Wills Point, USA (ANS) – Millions of people in India and Bangladesh, already struggling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, are preparing for Super Cyclone Amphan, moving with the force of a strong Category 4 hurricane according to Gospel For Asia (GFA). With winds reaching 165 miles per hour, Amphan is the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal and is expected to make landfall on Wednesday, local time.
Forecasters warn this cyclone could be disastrous, with extensive damage from high winds, heavy rainfall, tidal waves and flooding, which could lead to landslides. Evacuations are underway in the Indian coastal areas of West Bengal and Odisha and in Bangladesh, but cyclone shelter capacity is diminished due to social distancing rules.
GFA reports they have 59 churches on the West Bengal islands, where people live in simple mud houses and church buildings are composed of bamboo. These simple structures could easily be obliterated by these forceful winds. There are also several GFA Bridge of Hope centers in the area.
Also in Amphan’s path is the Sundarbans, a cluster of islands in which there are approximately 60 GFA churches. One island is known as the “widows island,” where 18 Sisters of Compassion actively minister. There are also seven GFA churches along the coast in Contai and Digha.
GFA workers are already preparing to respond to needs in the aftermath of the storm. A team of young men have obtained government permission to take their boats to Bangladesh to help any who have experienced the devastation of the storm. Churches have also stocked enough supplies for 15 days to bring relief to affected communities.
“I am asking you to join with me to look up and to activate your faith,” GFA Founder K.P. Yohannan says.
“God is on the throne and He is in control over all nature. We desperately need to pray for God’s protection. In John 10:10, Jesus said it’s Satan’s purpose to destroy everything. But our God is the One who is able to tell even the winds and the waves to be still. Please stand with me in prayer for protection over our brothers and sisters and the many who live in these areas without having yet heard the hope of Christ. I know you will.”