GFA-supported workers (Gospel for Asia, gfa.org) are stepping up efforts to help with rescue and relief efforts in India's flood-stricken Kerala state, as the death toll and number of displaced people in the worst flooding in nearly a century continue to climb.
Though rains have mostly subsided, an unknown number of people are still stranded or without food and water, and resources at packed relief camps have been stretched. More than 300 have died as a result of the flooding, and "thousands remain marooned," according to BBC News.
GFA-supported teams have used boats to search for and rescue some of the missing, and visited relief camps to deliver urgently needed supplies, including medicines, food, water and toiletries. Workers at GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centers have also been distributing supplies.
GFA founder, Dr. K.P. Yohannan, who visited relief camps to help with the distributions, thanked those who have given money to help the people of Kerala in desperate need.
"You are so far away from us, but actually you are here, through your prayers and your kindness, and together we are doing it," he said in a video report from one of the relief camps. "And Jesus said, 'When you do this, you do it for me,' and that's the most important thing. Thank you again for being used by God to care for the poor and wipe their tears."
Dr. Daniel Johnson, the leader of GFA's-supported medical ministry which has been helping with the relief effort, told how he and the rescue team he was part of had to spend the night in the upper floor of a flooded home because they were unable to return to their base in the dark.
One man who joined with GFA-supported workers spoke of working for eight hours to save his mother-in-law and some of her neighbors.
"We were all in neck-deep or chest-deep flood waters," he said. "It became like Noah's time when floods destroyed all."
Eventually, by "God's grace," they were able to get to safety.
Even as the immediate crisis ends, the need for help will continue for a long time, Yohannan said. Tens of thousands have been affected by the monsoon, he said, and "it will take years before any of them have any normal life, because they have lost everything."
Yohannan appealed for continued prayer and support for those in "desperate need" in the region.
"This flooding has devastated crops and completely ruined homes," he said. "It will take the helping hands of many around the world for the people of Kerala to get their feet back on dry ground."
Donations to support GFA's disaster relief work in Kerala can be made at gfa.org/flood.
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