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GFA Founder Visits Monastery to Provide Flood Relief Supplies

September 7, 2017

On July 13, Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder of GFA, visited flood-stricken Sri Lanka to deliver supplies to families still suffering from the floods and landslides that took place in June. He and other GFA-supported workers collaborated with religious leaders from a Buddhist monastery to encourage the flood survivors and meet their immediate needs.

"We welcome the opportunity to work with anyone and everyone who wants to help the poor and needy," Yohannan said. "When disaster strikes, as it has in Sri Lanka, what matters most is for everyone to come together and try to help."

"A total of 250 people received dry ration kits containing essential foods and other materials that can sustain them while they seek to rebuild their lives.

"In all these situations," Yohannan said, "there was one question the local people kept asking us: 'Why are we doing this?' Our answer always remains the same: It is because of the love of Christ."

The Buddhist leader of the monastery expressed his gratitude for the aid.

"This is the first time a Christian religious leader has come [here]," he said. "[They have] helped the really needy people of our village who greatly suffered due to the flood crisis in this area. This shows that there is no division of race, caste or religion, and everyone can join together as one to help."

Photo from Sri Lanka

Please pray:

  1. Please pray all relief efforts will reach the neediest people in the affected areas.
  2. Pray for the safety of relief workers and for their equipment as they continue cleaning wells.
  3. Please pray for wisdom for local authorities as they face the need to provide aid and replace damaged houses that are buried in landslides.
  4. Pray people will understand the love of God as they see His love on display through His servants.

Help Disaster Relief teams serve survivors of flooding and other disasters, should another storm hit, by giving toward the Disaster Relief Fund.


"Your special gift will help bring much-needed physical assistance, and it will also bring hope when all seems lost. It will also help with the ongoing relief efforts as GFA-supported workers strive side-by-side with the flood victims to rebuild their lives.

"The greatest gift we can give those suffering right now is the knowledge that people worldwide care for them and will be there for them in their most desperate time of need. Your gift assures them they are not alone, and they have people who care for them. Please check back often to see how you can pray and offer assistance."

K.P. Yohannan

K.P. Yohannan, Founder and Director of GFA


Relief Team Begins Cleaning Wells, 580 Relief Packets Distributed

June 21, 2017

On June 11, a GFA-supported Compassion Services team in Sri Lanka successfully cleaned five water wells that had been contaminated by floodwaters and debris. The team plans to clean six more in the area once technical problems concerning the water pumps are resolved.

On June 9, two teams led by GFA-supported workers distributed about 580 relief packets to survivors of severe flooding and landslides. The relief packets contained items such as food, medical supplies, personal hygiene items, clothing, bedding, cooking utensils and pots.

"The people in my area have never received such a comprehensive relief pack," one village representative shared after witnessing a distribution. "This is a great blessing to all these families who lost everything in this devastating flood. I thank [the Church] on behalf of the community for bringing all this aid to our doorstep and distributing to the needy families."

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Photos from Sri Lanka

Please pray:

  1. Please pray all relief efforts will reach the neediest people in the affected areas.
  2. Pray for the safety of relief workers and for their equipment as they continue cleaning wells.
  3. Please pray for wisdom for local authorities as they face the need to provide aid and replace damaged houses that are buried in landslides.
  4. Pray people will understand the love of God as they see His love on display through His servants.

Cyclone Hits Bangladesh, Myanmar While Relief Teams in Sri Lanka Work Tirelessly to Help Flood Survivors

June 7, 2017

While Sri Lanka got battered by severe flooding, parts of Bangladesh, Myanmar and Northeast India experienced its own natural disaster after a tropical storm in the Bay of Bengal formed into a cyclone.

Cyclone Mora made landfall in Bangladesh on May 30, producing wind speeds of up to 70 mph. Local officials managed to evacuate more than 300,000 people, minimizing the loss of life to around nine people—many of whom died after uprooted trees crashed into their homes.

Six churches led by GFA-supported pastors and 36 homes belonging to believers were destroyed or damaged after Cyclone Mora struck Bangladesh. Those more severely affected include the Rohingya, refugees from Myanmar who settled into the coastal regions of Bangladesh. About 20,000 Rohingya homes have been damaged.

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Photos from Myanmar

The cyclone also affected parts of Myanmar, causing flooding and landslides in different parts of Rakhine and Chin states. GFA field partners serving in the area reported 42 homes belonging to believers were destroyed or damaged, along with one Bridge of Hope center. Around 1,000 residents have taken refuge in schools, churches or monasteries.

Cyclone Mora dissipated after entering the rugged terrain of Northeast India, but it brought along heavy rainfall.

Meanwhile in Sri Lanka, GFA-supported workers continue to minister aid and hope to the flood survivors. Already more than 1,500 people have received various forms of aid. Compassion Services teams plan to minister to 3,000 more in the week to come.


500 Families Helped, 3,000 in Process

June 5, 2017

As it continues to rain on already flooded portions of Sri Lanka, teams of GFA-supported workers are laboring among the victims, bringing food, clothes and hope.

According to the latest reports from the Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka, more than 683,000 persons have been affected by floods and landslides, 213 are dead and 79 are still missing. As water saturates the landscape, landslides pose a continual threat, especially for homes built on slopes. So far, 18,413 homes have been damaged and another 2,788 have been destroyed. Many people across the nation have found refuge in schools or temples located on higher ground.

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Reports of relief efforts continue to come in as GFA-supported teams on the ground minister to those around them.

