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One Year Update: Hope & Relief Brought to Kerala Flood Victims

A little over a year ago, in August 2018, the South Indian state of Kerala experienced the worst flooding in nearly 100 years, as monsoon rains pummeled the state. Around 430 people lost their lives, while nearly 1 million people had to be evacuated. Join Dr. Daniel as he reflects on the past year and the opportunities GFA-supported workers have had to serve the flood victims.

From the start, GFA-supported pastors and missionaries were able to jump in to help in the relief efforts, rescuing people trapped in their homes and providing food and relief packages to thousands of flood victims who have lost almost everything.

This would not have been possible without the prayers and support of many. Over the past year, we have seen the body of Christ, in India and around the world, come together to stand behind those who have been affected by the flooding. Thank you for the part you have played over the past year in helping those affected by the flooding in Kerala!

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Crisis Remains Months After Kerala Flooding

November 8, 2018

Dr. K.P. Yohannan, director and founder of GFA, shares the latest on flood relief and rebuilding work in Kerala, India.

“My dear friends, even though the floodwaters have receded, the crisis remains. Recovering from a natural disaster—especially one as large as this—may take years. Because of the generosity of people literally from around the world, we are able to move forward with the rebuilding and recovery phase.

KP Yohannan visits with Kerala flood survivor

“Because we have brothers and sisters living and serving in Kerala, we will be with these flood survivors for the long haul. We will help as many as we can. We will help them clean their homes, rebuild their houses and provide them with income-generating gifts to restore their lost livelihoods. We will minister hope in the name of Jesus and share His love in word and in deed.

“There is still much to be done and many people to help. But after meeting so many people who’ve been affected by this flooding, some of them Bridge of Hope students and members of churches led by our very own GFA-supported pastors, I can assure you that your prayers and support are making a difference. On behalf of the people in Kerala, thank you.”

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Kerala Fears Drought While Relief Work Turns to Rebuilding

September 21, 2018

Kerala, India, now faces continued tragedy as water wells across the state appear to be drying up. According to the latest news from the flood-affected state, reported by the Times of India, "A series of issues including soaring mercury level, unprecedented dip in water level of rivers, sudden drying up of wells, and depletion of groundwater reserves and mass perishing of earthworms have caused widespread concern in various parts of Kerala after the devastating deluge last month.”1

As reported, the intense sun and change in climate has also been killing massive amounts of earthworms, which habitually come up from the soil after heavy rains. This is problematic for many farmers in Kerala, as the earthworms are helpful for the soil.

Today, many villages are struggling to have enough drinking water for their daily needs because some rivers have begun to dry up. The Indian government is bringing water rations in these areas to help the people in this time of lack.

Relief Work Still Going Strong

As the flood survivors of Kerala continue to clean their homes and rebuild, GFA-supported pastors and their congregations have not stopped taking care of those who are homeless and struggling.

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On August 23, a group of local believers distributed items to 55 flood-affected families taking shelter in relief camps.

"Many families lost their house and items in the flood," GFA-supported pastor Tahaan said. "Those families are staying in relief camps. … Church members visited the relief camp and helped the families with their needs. When we learned that still there are people in the camp who are in need, we also came to distribute the basic items in this area."

As families received needed items through the money raised by the believers, they were touched by the love of God in their time of need. But the struggle to get back on their feet continues. Many of them have lost everything.

"Last four days, my family [has stayed] in the relief camp," said one man taking refuge in a relief camp. "But we are thinking about our house and agriculture fields. Now I hear that our house and agriculture fields have almost spoiled. We are in a painful situation now."

Please continue to pray for all those affected by the Kerala flooding. There remains much work to be done and still many more trials to overcome in the coming months.

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Rat Fever Outbreak as Kerala Floodwaters Recede

September 7, 2018

With more than five confirmed deaths of leptospirosis, also known as "Rat Fever," Kerala, India, suffers not only under the destruction of the floodwaters, but now a disease that is spreading across the state.

