Bombay continues cleaning up from historic monsoon; Christians are on the front lines

By August 1, 2005

India (MNN) — More than 650 people have died as a result of monsoon rains that deluged western India last week, flooding the street of Bombay, a city of more than 17-million. The hardest hit part of the city was in the slums where the poor lost everything they had in the raging flood waters, the result of 37 inches of rain in 24 hours.

Hopegivers International’s Samuel Thomas says while the flooding was terrible, what’s to come will be even worse. “The worse part of the rain is that it will just mix up with the sewage water of the city. But, you will see all these orphan and abandoned children that live on the streets. To them, it’s like having an Olympic sized swimming pool. But, as a result many sicknesses will be there. One of the things that really kills the people after a monsoon is cholera.” Thomas fears that thousands of children will die because of this exposure.

Thomas says that Hopegivers plans to help these children: “As soon as the water all goes away, they will have a street ministry in which we will try to give medicines to those kids who got sick. There are 400,000 children in Bombay (who) live on the platform of the train stations all over Bombay.”

With such a large number of children, Thomas says Hopegivers is currently recruiting a special short-term mission team to help. “This is where I would love to have the American medical doctors (and) nurses to come and help us, to have clinics on the streets of Bombay. We can take any street corners and have a clinic where these children who have nobody, they see somebody cares for them.” And Thomas says that’s an open door to share the Gospel.

Taking an American medical team into India is also a testimony to Indian medical professionals, says Thomas. “I have medical doctors in India that say, ‘There’s something about those people that you bring from the states, Sam. They have no fear of touching these people. They have no prejudice regardless of the caste of the children.'”

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