Flooding hits Sri Lanka, Christians respond

By June 6, 2008

Sri Lanka (MNN) — Thousands of people have been displaced as monsoon rains have hit the island nation of Sri Lanka.

Founder and President of Gospel for Asia KP Yohannan says, "The number of people [who] have died officially is about 20 people, but our people are saying the numbers are way more than that. Our people began helping [with] food and clothes. Some 83,000 families in seven districts were displaced."

According to Yohannan, hundreds of homes have been damaged.

Yohannan says, "This is happening in the midst of the bombing and the killing and the price that's taking place. It's a civil war that never seems to end in Sri Lanka. And people are caught in the middle of this huge crisis."

Christians, though, are being used. "Thank God we have a hundred congregations in Sri Lanka and a Bible College and students and workers are out there full-time, working and helping and bringing relief among the people."

Christians have faced increasing amount of persecution in recent months. Yohannan says the disaster has changed that. "In the midst of suffering and huge problems, people seem to listen. And they ask us to pray for them and tell them about Jesus and hope. Obviously that's happening. They're humbled and seek help."

While helping physically is important, Yohannan says, "Their hope is that every individual they run into will hear about the Lord, and they can pray for them and lead them to the Lord."

GFA workers have been affected by the flooding. "Our believers and pastors: their [houses] have been affected, and churches have been damaged. We have to rebuild, but not the magnitude of the tsunami times."

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