Rat Fever is spread through contact with fluids from infected animals. With rotting carcasses and stagnant waters furthering the contamination, more cases are being reported. Drugs to treat this disease are being given to patients, and a daily replenishment of antibiotics are being monitored and given by the Indian government.1

According to the news source The Hindu, "As many as 142 people were undergoing treatment for fever at a medical college, of which 38 have been diagnosed with leptospirosis." 2

A special ward in a government hospital has been dedicated for suspected cases of rat fever. Currently, there are more than 140 patients in this ward with 33 confirmed cases of leptospirosis.3

Please Pray:

  • Pray for comfort for families who have lost their loved ones.
  • Pray for GFA-supported Pastors and believers to be kept safe from this outbreak.
  • Pray leptospirosis will not continue to spread and that this outbreak will end quickly.
  • Pray for medical doctors to have stamina and energy as they care for patients all across Kerala

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Marriage Ceremony Held in Kerala Flood Relief Camp

September 5, 2018

Bride-to-be Ammu and her family were rescued from their home on August 18, as Kerala, India suffered the downpour of the monsoon rains that triggered severe flooding. While the Kerala flood crisis grew worse, the wedding date originally set for August 21, was postponed until the 27.

As the days drew nearer to the new wedding date, Ammu and the family could not return to their home because the floodwaters had not receded enough to conduct the wedding ceremony where they had planned. Ammu's father related this predicament to the village authorities while they were still taking refuge in a relief camp for flood victims which is supported by GFA's field partners. They received permission to hold the wedding at the relief camp. The village authorities gifted the young couple with gold and a member of the Indian government gave Ammu a wedding saree.

Marriage Ceremony Held in Kerala Flood Relief Camp

Though the wedding was simple, neighbors pitched in to get decorative items for the ceremony and they arranged the school for the wedding day. GFA-supported pastor Jair was present at the ceremony, and his congregation along with the village authorities helped serve food for 800 wedding guests.

Some of Ammu's and Ratheesh's family members were present for the wedding, along with all the flood survivors still taking refuge at the relief camp. The new couple along with their family are grateful for the help given to them that made their wedding possible. They would like to personally visit Dr. K.P Yohannan, founder of GFA, to thank him as well.

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Bridge of Hope Students, Missionaries, Pastors, Locals Rally to Help Kerala

August 31, 2018

As the people of Kerala recover in the aftermath of the worst flooding in nearly 100 years, the reality of devastation is beginning to sink in—and so is the need to repair, rebuild and start over again. Many residents in this southern Indian state have lost all their belongings—including their means to earn a living.

One flood survivor, Damyanti, was in a relief camp for four days.

"We could not take anything from our house," she said. "When we left the house, we were empty-handed. We did not take any house items or clothes. We do not have even an extra pair of clothes to change now. Our cow and sheep also died in the flood. We are in a difficult situation."

Like Damyanti, Jahangir and his family have lost their means of income and their home.

"We had a small stationary shop nearby our house," Jahangir said with tears. "We were able to meet our needs with the income we got from that shop. Now, the shop and the items inside the shop are destroyed. Our house is also damaged. The agriculture land is also under water now."

More Help on the Way

Even though things presently look bleak for Kerala, as many are left jobless and homeless, in addition to the ongoing relief efforts, more help is on the way.

GFA-supported pastors serving across India and their congregations, along with Sisters of Compassion and Bridge of Hope staff and students, are raising funds and sending supplies to Kerala.

Some Bridge of Hope students located in West Bengal held a banner with the words "Help Kerala" written on it. They and local GFA-supported workers were able to raise funds from the villages and communities they rallied in.

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In response to the rally, one villager said, "It is very good initiative to raise the funds for Kerala flood relief work, as they are really in need of our help."

A local church in Kerala, led by a GFA-supported pastor, was able to help 82 families with relief packets. The relief packets contained items like mats, buckets, mugs, toothpaste, toothbrushes and soap to help families with basic necessities.

Helpers in Punjab donated 6.5 tons of wheat; a shipment of 10 tons of rice and another 2 tons of wheat is on its way to GFA-supported workers in Kerala. In Hyderabad, India, people are sending more than 2,000 clothing items for children, and in Odisha 1,000 sleeping mats have been donated for flood survivors.

