Workers on-the-ground put number of missing higher than reported

By July 17, 2013

India (MNN) — Nearly 6000 people are missing in northern India due to last month's flooding, the government said Monday. It's a significant jump from last week's 4,500.

"Personally, I think the 6,000 number they're saying is not even accurate. I think it is way more than that," says KP Yohannan with Gospel for Asia.

GFA's Compassion Services teams are on the ground bringing help and hope.

"They said the number of people missing are thousands more than what we are hearing," Yohannan says.

What could be causing such a variance in the reports?

"You know, it's not like the United States. Many of these countries do not want to let out the real crisis information," Yohannan states.

"Eventually, in a few months' time, maybe more and more news will come out [indicating] this was much bigger than we realized."

It's not typical for the government to work alongside Gospel for Asia. But right now, officials are flying GFA workers into remote areas to deliver relief aid.

"Unlike some other times in the past, the local government is very much involved in helping, and we are very, very happy and grateful," says Yohannan. "The government officials actually are locating their government helicopters to our missionaries and workers to bring in help: food and clothes and all kinds of things.

"Without that, our people could not get into some places; there was no way."

Yohannan says flood survivors need more than physical relief like food and shelter. They need someone to talk to, someone to listen and provide counsel, hope, prayer. And that's exactly what GFA teams are doing.

"It's very, very complex when you think about the primitiveness because they lost everything," he states. "That is the condition of literally hundreds of thousands of people at this time.

"It will be another six months or a year work to bring any kind of normality…for these suffering people," Yohannan continues. "This kind of situations only compels us to be more active toward praying and bringing help."

Although GFA is doing all they can, the need is bigger than their supply.

"We need financial help, if people will designate, and every penny of that will go toward helping these people," states Yohannan. "The need is a thousand times bigger than we are able to do…but I am glad that through this, many will experience the love of Christ."

Click here to lend a hand. Most importantly, pray.

"Pray that through all this, somehow people will find hope. Our task is [to] continue to share the love of Christ and point people to Christ, who is the only hope," Yohannan says.

"Pray that many will turn their hearts to the Lord, even during this sorrowful time."

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