India (MNN) — Monsoon floods have done worse damage than Gospel For Asia initially thought.
Just over a week ago, the Brahmaputra River overflowed, carrying hundreds of thousands of gallons of water south through Assam state. Based on all the information they could gather with so many communication lines down, GFA initially thought 12 church buildings were underwater.
More recent reports sadly confirm a worse fate. Floodwaters have now hit 58 GFA-supported churches and six Bridge of Hope centers. The damage potentially leaves more than 1,000 believers without a church and 716 children without education.
This damage is only a drop in the bucket of the flood's full extent. Hundreds of people have already been killed, and according to Assam Agriculture Minister Nilamoni Sen Deka, 900,000 people have been displaced.
Rains show no sign of letting up, and residents are facing the grim reality of property loss, starvation and possible death. Thousands of helpless people have been forced to evacuate their homes and are stranded without food or drinking water.
A GFA pastor in the area says that he and the believers in his church are tired, wet, and weak. Many of the people of Assam are suffering from fevers, colds, and coughs due to the onset of the monsoon season.
"There is much to be done," says GFA President K.P. Yohannan, "both now and in the months to come." Gospel for Asia Compassion Services teams have already begun emergency relief work, but they are hindered by high waters and washed-out roads. The teams hope to start long-term relief efforts as soon as possible.
Once the teams are mobilized, they will be able to distribute aid and spread hope found only in Christ during such a terrible crisis. Pray that they would be able to get to flood victims soon to encourage them with physical and spiritual assistance.