Threat of Leptospirosis Rapidly Spreading to Flood Survivors

As the waters have receded and some standing waters remain, the biggest scare in Kerala right now is an outbreak of a disease called leptospirosis . This disease is caused by bacteria that is carried through the urine of animals. There have already been several cases of this disease in Kerala since the flooding, and many doctors fear an epidemic due to all the contaminated mud and water. Dr. Daniel Johnson, director of GFA-supported medical ministry in Asia, is asking everyone to pray this sickness does not continue.

Please Pray:

  • Please pray leptospirosis will not spread and cause an epidemic.
  • Pray for flood survivors to be able to rebuild their homes and recover sources of income for themselves.
  • Pray for ongoing relief and fundraising efforts to be successful.
  • Pray many families will get the help they need in a timely and effective manner.

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Firsthand Reflections of Flooding in Kerala, India

August 30, 2018

Dr. Daniel, director of GFA-supported medical ministry in Asia, reflects on the flood situation in Kerala and his trips to rescue people who were stranded.

“It is easy for me to sit back at home and watch the television and see the different things that are happening. But on the first day when we decided we needed to go help whoever we can, [we got] the idea of using a tractor. … As I moved just away from the main city … it hit me so bad. You could see shops submerged. … Roadside shops, vendor shops completely submerged. Then as we went inside, we saw … 100 people minimum crowding into one house, which would probably hold 10 people. And the only reason [for that was] because all the houses next to them were just single-story houses.

Disaster Relief team helps rescue Kerala flood victims

Dr. Daniel (pictured on left) shares a lighter moment with the team on one of the first days of the rescue work.

“In fact, what made this more real for me was the fact that in one of the rescue boats as we went, we also got stuck there! We were not able to come back. So it was too dark for us to come back, and we couldn’t see anything. Everything was covered in water; we didn’t know [where] the river was, which way the road was. Everything was covered.

“So that night we spent on a rooftop under this sheet kind of thing on the rooftop. And one of the first things I realized was that I was completely drenched, even our clothes. … You didn’t know where the food would come from. You actually experienced that kind of feeling that, you know, If the rain doesn’t stop, how am I going to get out of this place? And it was actually really, really pouring out rain that night. If somebody doesn’t come to give me bread, give me water, give me something, how am I going to be here? I have no electricity. I can’t get in touch with my family. How scared would they be?

“So I think it hit home for me quite badly. Which meant that we needed to just keep going on and on, trying to help people as far as we could.

“On the first day when we went on the tractor to rescue people, we were stopped on the way, and [someone] said, ‘Could you please take these six men in your tractor and drop them across to a safe place?’ So we said, ‘Of course, we can.’

“These six men were literally shivering, I mean they were shaking. We had to almost pull them aboard, but they looked like strong men, so we asked, ‘Where are you coming from? What happened?’

“What happened was they actually had gone to [a place] about half an hour away from here, which is by the river bank. They were working there in a saw mill, in a place where they make paper. So they went there to make sure the machines were OK and everything was fine. The water rose so rapidly there was no way even boats could go there. Rescue helicopters were the only way to rescue people. But unfortunately, they missed it.

“They were somewhere under trees or somewhere that the rescue helicopters never saw them. So they decided the only way to save themselves was to swim their way through the water. And they swam. They walked, three to four hours that day from the time of 6:00 or whenever it was. By the time when it was 10 a.m., when we saw them, they had waded through water all this time and literally [were] shivering, shaking because of cold.”

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The home where the rescue team took refuge overnight.

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Inside the flooded home, the furniture floats in water.

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Rescue workers empty water that filled the boat when it rained overnight.

After going through so much trauma, Dr. Daniel shared how GFA-supported workers were there for flood survivors to offer comfort however they could.

“I remember one of … the ladies who worked in the hospital. When she got saved [from the floodwaters], one of our people went and hugged her, and she just broke down crying. … Sometimes, you don’t need to say much.”

