India (MNN) — The death toll continues to rise from the worst flooding in India in years. The death toll rose to 300 even as waters are receding after days of torrential rain left land devastated, displacing millions of people in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Gospel for Asia was one of the first organizations to respond to the flooding, says the ministry's vice president Daniel Punnose. "An estimated 10 million people are displaced. Over two million homes are completely destroyed. And the latest figure is over 400 villages were completely washed away."
Punnose says the situation is desperate. "These people have lost all their livestock, lost their farms, lost their businesses. There is nothing left for them. Just trying to survive is the greatest thing right now."
The Dalits, or the untouchables, are the ones affected the most by this disaster. "They're the ones who are way out in the boonies. All the relief and the aid gets dumped into the cities, or where the news agencies can actually take pictures and show what they are doing. The people who are hit the worst are the people who are in the villages a couple of hours away."
While many organizations have focused on urban settings, GFA is helping right where it's needed. "God has placed us right in the middle where this flooding is taking place, which gives us the greatest opportunity to help."
GFA-supported churches are doing the work. Punnose says, "A lot of the aid and help that is going out is from the local churches that are right there. Some of our local churches are under water right now, but the pastors and believers are the ones who are doing the greatest aid now." He adds, "It is always connected back to the local church. We'll be there even after everyone leaves."
Because they're part of the community, Punnose says, "Rather than someone from outside coming in and just giving stuff, we understand the people — we know them — they understand that we love them. And that gives us a very special, unique place in the society there."
As they help, they're able to share the Gospel with a people group numbering more than 350 million. GFA needs your prayerful support, but also your financial support during these difficult times in India.