Bihar flooding creates Gospel opportunities

By August 24, 2020

India (MNN) — Monsoon season is taking a toll on India. Heavy rains impact life throughout the country, India Today reports, with worsening flooding in northern states.

India is tough on Jesus-followers, yet World Mission’s Greg Kelley says God is at work using a bad situation to make Christ known.

“It’s one of the most difficult places to share the Gospel because of the majority Hindu and Muslim areas. Now, with COVID and monsoon, it’s a real challenge,” Kelley says, describing the situation in India.

“But, as we see time and time again, God has a way of working in those tragic moments when people are in the valley of their lives [to open hearts] to the Gospel.”

Why is flooding so bad this year?

(Photo courtesy World Mission)

Monsoon rains are seasonal and therefore expected. However, this year’s rainfall and regional population growth make the damage worse.

“Every year, they know the monsoon is coming. [It’s] just a matter of the degree of severity, and this year is probably the worst in five years,” Kelley says about current rainfall.

Plus, “the population in India continues to grow and grow and grow. A village that was 50 people a couple of years ago is now 250 people. So, you have a compounding effect on the number of lives affected.”

Heavy rains and flooding in the Bihar state have affected more than eight million people so far. The poorest of the poor suffer most. “We’ve gotten reports of hundreds and hundreds of people living in trees, just for the sake of getting to dry ground,” Kelley says.

“If you’re not fortunate enough to get into the high ground, you’re planning on your family living in a tree until the floodwaters recede.”

What can I do to help?

In partnership with World Mission, local pastors put Christ’s love into action as they distribute relief supplies and audio Bibles. “It’s not conditional in any way; it’s just, ‘we love you. We’re caring for your physical needs, and we also want to introduce you to Jesus,’” Kelley clarifies.

It’s also opening doors of opportunity that were formerly sealed shut.

In the past, when believers in Bihar attempted to hand out audio Bibles – devices that World Mission calls Treasures –Hindu villagers firmly refused. “If their heart is hostile and they’re not receptive to the Gospel at all, it’s very difficult to engage them,” Kelley says.

(Photo courtesy of World Mission)

However, as villagers saw tangible demonstrations of Christ’s love, their hearts began to soften.

“The same people that refused the Gospel are now, in their moment of crisis, responding in such amazing ways to these pastors who are bringing them food, bringing them tarps. People are coming to know Christ during this flooding.”

Send help through World Mission here. “From a humanitarian standpoint, we’re sending in water filters; we’re helping people get temporary shelter until the water recedes. We’re providing food,” Kelley says.

“From a spiritual standpoint, we’re sending in Treasures, primarily in the Hindi language. Our partners, as they’re distributing this aid, they’re also sharing the hope of glory.”

 

 

 

Header image courtesy of World Mission.