CHENNAI – Vijay Jayaraj holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia in Great Britain. He is a native of India and a resident of Chennai. In a recent op-ed to published by the Christian Post, he lauded the immediate and substantial aid by Christians following the Kerala flooding as a reminder of “the indispensable role the church played in the development of India.”
His observation was that the rapid and tireless response of the local Christian churches from Kerala and across the country was not unexpected. Rather, it was – and is – exactly what many of his fellow countrymen would have anticipated because it is how they have seen Christians live every day in a demonstration of their love and the love of Jesus.
“Christ’s people reflect the boundless love of God to the world when they help those who are in need, even when they themselves don’t have much in life.” Citing Thomas the Apostle’s landing in Kerala in the first century A.D., Jayaraj noted that “The church played a crucial role in India’s development” and “Contrary to popular beliefs, the missionaries, rather than being political pawns, were always at odds with the British Empire in India.”
He listed examples of the contributions that Christians have made in his homeland, including,
- Establishing schools for women
- Leading the successful campaign to abolish sati
- Introducing the printing press to India
- Creating the country’s first agricultural ministry
- Working to eliminate the deprivation of human rights inherent to the caste system.
“Historically, global Christianity has been the forerunner of charity, including in response to natural disasters. Loving our neighbors means more than just donating a few dollars towards relief. It may involve adopting a real sacrificial lifestyle for the good of others, both inside and outside the church body.”
As times passes and recovery efforts continue, we can expect Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported and other Christian churches to continue working tirelessly to restore the lives of those who have lost so much in the flooding. It is who we are. It is because we are called to let our light shine so that people will see our God works and glorify our Father in Heaven. It is because of Jesus’ love for us and for all people that it is our desire to do good to all men, regardless of how they are, where they live, or what they believe.
Pray for the people of Kerala as they face a long road to recovery. Pray for our Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported ministries and for other believers and we continue our commitment to love and serve in the name of Jesus.
To read more on the role Christians played in the flooding in Kerala, India, go here.
- The Christian Post, Churches’ Assistance Following South India Floods Continues a Long Tradition
- Taylor & Francis Online, The Contribution of the Christian Missions to British Colonial Education
- ACNS, Church of South India Responds to Flooding in Kerala
- The Patriot Post, Indoctrination, Population Control and Climate Change – What a Masters in Environmental Science Learned at the University
- Gospel for Asia