Bangladesh flooding: crisis or opportunity?

By August 26, 2015
Bangladesh flooding
Bangladesh flooding

(Photo courtesy DFID via Flickr)

Bangladesh (MNN) — Conditions are dire and desperate amid nonstop Bangladesh flooding.

Landslides and a cyclone have intensified the effects of annual monsoon flooding, leaving at least 180,000 Bangladeshis homeless.

Amid the chaos, national pastors and church planters supported by Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI) are islands of security.

“Members of their congregations are looking to them for leadership in the midst of a crisis,” explains FMI’s Bruce Allen.

“So, we really want to come alongside and resource them with the things that they need.

Bangladesh flooding

(Photo obtained on Tumblr)

Cyclone Komen (Photo obtained on Tumblr)

Situated among the world’s largest river delta system, Bangladesh is naturally vulnerable to cyclones and South Asia’s annual monsoon rains.

This year, however, has been particularly difficult.

Monsoon season typically lasts from June to September, affecting 14 nations in South and Southeast Asia. Flooding and landslides are expected results, and ministries throughout the region are adept at dealing with the aftermath of these natural disasters.

What caught most by surprise was the severity of Cyclone Komen.

Formed over the Bay of Bengal, Cyclone Komen swamped Bangladesh at the end of July before adding insult to injury in neighboring Myanmar and India. According to Weather.com, areas already struggling to deal with Bangladesh flooding were inundated by Cyclone Komen.

Church leaders supported by FMI are among those still trying to “pick up the pieces” nearly a month later.

“Many of our ministry partners, our church planters, in Bangladesh are now very sick,” shares Allen, attributing illnesses to water-borne diseases.

FMI_bangladesh flooding 2015

All of the resources seen here
were destroyed by recent flooding.
(Photo courtesy FMI)

Water-borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, and polio are common during monsoon season because flood waters often contaminate sources of drinking water.

“Our National Director lost his home,” Allen adds. Inside the home were volumes upon volumes of the director’s Christian resources.

Can you help FMI empower struggling believers in Bangladesh?

Empowering local responders

Allen says FMI wants to replace the National Director’s resources claimed by floodwaters.

“If we could get him a digital library on, let’s say a Kindle or Nexus, that would be a God-send for him,” he explains.

But, they’re not stopping there.

“We’re trying to educate people in how to build smarter, use better materials: concrete block, or brick, mortar, that is not going to dissolve in water,” says Allen.

Traditional bamboo hut building: the 'weaved' walls are attached to the framework and corrugated iron is used to make the roofs.  (Photo, caption obtained via Wikipedia)

Traditional bamboo hut building: the “weaved” walls
are attached to the framework, and
corrugated iron is used to make the roofs.
(Photo, caption obtained via Wikipedia)

Bangladesh flooding is “a tragic cycle repeated year after year in certain areas of the country, and they just keep going back and using those [same] materials, but then they have to rebuild every year,” says Allen.

“If we can help them with better building materials, that makes a large difference.”

Visit FMI’s Web site here and select “Tangible Resources” to help Bangladeshi believers transform their communities.

“We’re looking for people to come alongside [and] say, ‘We stand beside you. We want to see you be a beacon of hope and a message of Jesus’ Truth and forgiveness.’”

More stories from Bangladesh here.

Is there a quote or Bible verse that motivates you to help people in need? We’d love to hear it! Please share in the Comments section below.

One Comment

  • Roberta M says:

    You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 19:19b

    I can’t contribute monetarily, but I will pray for these people and your ministry to them. God bless you all.

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