Flood Aid Rebuilds Homes

February 5, 2010

Thanks to gifts from concerned friends in the United States, construction has begun on replacement housing in some flood-ravaged villages of South India. The aid was given as Christian Aid supporters responded to appeals for help during terrible flooding there last fall.

Hastily made bamboo huts allocated during the emergency phase are now being enlarged and strengthened with durable building materials. Funds have already been sent to indigenous missionary ministries through Christian Aid, but with so many still in need, much more help is needed.

Last July, the worst flooding of the century devastated the southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra. It can only be described as a nightmare. Over 290 people died, but many of the survivors are still in desperate need.

The Krishna River runs through all three of the affected states in India. Homes like these along its banks were hardest hit. Gifts to help rebuild them should be designated to gift code 600DIS.

"We must give immediate attention to the long-term goals for rebuilding and restoration," says Sarla Mahara, South Asia Field Director for Christian Aid.

Those that survived by hanging onto rooftops or trees, cried as they heard the screams of men, women and children around them. Terrified cattle, goats, chickens, and all other animals were helplessly washed down the raging waters to their deaths, while homes were crushed in the wake of its thunderous path. The devastation was so chaotic that one ministry leader told Christian Aid, "At this time we cannot even think about the dead and lost. We must rescue those who survived and waiting for our help."

Another leader wrote, "They need everything. There is no limit for your help." Christian Aid was able to respond to these pleas immediately by sending funds for blankets, clothing, money, and food. Relief camps provided for temporary housing since most homes, churches, or other buildings that might have been used as shelter were all destroyed. In some cases people are still living in their partially destroyed homes, badly in need of restoration for safety as well as health concerns.

Homes steeped in water for long periods of time must be replaced.

Because of Christian Aid´s unique relationship with indigenous ministries overseas, they are continually communicating the ongoing needs to Sarla and her staff. Christian Aid, in turn, promotes these needs to supporters in the USA. "Giving help to those in dire need is one way these ministries open new doors for the gospel," Sarla noted.

The ultimate goal of Christian Aid has always been to support the work of indigenous ministries who are presenting the gospel, and especially during these times of crises. Dr. Jesu Buraga of Andhra Pradesh writes, "We thank the Lord for your compassionate ministry that serves the servants. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee . . . (Philemon 1:7).