Bangladesh (MNN) — Families are living on top of their roofs in Bangladesh, waiting for flood waters to recede.
Monsoon season has brought particularly high water levels this year. And for now, the water keeps rising. According to the Red Cross, nearly four million people are affected, and 250,000 homes have been damaged, even to total destruction.
Christian Aid Mission says at least 110 people have died so far.
Raju Sharma, Area Director of Southeast Asia with Christian Aid Mission gives us an update:
“Now the water has come on the highway of that region. So from the highway, where all the transportation takes place, [it] has basically hindered the move of commodities and the necessaries for people, and more of the lives are now affected.”
Christian Aid Mission is working alongside partners to minister to the needs of 200 families who have been most severely affected. These people are poor and depend on their daily wage to eat. All that has been lost, and so they are without food.
Last week, Christian Aid Mission sent some immediate relief aid, but more is needed.
“We can see some people have some areas [with] water up to their waist around their homes. Some people are now camping out up on their roof.”
The hands and feet of Jesus
The flooding has been going on for some time now, yet people on the ground say the government has done little-to-nothing to help. And Christians in particular, they say, have been neglected.
So what does it mean for Christian groups to step in to help families in need?
Raju says half the families they serve are Christian, the other half are Muslim. The help they’ve received is only increasing opportunities to hear the Gospel — and really hear it.
“This is an act of love and mercy of God when things happen. Christians are moved with that act and respond to that. And the local churches and local congregations, mostly house churches and the groups we work with, are engaged to move in that act of mercy to help. It’s a response of what would Christ do if people are hungry.”
He says when the 5,000 who walked to hear Jesus speak were hungry, He made sure they were fed. The work they are doing models His example. It meets their social, physical, and spiritual needs.
You can be a part of these relief efforts. The first step is providing immediate relief. Food is the primary supply.
In weeks to come, there will be other needs to attend to. Primarily, this includes home repair and preventing water borne illnesses.
You can help. Start by praying. Ask God to give on-the-ground teams energy, courage, and perseverance. Ask Him to mobilize Christians to comfort their neighbors with the Good News that cannot be taken away by floodwaters.
Amie Cotton of Christian Aid Mission says, “We ask folks to pray, and then also if they feel called by the Lord to give, to give so there are more needs that can be met both to Christian and non-Christian families. And that can plant a seed and share the Gospel and see the love of Christ, in some cases for the first time, through a tragedy like this flooding.”
If you’re interested in more information on how to pray and how to give, click here.