It was these simple acts of kindness and the knowledge that help was on the way that carried many families in Kerala through the immediate helplessness.

“Your presence … sometimes is enough. That, I think, is the main thing: just being there. Looking out for them and searching for them has given them hope. And they know who we are and why we do these things.”

For some, memories of the flood haunt them.

“One of the survivors told me that when she hears rain now, the sound of rain, she’s terrified. … It’s going to affect them for a long time.”

Woman and baby rescued in Kerala Floods

It is with a grateful heart that GFA-supported workers are continually bringing aid to those who need it most right now. They know a lot of the work they are able to offer is possible because of the prayers and gifts of men and women around the world.

“I would like to thank all of those who have already prayed for us and supported us. I know that many of you who will hear me will start to pray. And I want to thank those of you who will pray and support us in advance, because I know your heart is there for the Lord and for helping people who are in need. Thank you so much.”

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Handicrafts, Donation Boxes Aid Flood Relief

August 29, 2018

As flood relief efforts continually take place in Kerala, India, GFA-supported workers serving in various locations are raising funds for their brothers and sisters in immediate need.

“When I heard the flood situation of Kerala, I felt very sad and immediately visited the mission fields to make contribution for Kerala relief work,” GFA-supported pastor Jai said. Church members, GFA-supported Sisters of Compassion, pastors and Women’s Fellowships joined together in their spheres of influences, going door-to-door with a donation box, asking their neighbors to give to the relief funds. Handicrafts were also made to sell to raise more funds.

“I felt like it is a privilege to help God’s people over there in Kerala,” GFA-supported pastor Bibhas said. “We feel sad to hear about Kerala flood situation, but we happily [got] involved in the contribution work. Many have given their resources. We will continuously carry out the contribution in several places.”

Through their combined efforts, more than 2,000 rupees have been raised by these communities and church members.

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Linking Arms with the Government to Offer Relief Aid

GFA-supported workers continue to partner with the government to help in any way they can.

Some churches led by GFA-supported pastors in North India have collected two train cars full of wheat that will be given to the government for its relief kit distributions.

Please keep praying for the ongoing flood relief work and consider giving financially to help families get back on their feet, as the floodwaters have stolen many people’s livelihood.

Give to the Disaster Relief

Help Disaster Relief teams serve survivors of flooding and other disasters.

GFA-supported Workers Help Government Prepare, Sort Relief Kits for 14,000 Families

August 28, 2018

As the flood survivors of Kerala, India, recover from the devastation caused by the massive flooding, GFA-supported workers continue to diligently serve those in need.

Congregations led by GFA-supported pastors are stepping in to help in various ways. A Women’s Fellowship located in one of the hardest hit places of Kerala helped clean homes of flood-affected families after the waters receded.

The Indian government recently asked GFA-supported workers to help them organize relief materials they received from all across the country. 1 Three hundred and fifty GFA volunteers split into two groups at two separate locations, where the items are being sorted.

These relief kits contain items like rice, dal, masala powder, coconut oil, clothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. GFA helped prepare enough of these relief items for 14,000 families to jumpstart their lives for a week as they seek to rebuild what was lost in the floodwaters.

Tamil Nadu, India, Now Experiencing Flooding

As Kerala recovers after the worst flood in nearly 100 years, Tamil Nadu, India, now faces a flood that will most likely create massive devastation as thousands of acres of crops are ruined. 2 Already, at least three deaths have been reported, and a flood alert was sounded in more than 11 districts in the state. Evacuation has been taking place, and more than 13,000 people are in relief camps across the state.

Please pray for the state of Tamil Nadu. Pray the rain will stop and the floodwaters will recede quickly. Pray there will be minimal destruction for the people of Tamil Nadu.

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Video Update: Indira's Story - Kerala Flood Survivor

August 24, 2018

Indira is a mother of three who lost everything in the Kerala Floods. Hear her heart-wrenching story and see what once was her home. Please continue praying for the recovery and rebuilding of these precious families.

