Bangladesh (MNN) — In the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan, the people of Bangladesh need food, medicine, and the hope that only comes from Jesus Christ.
Last week, Cyclone Amphan ripped through India and Bangladesh, destroying millions of homes and crops. The two countries evacuated over 3 million people before the storm hit. Officials have confirmed 84 deaths.
Vincent Michael of FMI says the death toll from this storm has been lower than expected, but he wonders if it will continue to rise in the coming days. “The last cyclone that had really catastrophic effects on Bangladesh, in terms of the loss of human life, would have been in 2007. Cyclone Sidr made landfall in Bangladesh . . . the death toll for that one was about 3,500 lives lost.”
Amphan was a stronger storm than Sidr but lost a lot of its strength before making landfall. It also landed at the Sundarbans, a lightly populated area. Nevertheless, Michael says, “It had a pretty devastating impact on the infrastructure of Indian Odisha, which is where Calcutta is located. Then (it moved) into Bangladesh, in the province that we would call Khulna, which is the westernmost province of Bangladesh.”
How to pray for Bangladesh
Michael says COVID-19 had already disrupted supply lines for food and medicine in Bangladesh. “You pile on a national disaster of this magnitude, and the supply chain for life-sustaining services, particularly food and medicine, is on everyone’s mind.” FMI contacts say people need these resources the most right now.
The mass evacuations made social distancing very difficult, Michael says, “COVID-19 has actually been eclipsed in this region right now. They’re dealing with the most urgent needs: getting that food and medicine to those who need it the most.”
Michael says when a natural disaster strikes, Christians have a chance to show their hope in Jesus and the resurrection. “It’s a time for their hope in Jesus Christ to shine and stand in stark contrast to those who don’t have that hope. Our prayer at FMI would be for our partners to show their neighbors who don’t yet know the Lord Jesus a stark contrast between the way they handle the calamities of this nature and the way that those around them have. [Pray] that would be an attractive force.”
Damage done by Cyclone Amphan. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)