Sri Lanka (MNN) – At least 37 people are dead following Sri Lanka’s incessant rains and mudslides. Countless others remain missing, reports CNN.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by the rains, which have come earlier than the usual monsoon season expected later in this month.
Entire houses have been submerged beneath rising water. Sri Lanka’s army, police, and navy are conducting search and rescue operations, digging out survivors. But with the heavy rains have come mudslides.
Adrian De Visser with Asian Access from Sri Lanka says, “It continued to rain for about three days. And so we kept hearing mudslides and entire villages being buried in the mudslides.”
But Sri Lanka’s church isn’t leaving help only up to the government. “As a church, we are responding by providing food, water. And people just escaped with what was on their body. So we are trying to gather as much help as we can to provide immediate relief for people,” De Vissar explains.
And Asian Access, who focuses on training up leaders, is also concerned for Sri Lankan’s physical state. They are helping in the midst of this disaster in a couple of ways.
Immediate Relief: People are taking shelter wherever they can, including churches. But they also need food, clothes, water, and other things to help the immediate situation.
Long-term Relief: Once the waters dry up, these people will be left with nothing. Then the rebuilding will begin. Just as Asian Access has stepped up in other areas during disasters like in Japan, De Visser expects it will be the same for Sri Lanka.
But, Sri Lanka has strong roots in Buddhism with much hostility towards Christian. It is a country which takes pride in this fact. However, De Visser says he believes God will use this disaster ultimately for good and he hopes that as the Christian Church steps up and cares for various individuals, the peoples’ hearts would softened to God’s word.
Pray Sri Lankans would come to know Christ as they watch the Church move and care for them in this time in need. Also pray the country would recover not just from this disaster, but the civil war that ravaged Sri Lanka from 1983 to 2009. But most of all, pray the Gospel would be heard and lives would be changed.
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