WILLS POINT, Texas—Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported (GFA) workers worked alongside Buddhist priests to bring relief to some of those worst hit by the severe flooding that left thousands of Sri Lankans in desperate need.
Gospel for Asia (GFA) founder and director Dr. KP Yohannan was among the Gospel for Asia (GFA) team members who helped deliver supplies to families in the south Indian Ocean Island nation—official religion Buddhism—where flood waters as high as 18 feet submerged homes and destroyed crops.
In association with leaders and trainee priests at the local Buddhist temple, the Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported group distributed relief packages containing rice, meat, sugar and spices, as well as matches and candles and toiletries.
“We were grateful to be able to join forces to offer practical help to people in such a time of need,” said Yohannan. “We welcome the opportunity to work with anyone and everyone who wants to help the poor and needy. When disaster strikes, as it has in Sri Lanka, what matters most is for everyone to come together and try to help.
“In all these situations, there is one question the local people keep asking us: why are we doing this? Our answer always remains the same. It is because of the love of Christ.”
One of the Buddhist leaders expressed appreciation for the aid distribution, noting that it demonstrated “there is no division of race, caste or religion, but that everyone can join together as one to help.” A local community leader said that the visitors were the first Christian group to offer help in the predominantly Buddhist area, while another called the distribution “a great act of kindness.”
Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported teams have been widely active in relief efforts since Sri Lanka was hit by bad flooding in May. Landslides triggered by heavy rain left many communities cut off and without power. Around 200 people died, and many thousands were left homeless and without food, fresh water, or a source of income. Since then, parts of the country have also been affected by drought.
Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported “compassion teams” have taken fresh food and water, medical and cooking supplies, clothing and bedding to some of the most affected communities. They have also helped clean wells and repair pumps to provide fresh water.
“Sri Lanka continues to need our prayers, and our help,” said KP Yohannan. “We hope that through both, people will come to know God’s love and care for them in this difficult time.”
Gospel for Asia (GFA) has – for more than 30 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 75,000 sponsored children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 400,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.