Flood Relief Reaches Villages

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Heavy monsoon rains in India have taken a heavy toll on the people of West Bengal. Rice paddies have been destroyed and homes totally washed away.
Gospel for Asia missionaries gathered emergency relief supplies to meet the immediate needs of 458 families in West Bengal and the islands off its coast.
Each suffering family was given 44 pounds of rice, 11 pounds of lentils, cooking oil and salt.
A team of GFA missionaries traveled to 19 villages on the islands off West Bengal. The roads were narrow and so muddy that they had to move stones and bricks onto the road to avoid getting stuck.
The following day, the missionary relief team rented a boat to take supplies to other islands. After reaching the shore, they rode on bicycle rickshaws until they reached the village.
As the missionaries handed out supplies, villagers told their stories. One man’s small mud-made home couldn’t sustain the rain, and half of it collapsed.
Another woman’s home and garden were completely destroyed. Her husband is struggling to find work and is only making $1 a day—not enough to buy food for the family.
The GFA missionaries then left the islands and went to a district of mainland West Bengal. Nearly every house in this area was completely destroyed. Villagers are living under trees and in make-shift huts made of plastic.
To reach some of the villages, GFA missionaries carried relief supplies on their heads because vehicles could not get through without getting stuck in the mud.
As the team passed out food, a woman told them with tears in her eyes that it would be the first time in a long while that she would be cooking rice for her family.
Villagers left carrying their supplies with more joy and hope in their eyes than they have had for the last few months. “Thank you so much for coming to see us and inquire about us—for helping us and praying for us,” said one of the women.
date posted 09/11/07