Download and share Indira's video with your friends:

   Download Video (164MB)  

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Impoverished Community Gives Resources to Aid Ongoing Relief Work in Kerala

August 24, 2018

After hearing of monsoon rains ravaging the southern Indian state of Kerala and of the floodwaters that were destroying paddy fields and homes and claiming lives, GFA-supported pastor Jacob, living in Northeast India, immediately mobilized the national workers in his region to help. Although the disaster was thousands of miles away, compassion for those experiencing the terror of this natural disaster, and for those who have lost loved ones, moved on their hearts.

Pastor Jacob and other GFA-supported pastors and national missionaries in his region created donation boxes and went around the marketplace and to shops raising awareness of the plight of the people in Kerala and asking for help.

Even though many in this region are impoverished, they were moved with sympathy and gave whatever they could to help those who have lost everything. By the end of the day, Pastor Jacob and his team raised nearly 27,600 rupees for the flood survivors.

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On-the-ground Relief Work Continues

In Kerala, GFA-supported workers, and many others who have stepped in at a moment's notice, continue to provide physical assistance and hope in the name of Jesus to those now living in relief camps.

Dr. K.P Yohannan, founder of GFA, and one GFA-supported relief team were able to link arms with a wealthy family in the area, who are housing and caring for families who have been misplaced due to the floodwaters. They were able to provide 100 families taking shelter at this refugee location with basic relief items and cleaning supplies, such as soap, brooms and wipers to assist in house clean-up once the floodwaters recede. These items have been a blessing to the flood-affected families.

Yohannan has been active in comforting flood victims with encouraging words and prayer, as well as handing out relief items to help families get back on their feet. At one relief camp with more than 500 people, he presented people with bedsheets, mats, buckets, soap, toothbrushes and other items.

"Kerala has experienced an unexpected flood and loss," he said, "but the Church will stand with the affected people and will help them in whatever way possible."

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At another relief camp Yohannan visited, he drew attention to the youth present, who were sacrificing their time and resources to help others in need.

"One of the amazing thing we experience during this huge, catastrophic event in Kerala is the young people are giving their time to serve food and other items to help people. I have also heard the stories of young people who are taking vehicles and moving from place to place and rescuing the people. I thank God for the young people in our community. It is a good sign that the youths are growing with compassion and concern for others."

Please continue to pray for the ongoing relief work that is taking place, not only in Kerala but also across the country, as many states in India step in to help the flood survivors rebuild their lives after the waters stole much from them.

One farmer, after receiving relief supplies, said, "My family is staying in the relief camp for four days. Our house is filled with water. I lost my paddy field and crops."

Please consider giving a donation to help people like this farmer and many others who are living with hopelessness.

Give to the Disaster Relief

Help Disaster Relief teams serve survivors of flooding and other disasters.

Bridge of Hope Staff Steps in to Aid Kerala's Flood-Relief Efforts

August 20, 2018

Along with many heroic efforts from the armed forces, various rescue teams, fishermen1 and locals serving as guides to the more remote areas in Kerala, India, GFA-supported Bridge of Hope staff members have stepped in to help families and children after the terrible monsoon flooding.

Approximately 191 enrolled students in Bridge of Hope centers in Kerala were evacuated to higher ground along with their families while floodwaters destroyed and ruined their homes.

Bridge of Hope staff brought supplies and a loving smile to many in relief camps in some of the most affected areas. They distributed items such as blankets, firewood, clothing, food kits, plates and glasses. In one camp, the staff was able to serve 225 people a meal. They also cleaned people's homes.

As the floodwaters slowly recede, relief efforts remain. But many are left desolate, with no home to return to. The people of Kerala are now hard at work cleaning out what is left of their homes, but the real scare and fear lie within the stagnant floodwaters.

Bridge of Hope Center flooded in Kerala

A flooded GFA-supported Bridge of Hope center in Kerala.

The Indian Express said, "Even as water recedes from major areas, authorities are preparing to deal with a possible outbreak of water-borne and air-borne diseases."2

Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, stated, "The focus of the state government will be to bring life back to normalcy even as rescuing the people stranded in remote areas continues. Rehabilitation of the affected will be taken up with the cooperation of the local people."

