India (MNN) — Heat waves in the UK, heavy rains in Japan, cyclones in the Middle East, and wildfires in Greece. Recently, extreme weather has been having a global impact, and now it’s coming to India.
More than 500 people have lost their lives during India’s monsoon season so far, and that number is likely to grow as areas recover from the floods and consolidate their data. Floods are not unexpected during this time of the year, but Erik* of Mission India says this year has been especially bad.
“We’ve had partners who have lost their homes, and obviously that includes belongings, and those things have been lost. In some cases we’ve had to temporarily pause some of our programs, just for the safety of our partners and those attending.”
Anywhere a program can continue, it will, but that’s just not always possible. Erik says that because India is a developing country, the regularity of the monsoons doesn’t mean people can fully prepare.
“Traffic goes into chaos, people have to wade through waist-high water just to reach home, and many vehicles are just abandoned due to the rising floods,” he says. Recently, he was told about a three-story building that collapsed and a nearby building that was evacuated when the foundation began cracking. In those accidents alone, four people lost their lives and five more were critically injured.
It’s not necessarily safer to be in urban or rural areas. “Farming communities are negatively impacted when it floods, or at least crops are, but cities are too,” Erik explains. “It’s very densely populated, and it makes it hard for them to get to work.” That being said, crop destruction often has a bigger long-term impact and is harder to rebound from.
Even without the physical problems, India’s infrastructure isn’t strong enough to avoid financial ones. That means that across India, millions of families are facing financial, physical, and emotional crisis.
So what can we do? Pray.
The ministries Mission India supports are planning on getting things back up and running as soon as it is feasible, but they need your support if they’re going to have maximum impact on their communities.
“Just be praying that this weather would subside, that the programs would get back to normal, and that our partners, wherever they can, would come alongside these families and help assist as they restructure their lives in many ways,” Erik says.
“When there’s a big disaster of any sort, people are far more receptive to the Gospel and what you want to share. They’re looking for hope, and they’re trying to cling to something or someone.”
Right now, Mission India partners have a chance to “share the ultimate hope of Jesus Christ.” It’s a disaster, but it’s an opportunity for us to share the love of the Gospel. Pray that the hope of God’s Word shines through the disaster.
*Name changed for security purposes.