India (MNN) — Gospel For Asia Compassion Services was finally able to reach victims from the Brahmaputra River flooding in India's Assam region with aid. They are planning another distribution as soon as they are able to mobilize.
It's been 2 1/2 weeks since the Brahmaputra River broke over its embankment and put dozens of villages under water. Thousands were displaced overnight, and 58 GFA churches and Bridge of Hope centers were submerged.
GFA's Compassion Services team had to navigate their way to safe ground to distribute aid. When they finally did, they were able to help 201 families affected by the floods.
Flooding in this particular area of Assam had affected 50,000 people. Most of the Christians there, including missionaries, lost their livestock, and some lost their homes. The believers were forced to evacuate to find higher ground to save their lives.
During the distribution of relief materials, GFA provided these survivors with food packets including rice, dal, vegetables and salt to cook their basic traditional meals. As they handed out the aid, they discovered that each family had a tragic story of loss to tell:
"The flood washed away my house," said Ratnakar, who has a wife and nine children. "Somehow, we escaped from the flood and took shelter in another village which was not affected.
Pastor Darpan was serving the Lord in a village that is now underwater. "Our house was hit by a strong current and collapsed in minutes, but God saved our lives–praise to His name!"
Another Christian named Lochan told GFA, "We never expected the flood to reach us because in previous years, it did not take place in our village. Then, early in the morning, we heard the sound of water coming speedily toward us. We were confused what to do. I called out to my wife and six children, and we ran for our lives, leaving behind everything. The flood took our house away while we watched from a far distance."
Each family expressed extreme gratitude for the food the GFA team was able to hand out. Without it, most were running out of options to feed their kids.
The Compassion Services teams' next aid distribution will hopefully reach an additional 450 families in need.
For now, your prayer is coveted. Pray that flood victims would feel the love of Christ surrounding them through the GFA teams' assistance. Pray for protection for the teams and for the families who have lost everything. Pray finally for the flooding to go down so people can start rebuilding.
GFA is doing all they can to navigate the watery terrain and assist with physical needs. If you want to help provide food, blankets, medicine and other emergency supplies, click here.