Relief help is needed in Kerala now. With thousands still reeling from the impact of historic flooding, a drought-induced second major crisis has occurred as wells are drying up and killing helpful earthworms. This has heightened the need for GFA’s (Gospel for Asia, www.gfa.org) ongoing relief help in India’s Kerala state. GFA-supported workers have been providing physical and spiritual care for people affected by the August monsoons that claimed almost 500 lives and left many thousands homeless.
Now, ironically, a drought threatens a water shortage for drinking and agricultural use, as people try to pick up the pieces of their lives. According to reports, wells have dried up and the heat has killed helpful earthworms that usually surface after heavy rain, aerating the soil.
The one-two punch has left thousands without income and with dwindling hope—in response to which GFA has pledged ongoing relief help to assist victims in getting back on their feet.
“The latest news of water shortages and agricultural problems has only made the situation more desperate and heightened our determination to do all that we can to bring people practical help and spiritual hope,” said GFA founder and director, K.P. Yohannan. “We want people to know that God has not forgotten them.”
GFA’s relief efforts are being supported by people around the world through prayer and finances. GFA-supported pastors in Asia have initiated donation collections from many in their area who have chosen to give from the little they have to spare. These low-income communities in different parts of Asia have helped provide food, medicine and other basic needs for some of the families in relief camps.
Those supplies have been distributed by GFA-supported workers who also take time to offer encouragement to recipients and pray for them, reminding them to trust God for the future.
Among the helpers has been Tahaan, a GFA-supported pastor who with some of his church members handed out supplies to 55 flood-affected families in a nearby camp. “Many had lost their house and items in the flood,” he said.
There have also been opportunities to be part of bringing some unexpected joy to some of the victims. Together with members of his congregation, GFA-supported pastor Jair helped serve food for several hundred guests at a wedding held in a relief camp, after the flooding prevented the couple from returning to their home village for the ceremony.
Since the flooding, GFA-supported workers have helped rescue people trapped in their homes, provided resources to those sheltering in relief camps, and assisted others as they have returned to try to salvage homes and livelihoods.
“It will take years before these people’s lives return to any kind of normalcy,” said Yohannan. “But like Christ came not only to help us but to be Emmanuel, God with us, we are also here, with the people, and we are not going anywhere.”
Donations to support GFA’s disaster relief work can be made at www.gfa.org/flood.