With floods out, God floods in

By July 11, 2011

Sri Lanka (MNN) — The flooding in Sri Lanka may have subsided, but the focus on aiding those affected has not. Recently, Gospel for Asia announced that progress is being made in the Sri Lankan church after floods destroyed many homes and lives.

Pastor Anand with Gospel for Asia has been overseeing his flock now, more than ever, in this time of crisis. One woman devastated by the flood is a Christian widow named Manika. Manika's home was made of coconut fibers and mud. When the floods came and submerged her house, it was underwater for so long that she couldn't live in it anymore. It was a total loss.

Pastor Anand attended to Manika, one of many members in his congregation needing help. She was struggling in this crisis as a widow, and with all of her children grown up, she lives alone.

When Pastor Anand saw Manika's situation, he asked for help from Gospel for Asia's Compassion Services. Gospel for Asia responded and is now providing a new home for Manika that will stand against any future floods. Her house should be finished before the next rainy season.

Gospel for Asia has been a key responder to this crisis of flooding in Sri Lanka. Their Compassion Services have provided emergency relief such as food and water, and they are rebuilding homes. In their flood relief ministries, doors which would normally be closed to missionaries have opened for their relief efforts. Flood relief is just one unique way God has used a crisis to turn a situation into a beautiful opportunity for His kingdom.

Many Sri Lankans still need aid after the floods destroyed what little they had. Poverty already affects many people in the country without the help of any natural disasters. Nearly 25% of the population is below the poverty line, living on $2 a day. Floods destroyed tons of crops which made up the livelihoods of many Sri Lankan people. With less means of support, poverty levels are likely to rise.

In these circumstances, Pastor Anand has his work cut out for him, even with his congregation alone. Pastor Anand was an encouragement to Manika, and she was able to cling to the hope in God's Word through his support. Besides Manika, there are many other believers whom Pastor Anand has been ministering to in the same village. He is still working to encourage Christians spiritually, as well as find help for their daily physical needs.

Even though the floods have been hard on the believers in Sri Lanka, they have brought believers closer together. As other forms of humanitarian aid have been provided by Christians around the world, the Gospel has advanced in this primarily-Buddhist country.

Please pray for Pastor Anand as he continues to minister to Sri Lankan Christians working to rebuild their homes and lives. Also pray for Sri Lankans who still need flood relief. God is doing a work in the people of Sri Lanka for His glory in the midst of trials, poverty, and yes…even floods.

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