Missions Insider Report :: Missions Insider
Floods in India and Southeast Asia Leave Millions Homeless
October 9, 2009
Recently floods in south India and in the Philippines brought devastation and an appeal for help by Christians and indigenous ministries located in the affected areas. And not far away in Indonesia, an earthquake destroyed over 100,000 homes in the largest city in West Sumatra. Christians seek to help suffering Muslims.
India: Worst Flooding in Century Threatens to Claim More Lives
As of October 6, 2009, it is estimated that 270 people were killed due to flooding in the southern Indian States of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Another 2.5 million are homeless seeking refuge in government-run relief camps.
"Imagine being stranded on a rooftop or in a tree, watching the waters rush by. You are unable to let go for fear of being swept away with the grim reminders of the devastation going on all around. Cattle and other livestock – struggle, screech and die in the waters before your eyes. As night falls, the air chills and you are still holding on despite being cold, wet, and your strength waning. You know that if you let yourself fall asleep, it will mean certain death," writes a brother from Andhra Pradesh.
The leader of another ministry Christian Aid supports wrote this: "The scene was heartbreaking. Parents lost small children while trying to cross to safer place. Elderly people died, unable to fight against the thundering waters. There were screams from those on the roof tops as dead bodies floated by. Meanwhile, the rain continued and the floods kept rising. The town of Kurnool was under water and in darkness for three days."
Though it hardly needs saying, survivors of these floods are now destitute. Relief camps are unable to keep up with continually increasing needs. Blankets for protection against the elements, medicines, food, water, and clothes are but the barest requirements for survival. "They need everything. There is no limit for your help," is his urgent plea.
"At this time, there is not even time to think about the dead and lost. We need to rescue those who are still stuck in the waters waiting for help," he exhorted.
"But those who manage to survive the physical battle still need rescuing," a Pastor in Krishna-Guntur-Nalgonda reminds us. "If we delay in our help, hundreds more will die without knowing the Lord. We want to go and help them – to teach about a living God who can save their souls for an eternity," he adds.
"When you helped us through the Tsunami crisis, we were given so many opportunities for Christ. Once again, we need your support and prayers. Please help us to reach out to the destitute and dying for His kingdom!" is their cry.
Christian Aid is already sending funds to help in this disaster. Send your contribution to help with the unlimited needs of these brethren as they minister to the perishing.
Philippines: Flood Leaves Christian Survivors at Risk
The heaviest rainfall in 42 years leaves over 275 people dead and nearly 700,000 survivors are staying in gymnasiums, schools, and other makeshift evacuation shelters.
Tropical storm Ketasana, known as Typhoon Ondoy, arrived in the Philippines on Saturday, September 26, dumping over 16 inches of rain in 12 hours in Manila, more than the average rainfall for all of September. In several areas of the city, floods were as high as 20 feet of water, and blocked drainage systems are keeping many areas under water.
As in any typhoon or flood disaster, typhoid fever threatens to take the lives of even more men, women, and children. In spite of emergency rescue efforts, there is a lack of medicine, clean water, and sanitation facilities. Since the initial devastation, many are still without these life-saving necessities, according to native missionaries who live in the area.
Governments and NGOs are currently attempting rescue operations. Plenty of emergency supplies are on hand to be distributed, but the needs are massive and operations difficult.
Because these kinds of agencies have no interest in rebuilding churches, or restoring the homes of believers, these ministries will need our help more than ever to survive. Christian Aid has already begun sending help for their most urgent needs, but the on-going need is going to be even greater.
Christian Aid regularly helps by sending support for 17 indigenous ministries in the area. Many of them are without electricity and cannot communicate. A few ministries that were able to contact Christian Aid reported that most buildings were flooded. Furniture, office supplies, cameras, computers and other mission equipment were damaged.
One of the leaders of Student Missionary Outreach, supported through Christian Aid, wrote, "Please pray for our families, fellow workers, and congregation, who have suffered so much . . . most of them survived the flash flooding, but their houses and personal effects have been submerged in water. Food, medicine, shelter, and clothing are the immediate needs. But we still believe that God always works according to His plan and purpose. We pray He will use this tragedy to draw people to Himself," he concluded.
From Assist Reproducing Ministries, Christian Aid received this email:
"Those living on lower ground had water as high as 5 feet. They have to break the concrete wall to let the water go. Water is slowly receding, but some street have mud knee deep. We have many requests for prayer. More than a dozen pastors have called us to ask if there is a way we can assist in financial help for their destroyed Bibles, hymn books, sound and musical equipment, and church facilities."
Romy from Philippines Evangelical Mission sent this report, "We are in great need. One of our churches here in Valenzuela City, near the Tolyahan River, lay in ruin. Many homes of our church members are totally destroyed. About 10 others’ roofs are severely damaged, being covered over with mud and garbage. Nothing is left – not even a few personal belongings. The pain and suffering is beyond description."
Christian Aid has received word from other ministries, which are also anxious to provide shelter, food, clothing, and medicine. Christian Aid is receiving gifts to help with these needs, to enable Christians to rebuild their houses and ministry buildings, and to resupply ministry tools, such as Bibles, Christian literature and office equipment.
Indonesia: Earthquake in Islamic Area Opens Opportunity for the Gospel
On Wednesday, September 30, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit the Indonesian city of Padang, trapping thousands under debris, with more than a thousand dead and perhaps 100,000 homes destroyed and another 50,000 damaged.
In the rural areas of Indonesia, aftershocks and mudslides contributed to the destruction of property and devastation or death of many more lives.
Padang, the city hit hardest by the earthquake, is an area under Islam’s Sharia Law. Two ministries supported through Christian Aid have workers in this city. One of them said, "The earthquake has presented many opportunities to share the love of Christ to those who are normally cut off from the gospel."