Please pray that sicknesses and disease will be minimal as the people in Kerala now wait to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. Please consider helping the ongoing relief efforts made by hundreds of GFA-supported workers by giving toward the Disaster Relief Fund.

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Rescue Teams Continue Constant Relief Work as Rains Subside in Kerala, India

August 19, 2018

The heavy rains have mostly subsided in Kerala, India, and now, the red alert has been lifted in all 14 districts.1 Even though the rains have stopped in most parts of Kerala, ongoing rescue operations continue, saving those who are stranded. GFA-supported relief teams have been hard at work, caring for the needy and suffering who have literally lost everything in this devastating monsoon.

Now, more than 600,000 people have taken shelter in relief camps throughout Kerala.2 GFA-supported workers and relief teams have visited numerous camps, passing out food and water. They’ve also partnered with health authorities to provide medicines and epidemic-prevention aid.

Kerala’s resilient spirit has only been boosted due to the aid of many states in India, who have been sending relief supplies and food, often offering free transportation of these items.1 Staff at GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centers are also handing out relief items.

After visiting a relief camp and handing out needed toiletry items, Dr. K. P. Yohannan, founder of GFA, remarked, “Multiplied tens of thousands of people who lost their homes—and everything—have gone to higher ground. We came to do what we can to give them some help. And I want to thank all of you. You are so far away from us, but actually you are here, through your prayers and your kindness, and together we are doing it. 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. It will take years before any of them have any normal life because they have lost everything.”

Please continue to pray and give of your resources to help those in desperate need today. This flooding has devasted crops and completely ruined homes. It will take the helping hands of many around the world for the people of Kerala to get their feet back on dry ground.

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Relief Teams Minister Aid to Those in Remote Areas

August 18, 2018

More than 300 deaths have now been reported from the monsoon rains and flooding that have devastated Kerala, India.

Many rescue teams had to stop after dusk yesterday because the currents were too risky for teams to venture out successfully.

According to the chief minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, a total of 82,442 rescues were made on Friday.

There still remain some who are patiently waiting for helicopters to bring them to safety. Many of these people have been without food and water for three days.

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“Attempts to rescue the stranded are on a war-footing basis,” Vijayan said in a tweet. “4 helicopters, 5 military boats & 65 fishing boats are part of operations. Four 100-member strong army teams have been deployed. Food is being supplied using helicopters.”

Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder of GFA, helped with relief efforts, distributing items such as clothing, towels, buckets, toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap and sanitary napkins.

“I visited two camps where those who are displaced by the catastrophic flooding in Kerala, India are staying,” Yohannan said. “I was able to meet with and pray for many. … Our churches in Kerala and throughout India are doing all they can to help, and I ask that all do anything and everything they can to help those in need during this extremely difficult time. We will be visiting more camps tomorrow and in the following days and helping everywhere we can.”

GFA-supported workers arranged 15 boats with crews to rescue those who are trapped and surrounded by water. They are coordinating with the local authorities on operations to reach the more interior and remote places that have been flooded.

Please continue to pray as relief efforts are going forward. Pray for the churches and the government as everyone reaches out to help each other during this time of crisis.

Please remember those in Kerala who are suffering today because of this crisis.

Video Update from K.P. Yohannan

August 18, 2018

Flooding Continues in Kerala, Homes Under 10 Feet of Water

August 17, 2018

Kerala, India, continues to face peril as the monsoon rains destroy homes, paddy fields and businesses. The death toll has risen, as reports are now estimating well over 100 lives have been lost1, while some people are missing. Some houses are under 10 feet of water. Many people are still being rescued by helicopter after scrambling to the top of their homes2.

GFA-supported relief teams are already in action, delivering supplies to those they can reach.

