WILLS POINT, Texas — GFA (Gospel for Asia) has issued an urgent appeal for help in responding to some of the worst flooding in almost a century that has claimed several hundred lives and displaced nearly a quarter of a million people in southern India.
GFA-supported workers have already begun distributing emergency supplies to some of the victims of the torrential rain in Kerala state, which has disrupted transportation and communication. Official rescue and relief efforts are also getting underway in many places with government help.
Some people have had to be rescued from rooftops by helicopter and by boat, while buildings and bridges have been swept away. Thirteen of Kerala’s 14 districts have been affected in what chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, has called an “extremely grave” crisis.
While GFA-supported workers are gathering dry ration kits containing food, clean water and other essentials like clothes, tarps and toiletries, they are still waiting to learn the full extent of their own losses from the flooding in the region, where they have been involved in a wide range of caring ministries for decades. So far, at least one church led by a GFA-supported pastor and several Bridge of Hope centers are known to have been damaged.
“I have never seen rain like this in my life,” said GFA founder, Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “No matter which way I look, it is like I am surrounded by an ocean of water. Many have escaped with only the clothes on their backs. To rebuild and restore what has been lost will take time. We are doing all we can to help those in immediate need, and we are asking people everywhere to stand with us through prayers and giving so that we can do more to bring comfort and care in the name of Jesus.”
In a special emergency appeal report posted at GFA’s website, video footage from GFA-supported workers in the area shows water surging up the side of buildings, and people lining up to be taken away by boat.
Standing in water that covers the main local highway, Dr. Daniel Johnson, leader of GFA-supported medical ministry, says, “We are helping. We are trying to do what we can, but do pray. There is a lot more help we need.”
Donations to support GFA’s disaster relief work in Kerala can be made at gfa.org/flood.
GFA (Gospel for Asia, www.gfa.org) and its worldwide affiliates have—for almost 40 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 70,000 children, free medical services in over 1,200 villages and remote communities, 4,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas gifts for more than 200,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.