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Gospel for Asia Flood Relief

Millions Suffer As Floods Sweep South Asia

When Flooding Brings Breakthrough

October 29, 2015

Just like the floodwaters had poured into his home, so the beautiful truth engulfed Balo. A perfect God loved him, as unworthy as he was, and this reality washed over his addictive and painful past. Kneeling down at the flood relief camp that night, Balo felt a deep conviction in his heart; it was as if God had been waiting for Him. Now Balo received the grace he never knew was offered.

A Struggle to Stop Addiction

Balo was addicted to alcohol. Drinking alcohol was common in his culture, so at the age of 8, he started consuming liquor. Over the years, Balo had become so tied to it that he couldn’t sleep at night without a taste of the liquor. Though he knew it was unhealthy, he couldn’t break free from his daily cravings. His addiction took a toll on his family, and he wasn’t able to take care of them.

His wife, weary of dealing with his troubles, moved with their children to another village. But Balo didn’t want to live alone, so he followed them.

Even moving to a new village and starting afresh didn’t help Balo break free from his addiction. In fact, he grew worse until his health condition became critical. Due to heavy doses of alcohol, Balo vomited blood for two days straight. When the doctors discovered his liver and lungs were severely damaged, Balo went through medical treatment for one month.

He returned home recovered and happy, but he fell back into drinking only six months later. His wife and children constantly worried for him.

Floodwaters and New Hope

The floods that swept through Myanmar this summer added to their already worried life and left Balo and his family helpless and without a home. After everything had been destroyed, the family made their way to a relief camp. There they met Pastor Tapi and his relief team.

The team gave Balo and his family rice and drinking water. With joy, Balo and his family accepted the team’s help, and they decided to join the pastor and believers for a worship gathering that night.

Balo listened closely as the pastor spoke about Jesus and His unconditional love. His heart was touched as he realized the weight of God’s love for him, even when he didn’t deserve it. Balo chose to embrace the love of Jesus from that day onward, and he is now growing in his faith.

The Lord brought beauty out of the flood and devastation by mending the broken pieces of Balo’s life and breaking the bondage of addiction. He will never again be the same!

Please pray for:

  • For Balo’s family to understand the love of Christ more fully.
  • For the relief teams in Myanmar to continue to serve and share God’s love.
  • For Balo to grow in his walk with the Lord.
  • For all the people displaced by the flooding in Myanmar.

Families Receive Comfort, Aid, Hope After Flood Devastations

September 29, 2015

When Jinesh and Pranit arrived in an unreached village on August 10 to show a film about Jesus, their hearts broke as they saw the havoc heavy monsoon rains had wreaked. Floods had destroyed the houses and paddy fields of the villagers, who already struggled just to earn a meager subsistence.

The two Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries invited people to watch the film that night, but many were too distressed by the devastation—and the work that lay ahead of them—to think of watching a film.

“We are so busy and tired working the whole day, repairing the damage done by the floodwater,” said one man. “We are not in the mood to entertain ourselves at this time.”

Burdened by the people’s great need—not only physically but also spiritually—Jinesh and Pranit prayed in their hearts that the Lord would give them the opportunity to tell these people about Him, and He answered! To the missionaries’ surprise, 50 people ended up coming to the film show. The audience watched attentively and afterward listened to the Good News of Jesus.

Jinesh and Pranit stayed in the village for one week to continue ministering God’s love to the people there.

Relief Teams Bless Thousands in Myanmar

Like this village, many communities in South Asia are struggling to rebuild in the wake of flooding that started in late July. By God’s grace, Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries have been able to bring relief to thousands of flood victims in South Asia during the past several weeks.

Since August 20, Gospel for Asia-supported Compassion Services teams in Myanmar have helped approximately 3,000 people by distributing rice and other staple food commodities, as well as useful items, such as soap.

“I really praise the Lord [that I have received] this great privilege to be involved with the relief team,” shared one of the team members.

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Floods Continue to Ravage Assam

As floodwaters recede in Myanmar and many parts of India, they leave people in great need of rebuilding. Meanwhile, rains continue to fall in Assam, India, where more than 500,000 people have been affected by the most recent wave of flooding. More than 60 people have died in the recent floods, and more than 300,000 acres of crops have been destroyed. At least 50 Christian families belonging to congregations led by Gospel for Asia-supported pastors have suffered damage to their homes. Now these families are staying in relief camps.

