A man stands in waist-deep water in Manipur, India. A GFA state leader and his family live in the flooded home in the background.
A family tries to escape the rising floodwaters in Manipur, India.
Classes have been cancelled until this flooded Bridge of Hope center in Manipur, India, can be cleaned and repaired.
Flooding has claimed yet another area of South Asia. This time heavy rains inundated the impoverished country of Bangladesh and its neighbor, the state of Manipur, India.
In Bangladesh, 17 people have been confirmed dead, dozens more are missing and thousands are unable to return to their flooded homes. News reports say the flooding was caused by three days of pounding rains that created a tidal surge. Waves as tall as five feet crashed into populated areas along the tiny country’s coastline.
Thousands of Bangladeshis are living in shelters, waiting for the water to subside.
“This is another heartbreaking crisis for one of the most poor, downtrodden countries in the world,” said Gospel for Asia President K.P. Yohannan. “It is another opportunity for us to show Christ’s love by responding to the suffering as He would have us do.”
Although Bangladesh was once one of the wealthiest areas on the Indian subcontinent, it is now one of the poorest, with 55 percent of the population living below the poverty line. Because of its geographic location, it is especially susceptible to natural disasters. Floods and cyclones routinely cause major damage and create intense heartache for its 156 million residents.
Gospel for Asia’s Compassion Services teams are already in Bangladesh reaching out to the people with practical help and the hope of Jesus.
“As this has happened in the past, we have our people on the ground who are able to respond to these who are in desperate need,” Yohannan said. “They are already responding to this, we just need to get them more help.”
Floodwaters also swept across much of neighboring Manipur, India, damaging several GFA-supported churches and Bridge of Hope centers.
The floods came after several days of incessant downpours, which caused four rivers in the state to overflow their banks. The worst damage is in the Imphal City, where people did all they could to move their families and their few meagre belongings to higher ground.
The local farmers are devastated as their fields of fully ripened, ready-to-harvest rice are now ruined. A large number of fish farms were also damaged by the rain.
Four Bridge of Hope centers and one church also sustained damage. The buildings will be closed until the water recedes and necessary repairs can be made.
Of course, homes were damaged, too. Local government officials estimate that 55,000 households were affected by the flooding. Several GFA workers from the Bridge of Hope centers, as well as the missionaries, are also dealing with flooded homes, too.
The government has set up relief camps, and Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries are out in force, distributing emergency food rations, dry clothing and bed linens and other household items to the victims. The teams also take time to listen and pray with the people.
GFA workers in the affected areas shared the following prayer requests:
- Pray for God’s comfort on those affected by the floods. Pray that the Lord will comfort and take care of them.
- Pray that God will protect them from sickness that often comes from the contaminated water.
- Pray for the faith of Christians to be strengthened through this difficult situation.