Ministry Workers Marooned by Severe Flooding in Orissa

June 30, 2008

A ministry supported by Christian Aid is located in the heart of the disaster area of Orissa State, India. Estimates are that nearly 700,000 people in the Balasore District have been stranded due to the heavy flooding caused by torrential rains.

people crossing river using barrels

Last week three major rivers began to swell and overflow in the district and even into adjoining areas. Only 4,000 people were able to be evacuated from the worst-hit areas of these 848 villages. "Our relief operation team visited a village situated in the extreme north of Balasore District. Nearly 700 people ran for their lives," reports D. B. Hrudaya leader of Orissa Follow-up (OFU) ministry, "as mud houses, goats, chickens and personal belongings were washed away by the rampant floods. Among the people was a helpless colony of lepers. Thankfully, they were able to be rescued by a struggling band of Christians from the village."

Nearly 25,000 people have been camping out on the slightly elevated National Highway 60. An OFU truck dispatched a load of green bamboo for makeshift shelters to the relief site at Rupsa, along the highway. They are also mobilizing baby food, drinking water, dry food, clothing, rice and firewood. "But the need is so huge," says Hrudaya. Gifts received during this crisis will be used for these kinds of necessities

houses submerged by flood in Balasore

Workers with OFU have not been able to contact some of their other leaders in these areas, and they are also concerned for the welfare of the school children, the teachers and families in Baliapal. Most of the agricultural staff are from the Ujuda church, and no one has heard from them either. Please pray that they are safe and will be reached with the necessities of life soon.

The situation is dire, but Hrudaya writes, "Our resources are limited . . . we are waiting upon the Lord in this time of great need." A gift of $750 can be used to replace one of the many houses swept away in the flood. Please pray that these urgent and on-going needs would be met soon. Pray also that these workers would be encouraged in the days ahead as they continue to be used by God in the midst of suffering.