Please pray for:

  • God to help flood victims understand He loves them.
  • Provision and endurance for relief teams to continue serving flood victims.
  • God to protect lives in Assam from drowning in the floodwaters.
  • God to prevent the spread of disease as floodwaters recede.
  • The means to help needy communities rebuild.

Congregations in Myanmar Help Believers Affected by Floods

September 1, 2015

As thousands in Myanmar remain displaced following catastrophic flooding, Gospel for Asia-supported pastors and the believers in their congregations are providing relief to flood victims who are still in desperate need of food, clean water and shelter.

Twenty-seven Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries, led by Gospel for Asia-supported pastor Linn Myaing, serve in one of the worst-affected areas of Myanmar. In this region, thousands of people are suffering after floods took lives, destroyed homes and washed away thousands of acres of cropland. Many people are now staying in church buildings, town halls or relatives’ homes. The destruction displaced many believers in churches led by Gospel for Asia-supported pastors.

Believers Bring Relief, Help and Encouragement

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In one town, all 13 families in a congregation led by a Gospel for Asia-supported pastor had to flee the floodwaters, and their church building was inundated. On August 13 and 14, young people from a nearby church provided food for these flood victims, cleaned the church and worked on rebuilding houses. Three families have been able to return home so far.

In another village, a Gospel for Asia-supported pastor leads a congregation of 18 families. Twelve of those families are staying in a flood-relief camp. On August 15, Pastor Linn Myaing and believers from another church assisted the affected congregation by providing food, working to rebuild houses and donating some money. They also prayed for and encouraged the believers with the promises of God’s Word.

“We are so blessed and thankful to you for not forgetting us,” shared the elder of the struggling congregation.

In another village, eight families belonging to a church led by a Gospel for Asia-supported pastor lost their rice fields.

“I have sent them my encouragement and prayer,” reports Pastor Linn Myaing, “and also we are planning to provide assistance soon to them.”

Community Needs Assistance

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In another region of Myanmar, a landslide has destroyed houses, roads, bridges and farmland.

“The price of rice is too expensive because roads and bridges are being blocked,” reported a Gospel for Asia-supported pastor in this area. “Electric lines are totally cut off in some places, and there is very limited phone service. Therefore, we cannot travel or visit our church members in different villages due to the landslide. Three families of our church members . . . are staying with their relatives, as their houses are in danger of collapsing. At the same time, some of our church members in [a] village are struggling for their survival, as the price of rice, oil, salt, etc., is so high now.”

Please pray for:

  • Many flood victims to experience and embrace the hope found in Christ during this time.
  • God to strengthen relief teams and allow them to reach more villages, especially those that have been blocked, with provisions in the name of Christ.
  • God to provide for flood victims and continue helping them to rebuild homes, church buildings and lives.
  • God to protect flood victims from further landslides and waterborne illness.

Myanmar Remains Waterlogged in Worst Natural Disaster Since Cyclone Nargis

August 18, 2015

As rains continue to soak Myanmar, the nation struggles to cope with the worst natural disaster since Cyclone Nargis, which killed nearly 140,000 people in 2008. So far, more than 100 people have died in the monsoon floods and landslides that have swept away parts of the country during the past few weeks. Although floodwaters have receded in some places, rains are expected to continue.

More than 1 million people are suffering due to the recent floods and landslides, including believers in congregations led by Gospel for Asia-supported pastors. The floods badly damaged or completely destroyed some believers’ homes, forcing them to find shelter in the homes of relatives or other Christians.

During a storm, two trees fell on the house that a local Gospel for Asia-supported Women’s Fellowship leader rents, destroying her kitchen. Nearby, a Gospel for Asia-supported pastor and his family have been staying in a church building after losing the roof of their home.

In another village, a landslide destroyed the church building where a congregation of 20 families once worshiped the Lord with a local Gospel for Asia-supported pastor. People in this community are struggling for survival, as storm damage has prevented relief teams from reaching them with food and help.

“We cannot go there and help them because bridges and roads are destroyed and blocked,” shared a Gospel for Asia-supported leader in the region.

