Bangladesh (MNN) — Nine months after Cyclone Aila tore
through Bangladesh, more than 200,000 survivors are still homeless.
The storm destroyed over 2,500 miles of roads. Nearly a
year later, nothing has been rebuilt, and the winter months have added to the misery of
those living in makeshift homes.
KP Yohannan with Gospel For Asia says people are aware of their
vulnerability as the seasons advance.
"They're so scared. Now, the monsoon is going to start again, and
the government hasn't done anything to protect the people."
Areas affected by the cyclone are prone to daily flooding as
the tides change. That means that water
is contaminated, and fields are too soggy to plant. Families are trapped and dependent on
Yohannan notes a common question, "Why can't they move away? Where can they move–that's the
The poor do not find a warm reception in city centers. Many
cannot get jobs or find an income to rent a room. Food is another problem. The problems encountered through a move would
not be much different from those they face by staying in their villages.
Yohannan says it's an overwhelming task, given how slow
recovery has been. "We said to
ourselves, 'One at a time.' Let's do
what we can right now to bring hope and help and lead these people to the Lord,
to give them encouragement, to pray and give all the help we can."
GFA-supported missionaries and pastors have been contributing
their own money to provide for some of the needs. In hopes of making a long-term difference,
the missionaries are also providing clothes, repairing houses, hiring water
tanks for drinking water, and pumping salt water out of ponds.
The GFA team continues to meet needs with a singular
focus. Please pray that God will provide
the missionaries with the strength and resources to reach all who have been
affected by Aila, and for the health and safety of those still waiting for aid.
Yohannan goes on to say it's important to "give
them food or clothes and shelter," but the most important thing is to "make sure we preach the Gospel and pray
with these people and lead them to the Lord. That's the priority we have among
our workers at this time." You can help. Click here for details.