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'Surrounded by an Ocean of Water’: Historic Flooding Kills Hundreds in Kerala, India


Historic flooding threatens to steal countless lives, homes, and schools in in Kerala, India.

More than 300 people have died and approximately more than 220,000 people are now homeless after unusually heavy rain in the past nine days.

Gospel for Asia is on the ground providing disaster and urging believers everywhere to pray.

"I have never seen rain like this in my life," said GFA founder, Dr. K.P. Yohannan. "No matter which way I look, it is like I am surrounded by an ocean of water. Many have escaped with only the clothes on their backs. To rebuild and restore what has been lost will take time. We are doing all we can to help those in immediate need, and we are asking people everywhere to stand with us through prayers and giving so that we can do more to bring comfort and care in the name of Jesus."

Although Gospel For Asia's headquarters are now underwater, volunteers are distributing emergency supplies. Many of them are unsure if their own homes have been swept away by the floods.

Workers are gathering dry ration kits containing food, clean water and other essentials like clothes, tarps and toiletries.

"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," Dr. Yohannan said.

So far, at least one church led by a GFA-supported pastor and several Bridge of Hope centers are known to have been damaged.

Meanwhile official search and rescue efforts are underway. The flooding has destroyed many roads so victims are being rescued from rooftops by helicopter and boat.

One man told rescuers how hard it was to save his mother-in-law and some of her neighbors.

"We toiled eight hours in total. Vehicle got jammed ... Almost two hours 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," he said.

Daniel Johnson, leader of a GFA-supported medical ministry, says, "We are helping. We are trying to do what we can, but do pray. There is a lot more help we need."

Donations to support GFA's disaster relief work in Kerala can be made at gfa.org/flood.



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