Please pray for:

  • Flood victims to find comfort, peace, redemption and restoration in Christ’s love.
  • Roads to clear so needy villages can be reached with relief.
  • Shelter and food for those who have lost their homes and possessions.
  • Provision for relief teams to help flood victims effectively and quickly.
  • Quick reconstruction of destroyed homes and churches.

Continued Flooding Leaves Thousands in Desperate Need of Food, Shelter

August 11, 2015

Intense flooding in southern Asia has affected millions of people since July. Approximately 200 people in India and 100 in Myanmar have died because of landslides and other flood-related catastrophes.

Myanmar: State of Emergency

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The floods have caused some of the worst devastation Myanmar has seen since Cyclone Nargis in 2008. Nearly 1 million people are affected, and hundreds of thousands of acres of cropland have been destroyed in the “Rice Bowl of the Far East.” News outlets report 12 of Myanmar’s 14 states are impacted by the floods, and four regions have now been designated disaster zones. The nation is in a state of emergency, as most of the country lies underwater.

Compelled by Christ’s love, Gospel for Asia-supported workers have been reaching out to more than 3,000 flood victims, providing food and clean water.

In one city of Myanmar, floodwaters and a resulting landslide destroyed 60 homes and two churches, damaged a major road and forced more than 5,000 people to flee to relief camps. The road damage caused a major food shortage, and rice prices have risen to five times the normal amount. Gospel for Asia-supported workers opened a relief camp to provide food and pure water to the landslide victims, benefiting more than 2,000 people.

In another village of Myanmar, where all the residents are believers, the floods destroyed 12 homes. Gospel for Asia-supported workers began working to reconstruct homes there.

Bringing Relief in Christ’s Name

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Gospel for Asia-supported teams have also been working to provide relief to the needy in India.

In one area of West Bengal, India, floods washed away people’s homes—simple mud huts—clothing, utensils and food. Because of the standing floodwaters, mosquitos are prevalent, and people have gotten sick with diarrhea. A Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope center and a church led by a Gospel for Asia-supported pastor had to be temporarily closed.

In this area and in another part of West Bengal, Gospel for Asia-supported teams were able to help more than 1,100 families by distributing needed items such as tarps, mosquito nets, rice and lentils. They also provided adult tricycles to four people with physical handicaps.

In Manipur, India, many people, including Christians in churches led by Gospel for Asia-supported pastors, have lost their homes and belongings. Thankfully, the floodwaters have begun to recede, and leaders of Gospel for Asia-supported ministry in Manipur are planning to host relief events for flood victims this week.

Please consider partnering with our brothers and sisters in Asia to provide relief, all given in the love of Christ, to more of the millions of people affected by the recent floods.

Donate to Flood Relief

August 6, 2015

During the past two weeks, heavy monsoon rains have lashed South Asia, exacerbated in some places by the landfall of Tropical Cyclone Komen on July 30. The resulting floods, landslides and accidents have affected millions and killed hundreds in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam. In India alone, more than 10 million people have been affected, and approximately 200 people have died.

The catastrophe has also impacted the lives of Gospel for Asia-supported pastors and their congregations in affected regions.

West Bengal: Nearly 100 Dead

In West Bengal, India’s hardest-hit state, nearly 100 people have perished, and hundreds of thousands have fled to government-organized relief camps.

Manipur: Floods Sweep Away Homes, Shut Down Bible College

In Manipur, floodwaters inundated a church building and the homes of a number of believers, including a Gospel for Asia-supported pastor. Some believers’ homes were swept away completely. The waters also destroyed household vegetable gardens, a main source of food for the poor laborers.

In addition, floods covered half the campus of a Bible college in the state, including the kitchen and the house of the college principal. As a result, students were asked to return to their homes for the time being.

Myanmar: Thousands Desperately Need Food, Shelter

In Myanmar, floods and landslides have killed more than 70 people, and thousands have lost their homes. In two towns, dangerous conditions forced believers from churches led by Gospel for Asia-supported pastors to flee to relatives’ homes, church buildings, schools or town halls.

In the especially hard-hit Rakhine region, damage to roads and bridges has disrupted transportation, causing the price of rice to double.

