Pakistan (GFA/MNN) — Half a year after devastating
floods swept over Pakistan, the crisis is unabated.
According to the international aid agency
Oxfam, hundreds of thousands remain in camps, and thousands are living in tents
beside their destroyed homes. Sub-zero winter temperatures have increased, and
illnesses are on the rise.
Much of the land remains under contaminated water, and there
are concerns that malnutrition rates have risen. On top of this, the Pakistan government had
planned to stop emergency relief operations in most areas on January 31. Danny Punnose with Gospel For Asia explains
that "these countries don't want to have a lot of outside people in their
country. They have their own rules and restrictions, their own fears of what
could or could not happen."
However, nationals are still in place and the Gospel
for Asia-supported Compassion Services workers are still meeting needs just as they were immediately after
the flooding. "While a lot of people come in and do relief work very quickly and then
leave, our commitment is to the long term. The reality is that it is very
difficult to get to some of these remote locations, but because we have people
there, we are able to provide some relief to the most needy."
The GFA teams discovered that many of the villages they
visited did not have an adequate supply of clean water-even before the floods
hit. So they decided to do something
During the months after the floodwaters receded,
several Jesus Wells were drilled in the villages affected by the floods. And
several more wells are in the works, too.
says, "It is vitally important right now that the people who are there are
able to do the relief work because it will be long-term work that will actually
make the difference, not short-term."
temperatures dropping, "We try to
provide as much as we can to people to have something to sleep on, and also
provide shelter. So as the winter rolls in, this is a very needy time to
help people keep warm."
Wells open a lot of doors. The first
reaction is that "a very simple hand-pump well in the middle of a village brings
such joy to people's hearts because they realize this is clean water: 'We don't
have to worry about our kids getting sick; we don't have to worry about animals
making it dirty'."
Punnose, "They realize these believers
are not asking something from us. This is something that they're doing because
of the love of Christ. When they recognize that, it makes a huge difference in
their life, that they realize someone actually does care, someone does love them,
someone does want to help them."
There's still so much to do. How can you help? Start with prayer. "Every believer can pray and ask the
Lord to meet the needs and provide more laborers for the field."
Gospel for Asia is an evangelical
mission organization, based in Carrollton, Texas, involved in sharing the love of Jesus
across South Asia.