New Homes for Cyclone Phailin Survivors
January 8, 2015
On October 11, 2013, Jyotiranjan and his family evacuated to a nearby school building, waiting for Cyclone Phailin to sweep through their village in Odisha, India.
“That night we did not sleep,” Jyotiranjan recalled. “The whole night we watched and wondered when the cyclone would be over. When it stopped at 3 a.m., we went back to our house and found that it was destroyed and everything was lost.”
Cyclone Phailin affected nearly 9 million people and displaced thousands. Thankfully, GFA World has been able to provide Jyotiranjan—and 140 others—with a new home for him and his family.
“We never expected a house to be rebuilt for us,” Jyotiranjan said. “Really, I am very glad, and I want to express my gratitude to God.”
Kalei also lost her small cottage after Cyclone Phailin ripped through her village. With the help of Compassion Services teams—and of those who gave to provide relief—she received food and has since been able to rebuild her life in a new home.
“We were not able to rebuild a house [for ourselves, especially one] made of bricks and cement,” she said.
But through GFA Compassion Services, they now have a home.
“We are so thankful to our God for His mercy and to the Church for their help,” she said.
In addition to homes, food and clothing, GFA World Compassion Services was able to provide some survivors of Cyclone Phailin with sewing machines, carpentry tools and tin roof sheets through GFA’s Christmas gift distribution programs. These gifts will help them earn a livelihood, especially after all their belongings were washed away.
GFA World continues to minister to those affected by the cyclone. So far, 141 homes have been built by GFA, and plans to build more are underway.
Cyclone Phailin Reconstruction Still Underway, 141 Homes Rebuilt
October 21, 2014
Last October, the eastern coastal region of India experienced the strongest storm it had seen in 14 years: Cyclone Phailin.
The cyclone displaced millions of people and left many homeless. Soon after Phailin ravaged the eastern states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, GFA World Compassion Services workers helped bring relief to those affected, which included rebuilding homes.
A year later, 141 homes have been reconstructed, providing survivors with much-needed shelter.
Jibu and his family lost their house and all their belongings when Cyclone Phailin swept through Odisha. After receiving a home as part of GFA’s Phailin Housing Project, he said in tears, “We are a very poor family. No one was there to help us when we lost everything during Phailin. Even our own relatives did not help us. But I am so happy that GFA helped me. I am so grateful to the church.”
GFA continues to reconstruct houses for those still in need after Cyclone Phailin. They are also planning the next phase of reconstruction that will take place next year.
31 Homes Rebuilt for Cyclone Phailin Victims
GFA World Compassion Services teams completed 31 houses for victims of Cyclone Phailin and are currently constructing 119 more. The homes are due to be finished by July 15 as part of GFA World’s goal to rebuild 300 houses in 2014.
Photos of Newly Constructed Houses
June 20, 2014
Two Families Have Newly Constructed Houses
May 22, 2014
On May 7, GFA World workers and government officials inaugurated two new houses built by GFA Compassion Services for victims of Cyclone Phailin.
Everyone in the area, believers and non-believers, attended the inauguration, which was led by GFA pastor Alok Peter. Pastor Alok shared from Matthew 25:40 and spoke about the concern GFA has to help the poor in society. He later prayed and invited the new home owners into their recently constructed houses.
“We are a very poor family,” said one of the recipients. “No one was there to help us when we lost everything during Phailin. Even our own relatives did not help us, but I am so happy that Compassion Services teams helped me. I am so grateful to the church.”
Over the next three years, Compassion Services teams hope to build at least 1,000 homes, 300 of which will be built in 2014.
100 Homes to Be Reconstructed by May
April 15, 2014
GFA World Compassion Services teams are on track to have reconstructed, by the end of April, 100 houses that were damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Phailin.
The teams are currently working in one of the worst-hit areas, where flooding and damaged power grids slowed recovery efforts. Many of the people are living in sheds and mud houses.
“People never expected that someone would come and build their house with bricks and cement,” said GFA World correspondent Ibhya Lall.
Local pastors and other ministry leaders are monitoring the work in each area being helped, praying over the houses as they are built. They ultimately hope to reconstruct 1,000 houses.
Compassion Services to Rebuild 1,000 Homes after Cyclone Phailin
March 12, 2014
Four months after Cyclone Phailin ravaged the Indian states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, GFA World Compassion Services teams began reconstruction efforts for the 800,000 homes either damaged or destroyed in the deadly storm.
“There are so many people still waiting for help and camping out on the roads,” said Daniel Punnose, vice president of GFA. “Their land is gone; their farms are gone; their houses are gone. They’re just trying to rebuild their lives right now.”
Hoping to ultimately build at least 1,000 homes, Compassion Services teams are reconstructing 100 houses during March and April at a cost of $3,000 each.
“The owner of the house will be taking complete ownership in helping to see the work done very fast,” said a GFA field correspondent.
Homeowners will be responsible for digging the foundations of their houses and sanitation pits. Meanwhile, Compassion Services teams continue to provide basic necessities for victims. Most recently, teams sorted and packed clothing into individual packages, which were then distributed in hard-hit areas.
“We do express our gratitude for your compassionate heart for the Phailin-affected victims . . . ,” GFA pastor Alok Peter said. “All pieces of clothing were distributed among the most needy, and we are sure that it reached the right hands.”
Over the past five months, GFA workers have seen victims respond to this compassion with curiosity about Jesus Christ.
“Their entire future has been washed away. When we are able to talk with them and pray with them, we are able to tell them that there is hope in Christ,” Punnose said. “They will come back to us pretty often and say, ‘Can you now tell us why you’re doing this, because no one does this.’”
Compassion Services team members expect to continue a concerted rehabilitation effort for the next two years. They pray they are able to build 300 homes in 2014. As you lift them up in prayer, please also consider partnering with them financially so the people of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh can not only rebuild their lives but also experience new life in Jesus Christ.