K.P. Yohannan travelled with the disaster relief teams and shares his experience:

“I visited two camps where those who are displaced by the catastrophic flooding in Kerala, India are staying. I was able to meet with and pray for many. We were able to provide basic necessities such as clothes, towels, bedsheets, mats, buckets, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap and sanitary napkins, which can help around 500 families. Our churches in Kerala and throughout India are doing all they can to help, and I ask that all do anything and everything they can to help those in need during this extremely difficult time. We will be visiting more camps tomorrow and in the following days and helping everywhere we can.”

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Daniel Yohannan, vice president of GFA World, says, “Schools, hospitals, roads, transportation—everything is flooded or closed. There are tens of thousands of homes destroyed and thousands that are without shelter and supplies. All the churches led by GFA-supported pastors in other states are collecting food, water and clothing to bring down to Kerala.”

One man shared about the rescue mission he and some GFA-supported workers endured to save his mother-in-law and some of her neighbours.

“We toiled eight hours in total. Vehicle got jammed ... Almost two hours [later] we were all in neck-deep or chest-deep floodwaters, trying to get the tractor back onto the main road opposite the flow. … It became like Noah's time when floods destroyed all. Then we stuck to the main road, by God's grace, and crossed seven bridges with rivers overflowing.”

Survivors rescued from Kerala floods arrive at a relief camp

Survivors rescued from Kerala floods arrive at a relief camp.

This man and the rescue team were successful, and his mother-in-law and some of her neighbours are now in safety.

Please continue to pray as the waters rise and more people lose hope for their future livelihood. The people of Kerala are suffering greatly and are crying out for immediate aid. Please open your hearts to join the rescue efforts and give to our Disaster Relief Fund to help those in desperate need.



Extreme Flooding in Kerala Results in Deaths, Destroyed Livelihoods

August 16, 2018

Kerala, India, is experiencing monsoon rains that have not been seen or experienced since 1924. Reports estimate that 70 to 100 lives have been taken due to the floodwaters. Many homes and businesses have been washed away by severe landslides and rivers overflowing because of the constant downpour. For the first time in its history, the shutters of 35 of Kerala’s 39 dams have been opened to keep the dams from erupting, which would inevitably create even more destruction.

According to the Indian Express, the Indian navy has begun to airlift many trapped people who climbed for safety on top of their homes or to hilly areas, rescuing them from the engulfing floodwaters surrounding their homes. Many have lost their livelihoods while escaping with only the clothes on their backs.

The once bustling Cochin airport has now been shut down due to the flooding, and a red alert has been issued throughout the 14 districts of the state of Kerala. Many roads, including some main highways, are covered by floodwaters, making transportation very difficult. It is becoming more and more impossible to travel as the rain continues. Kerala, aside from all the relief teams working, is at a standstill, as life is threatened to be washed away by the ever-growing water disaster.

One of Kerala’s largest festivals, called Onam, has been cancelled as the local officials are calling the people to use their money to help fund relief work instead of purchasing fireworks and other items they would use to celebrate. Kerala is now in emergency mode.

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, wrote on Twitter on August 15, “Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan again this morning. We discussed the flood situation in the state. Have asked Defence Ministry to further step up the rescue and relief operations across the state. Praying for the safety and well-being of the people of Kerala.”

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters, according to BBC News, “We're witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala.”

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Schools located on higher ground and secure church buildings are being used as places of refuge for flood survivors, while many more people are currently in relief camps. GFA-supported workers in the area are involved in helping those around them even as they experience the devastation of loss.

K.P. Yohannan, founder of GFA World, said, “Tens of thousands of houses have been washed away. It will take three times longer than the tsunami to rebuild.”

Churches led by GFA-supported pastors all across Asia will be supplying relief items, such as food, water and clothing, to those in need in Kerala.

As we see throughout Scripture and in Jesus’s ministry on earth, we know that God is a God of compassion and mercy. Please extend your hand to help those who are in need right now. There are many who are enduring the sorrow of extreme loss and suffering today. You can be part of the hands and feet of Christ by partnering with GFA-supported disaster-relief teams that are offering aid to those in need. Please take a few moments to pray and to consider sending help that is extremely needed today.

Give to the Disaster Relief

Help Disaster Relief teams serve survivors of flooding and other disasters.

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