Church shines the light of Christ through disaster

By December 5, 2012

India (MNN) — At the same time Hurricane Sandy struck the U.S., Cyclone Nilam was destroying livelihoods in coastal India. Flash floods washed away crops, homes, livestock, and people.

"How many of us have experienced losing everything?" asks Brent Hample with India Partners.

More than 1,300 families in a single village need help, reports one pastor who's partnering with the ministry.

"Please remember them in your prayers. The Natural Calamities cause…terrible damage to the families and [are] bringing great sorrow into their lives," the pastor said in an e-mail to Hample. "This is the time for us to show the love of Jesus Christ to these people."

According to ReliefWeb, the storm triggered heavy rain in the southern coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Crops flooded, and over 1,200 homes were damaged in the downpour; ironically, some 400 villages faced a problem with drinking water. At last report, the overall death toll had neared 25.

"They don't have the infrastructure we have here [in the United States]. They don't have hospitals and clinics every few blocks," states Hample. "They lose everything…what little they have is gone. They have nothing."

But hope remains.

"The Church is just such a bright, shining light in disasters like this in India, because it's the Christians that are going to help," Hample explains. "They're going to share the love of Jesus and love their neighbor as themselves."

He says these simple acts mark Christians as "different"…but in a good way.

It's not part of the whole Indian tradition and culture," says Hample, "but the Church is counter-culture and helping the people in need, regardless of whether they get paid back or not. They're doing it from the heart and from their love of Jesus."

India Partners works with churches in areas affected by the storm to provide food, clean water, and medicine.

Hample says, "Through a disaster like this, God is able to spark relationships between the church in India and those who are in need."

$10 might not seem like much, but it provides a blanket. A suggest gift of $50 can help with food and medical supplies.

"To have someone come in and help you in the hour of your darkest need…what a wonderful testimony of God's love. We can be a part of that; we can help that happen."

You can help share the hope and love of Christ by clicking here and selecting "Disaster Relief" from the drop-down list in "Program Area."

"As people are buying Christmas gifts for the people they love," says Hample, "why not consider a gift for somebody that you may never hear from except on the Last Day, and help them when they have nothing. What a Christmas gift that would be.

"Please pray that people's hearts would be moved to help," Hample adds.

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