DESPITE THEIR OWN CHALLENGES, GFA-SUPPORTED WORKERS LOOK TO BRING HELP AND HOPE IN THE WAKE OF WIDESPREAD LOSS
Community care programs run by Gospel for Asia-supported (GFA) workers have been disrupted as they face their own struggles in the wake of widespread flooding in the northeast of India.
The helpers are among hundreds of thousands who have been affected since the Brahmaputra river in Assam state overflowed, leaving large areas of the state and three others under water. The flooding caused almost 100 deaths and has left half a million homeless, with desperate shortages of water, food and medical supplies.
Many have been left without any form of livelihood because their livestock was swept away, while there are ongoing health dangers from stagnant water attracting mosquitoes and flies. Some left stranded by the high water have carved simple boats from banana trees to be able to move about and look for help.
The flooding has caused the closure of a number of GFA-sponsored Bridge of Hope centers. Through them, vulnerable local children in need receive schooling, health care and a free meal. Meanwhile, around a dozen churches associated with GFA-supported workers have been left unusable by the high water.
"Thankfully the heavy rain has stopped, but the situation remains extremely difficult," said GFA founder and director Dr. K.P. Yohannan. "As always in times of disaster, our workers are ready and eager to offer help and comfort to those in so much need, but so far they are limited in what they can do because of the current circumstances."
Dr. Yohannan appealed for prayer for all those affected by the situation: "Some people have lost everything—not only their homes, but their only source of income. As we are able, we want to provide material resources to help them rebuild and also demonstrate through our care and concern that God loves them and has not abandoned them."
The danger caused by stagnant standing water also spotlights another ongoing GFA focus—providing communities with clean water. GFA-supported workers regularly help communities install fresh water wells and distribute sand-and-gravel filters that purify contaminated water, helping people at risk from sickness and disease.
Photo: Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers in one of the many communities impacted by heavy flooding in northeast India.
GFA (Gospel for Asia) has – for more than 30 years ‒ provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 75,000 sponsored children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 400,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.