On June 3, two teams of GFA-supported workers delivered dry rations and clothes to flood victims. One team went north to the capital city of Colombo. The other team, led by the leader of GFA-supported work in Sri Lanka, headed south, where damage is the worst. Some 460 families were blessed with dry rations and clothes.

On June 4, 53 families received dry rations and clothing. So far, GFA-supported workers have helped 1,500 people. They plan to minister to an additional 3,000 people in the next week, in addition to cleaning wells and purifying water for use.

K.P. Yohannan shares an update on Sri Lanka flooding

Please pray:

  1. Pray God will protect those who are laboring in the most devastated areas to bring aid and hope.
  2. Pray flood waters will recede and relief teams will be able to minister in places where it is currently declared unsafe to travel.
  3. Pray for safety for families affected by the floods. Diseases are common in the wake of natural disasters, especially diseases carried by mosquitos.

On-the-Ground Relief Teams Bring Much-needed Supplies, Help to Flood Survivors

UPDATE: June 4, 2017

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June 2, 2017

GFA-supported workers began supplying much-needed relief items to flood victims on June 2. Around 450 cooked meals were given to families residing in temporary shelters set up by the government. Another 200 families have received dry-ration packets, kitchen utensils, clothing, bedding and medical kits. Children were also given school bags and stationery items so they could easily resume their education once schools are back in session.

Local GFA-supported pastors assessed conditions of the people in their communities so they will be able to provide help tailored to individual needs. Long-term relief plans include cleaning wells, which have been contaminated by the floodwaters, and conducting medical camps for survivors to stave off disease.

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According to the United Nations1, “Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry is also deploying mobile health units and will introduce vector control measures to combat expected outbreaks of mosquito-borne dengue fever, which often follows flooding. Displaced people living in emergency shelters are particularly vulnerable.”

Other news sources indicate that thousands of people may face the threat of cholera and dysentery, in addition to dengue fever, because of crowded conditions in displacement camps and the lack of sanitary facilities.

As of June 2, 208 people have died and another 92 are missing. The Disaster Management Centre2 of Sri Lanka reported that 1,919 houses have been destroyed and another 10,477 have been partially damaged. More than 674,000 people—including 175,000 families—have been affected.

Please pray for GFA-supported workers and other relief teams as they provide much-needed assistance to flood survivors.

*Additional storms and Cyclone Mora have also displaced hundreds of thousands across Bangladesh, Mynamar and parts of Northeast India. Relief teams are ministering where they can and are determining areas of greatest need. As GFA-supported workers serve survivors of these various disasters, we’ll update you with progress and needs as we receive them from our field partners.

Help Disaster Relief teams serve survivors of flooding and other disasters, should another storm hit, by giving toward the Disaster Relief Fund.

1Source: United Nations. Sri Lanka: UN agency deploys rapid assessment teams to assist in wake of monsoon floods, landslides. June 2, 2017

2Disaster Management Centre, Situation Report for Bad Weather Condition - Summary. June 2, 2017.


May 30, 2017

Relief Workers Wait Anxiously While Death Toll Climbs in Sri Lanka Flooding

Flooding and a series of landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains have killed 196 people living in the southwestern region of Sri Lanka. The death toll is estimated to climb.

The Disaster Management Center (DMC) of Sri Lanka reports 63 people are injured, while another 93 are missing. More than 600,000 people have been affected, making this the worst flooding to hit the island since 2003.

Already around 84,000 people have been rescued and placed in displacement camps located throughout the regions.

A GFA-supported worker, Vidu, reports that "nobody can think of anything else other than going to safe places."

One church led by a GFA-supported pastor is under threat, "but they are safe as the water level has not risen," he says. At another location, three feet of water has entered a church.

"Some of the believers' homes are submerged in floods, and evacuation has been done by navy boats," he says. "Three believers' families are stranded and waiting to be evacuated to higher ground."

The house and church of another GFA-supported pastor, who is ministering in one of the 14 affected districts of Sri Lanka, is submerged, but he and his family remain safe as the water level begins to recede.

Currently, only the DMC, armed forces, police and media units are allowed to visit and provide relief to the affected areas because of the dangerous currents in the floodwaters and the heavy winds.

"We can only pray and wait till we can travel to these areas," Vidu says. "The immediate need will be to supply cooked meals and drinking water to the affected families. We can only do this when clearance is received to visit areas."

Once the water recedes, the long-term plan is to mobilize GFA-supported Compassion Services teams to clean and wash houses, clean wells and provide drinking water until water sources are safe to use.

Prayer requests from the field:

  1. Please pray the rains will recede and the rescue teams will be able to reach the affected areas soon.
  2. Pray God will protect all the pastors, missionaries and believers who are affected by the flood situation.
  3. Pray God will enable Compassion Services teams to be prepared with relief items and equipment in order to go to the villages as soon as it’s declared safe to travel.
  4. Pray for all the government institutions, village heads, armed forces and police members who are risking their lives to save innocent lives, and pray God will protect them.
  5. Pray God will protect the lives of all people and grant strength and comfort to those who lost their family members and houses because of this disaster.
  6. Pray also for the officers who are handling the relief aid process, that they will make sure to send the given aid, especially from India (two ship loads), to the innocent people who are affected as soon as possible.
  7. Pray God will protect the remaining submerged houses as the owners have gone to shelters. Some thieves have tried to break in to houses to steal belongings. Right now, police members and navy boats have been deployed to check the security of the area.
  8. Pray rains will cease in the central zone as the main reservoirs are reaching the hazardous overflow level. This will cause great damage to the existing situation if gates are opened and huge water amounts are released into already flooded rivers.