“The people are in emergency need of clean water and food,” reported one Gospel for Asia-supported pastor. “People in some remote areas are struggling for their lives, and they are depending on jungle fruits and roots. There are five families of our church in this town. Their houses are filled with water, and we do not have food and clean water to drink.”

Spared to Serve the Suffering

Leaders of Gospel for Asia-supported ministry in these flood-affected areas of South Asia are praying and planning for opportunities to provide relief.

A senior leader in Myanmar reported that the capital city has been spared from recent floods, allowing ministry leaders there to focus on helping affected regions.

“God saved us to carry out relief work to the needy through your support,” he said. “We are really busy here, even without sleeping—waiting, listening to calls from those suffering, making decisions and helping sufferers from [affected areas]. Every support that we can do for the sufferers is because of you.”

Please pray for:

  • Opportunities to immediately provide relief in Jesus’ name, especially in hard-to-reach areas.
  • Food, clean water and new homes for flood victims.
  • An experience of God’s love and comfort for all those who have lost loved ones, homes or belongings.
  • The flooded Bible college to be able to reopen soon.
  • Protection from waterborne illnesses and other sickness that often occur during floods.
  • Grace and strength for believers to be an encouragement to other flood victims.

Praying and Providing Relief in Flood-Stricken Communities

July 22, 2015

During the end of June and beginning of July, as monsoon rains lashed the state of West Bengal in India and Rakhine state in Myanmar, floods killed more than 60 people, destroyed homes and wiped away acres of cropland.

Recently, the floods affected believers in three communities of West Bengal where Gospel for Asia-supported pastor Goral Das serves. These already poor believers, many of whom are widows, lived in mud huts. Floods inundated their homes, sweeping away food, utensils, clothing and other belongings. As a result, about 120 believers moved to find shelter elsewhere.

Nearby, in the West Bengal islands, the floods have affected seven Gospel for Asia-supported Bridge of Hope centers, damaging items in some of the centers. One of the Bridge of Hope centers stands knee-deep in floodwaters, and because all the students’ families have left the village to find shelter in safer places, the Bridge of Hope center is temporarily closed.

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Gospel for Asia-supported leaders in West Bengal are praying and planning to provide food and tarps to flood victims.

In Myanmar, in a town where floodwaters destroyed houses, roads and bridges—and even took lives—Gospel for Asia-supported workers were able to distribute rice to flood victims and demonstrate Christ’s love.

Please pray for:

  • Favorable weather.
  • God to protect the lives of flood victims.
  • Provision and opportunities to reach out to more flood victims in India and Myanmar.
  • People to experience Christ’s love as they receive relief.
  • Restoration of damaged homes and Bridge of Hope centers.

Monsoon Rains in Myanmar and India Kill More Than 60, Affect Believers

July 03, 2015

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Heavy monsoon rains in the western region of Myanmar have created floods that have killed at least 22 people in one town. Floodwaters have also washed away houses belonging to believers who attend churches led by Gospel for Asia-supported pastors.

The incessant rains have destroyed nearly 300 homes in the region, leaving many homeless with no food to eat and no place to sleep.

Around 1,500 people were evacuated when the flooding began. The Myanmar Red Cross has been working with the local authorities to evacuate families to safety and to distribute food, water and first aid kits to those in need.

The rains also triggered landslides, which have made roads and bridges inaccessible, hindering relief efforts.

Gospel for Asia supports ministry in 18 villages that are affected by the monsoon floods.

Meanwhile, in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India, the recent heavy rains have created landslides that have killed at least 40 people.

Because this region is close to Nepal, the earthquakes that hit Nepal in April and May also shook the Darjeeling area, making it vulnerable to landslides.

“Almost all roads are blocked by mud and big stones,” reports a Gospel for Asia-supported field correspondent. “In some places, bridges have totally collapsed. … It is all because of God’s grace that all our missionaries, believers and church buildings are safe.”

Gospel for Asia-supported workers ask for prayers during this situation.

Please pray for:

  • God’s protection over the people living in the western region of Myanmar and in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India.
  • Those who are grieving the loss of their loved ones.
  • God’s strength to sustain the missionaries and believers in these areas as they help and comfort those who are suffering.

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Gospel for Asia Flood Relief

Compassion Services brings the love of Jesus to the flood victims.

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