India (GFA/MNN) — Last October, India’s eastern coast experienced the worst cyclone it had seen in 14 years: Cyclone Phailin. The storm damaged or destroyed 800,000 homes, and many people lost every earthly possession they owned.
Recovery efforts, initiated and carried out by believers in the affected areas, are putting Christ’s love into action.
Right after Phailin struck, Gospel for Asia (GFA) teams responded with the compassion of Christ and cared for survivors’ basic needs. Ministry leaders also initiated a reconstruction program. As they monitor progress in each affected area, local pastors and other ministry leaders pray over the houses as they’re being built.
So far, GFA teams have rebuilt 141 homes for Phailin survivors, with plans to rebuild at least 1,000 homes over the next three years. In addition, GFA-supported nationals are providing education for affected children through the Bridge of Hope program.
“Jibu” and his family lost their house and all their belongings when Cyclone Phailin swept through Odisha. After receiving a home as part of GFA’s Phailin Housing Project, he said in tears, “We are a very poor family. No one was there to help us when we lost everything during Phailin. Even our own relatives did not help us. But I am so happy that GFA helped me. I am so grateful to the church.”
At the same time, GFA Compassion Services teams are bringing help to families who were affected by the most recent storm, Cyclone Hudhud.
On Sunday, believers and GFA pastors packed up a truck with food packets for 400 families living in three areas hit hardest by Cyclone Hudhud. Each food packet contained 22 pounds of rice, 2 pounds of dal, 2 pounds of sugar, 1 quart of oil, and various cooking spices.
Hudhud left hundreds of people homeless, seeking shelter in relief camps or under plastic tarps issued by local authorities. About 95 houses belonging to believers have been damaged. Forty families of children attending a Bridge of Hope center in Andhra Pradesh and at least 28 pastors have been affected.
These efforts and actions have led to a lot of curiosity and questions about the Gospel message. Pray for the immediate and eternal impact of GFA’s disaster recovery projects.