If you Google ‘India,’ you’ll see a mix of headlines coming up. Last month, it was stories about drought and food concerns. This month, it’s flooding, monsoon rains, and the death toll.
So which is it? Unfortunately, says Greg Kelley of World Mission, their partners are telling them it’s both. “India, like other countries in Southeast Asia, is very prone to disasters. What we were hearing– all kinds of news reports and horrible stories that made all of our hearts turn in May and June–was of the drought.” In a month that should have seen the highest rainfall of the monsoon season, almost half of India felt the sun parch the earth instead.
Kelley says, “All across India, families were being devastated by the drought, they didn’t have access to water. We were trying to get in there and drill some deep water wells to help the people. We were even supplying water tanks, the trucks that would go into remote villages where people were dying of the drought situation; their animals were dying.”
Disaster upon disaster
With the earth baked dry, there was nothing to absorb the rains when they DID fall. Things were bad enough before unusually heavy rain in Nepal and the rivers flowing south into Bihar state breached their banks, destroyed roads and bridges, and flooded acres of farmland. In Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat states, over a million people evacuated their homes due to the monsoon flooding.
The government noted that whatever headway they’d made in recovery from LAST year’s century floods, for Gujarat, it was starting all over again. Death tolls climbed in the aftermath.
Kelley explains, “These disasters in a place like India create an opportunity for the body of Christ to respond in love. Whether it’s drilling the wells, or providing the water, or in the case of the monsoon and the flooding, it’s now all of a sudden, all the water is dirty and they’ve lost everything. We really need to be creative when we think about engaging places like India, and the opportunities are right in front of us.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News