers still inhabited by thousands of peo- ple. The life of a steel container is 10 years. After 10 years the “temporary” homes of steel are rusting, leaking and falling apart. At first nations cared. At first the horrid containers were “temporary.” Now, government officials don't want to know. The hope of 10 years has turned into a living death—a night that ceases to end—a hopeless- ness without recovery. People who once had it all: food, clothing, shel- ter, jobs and pride, are now sentenced to live out their days in rusting metal boxes. With gladness we placed Bibles into reaching hands. Some of the people wept. Some hugged and kissed us. Others kissed the Bible and looking up to heaven said, “Thank You, Jesus” (in Armenian). Always there was a “thank you.” Placing a Bible into a woman's hand she said, “I have been asking God to send me a Bible.” God had answered her prayer through us and through some Christian who pur- chased that Bible for us to give. Some tried to pull us into their metal box homes to offer us tea or coffee or whatever little they had. One woman prepared tea and brought it to the bus for our team. continued on page 10 NATIONS • 9