GFA-supported workers in Sri Lanka provide food and dried goods, and ensure fresh water supplies, in wake of devastating storm
WILLS POINT, Texas—As thousands of people continue to recover from the impact of torrential rain and flooding, Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers have been bringing critical relief aid to some of those left homeless in the wake of the devastating storm.
Teams have taken urgently needed supplies of food and clothing to communities in Sri Lanka reeling from the trail of destruction left by last month’s disaster. Heavy rain and flooding claimed more than 200 lives in the Indian Ocean island nation.
With official relief efforts still hampered in some areas by flooding that cut off parts of the country and many people remaining in temporary shelters, GFA-supported “compassion teams” managed to reach communities in several areas.
Among the supplies they delivered were dried foods and goods including rice, milk powder, tea and toothpaste. Also distributed were bed linens and clothes, disinfectant and simple first-aid materials, and cooking utensils. One group cleaned wells to ensure fresh water was available once more.
“We were very pleased to be able to provide some basic supplies to families in need,” said GFA founder and director Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “Not only were these distributions meeting a practical need, we believe that they were also an encouragement, reminding people that they are cared for by God and not forgotten.”
The GFA-supported workers’ efforts were applauded by a civic leader in one of the communities who said that they had been the first helpers to visit after residents were initially evacuated by navy personnel. “The people in my area have never received such a comprehensive relief pack,” he said. “It is a great blessing to all these families who lost everything in this devastating flood. I thank [the Church] for bringing all this aid to our doorstep and distributing it to the needy families.”
One of those helping with the distribution spoke of being able to offer both help and hope to those left in need. “Even though there is sorrow and darkness, God has given us the light and love to share with others,” he said.
Elsewhere in the region, GFA-supported workers have experienced personally the impact of the disaster, with one of their number among the dead following storms in northeastern India, lost in a landslide.
With travel still difficult in some areas, and ongoing danger from high water, Yohannan appealed for prayer for all those seeking to help, as well as those in need. “We ask others to join us in seeking God’s protection for everyone affected,” he said. “We want to continue to do all that we can to provide practical help and emotional and spiritual support in this difficult time.”
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GFA (Gospel for Asia) has – for more than 30 years ‒ provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 75,000 sponsored children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 400,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.
PHOTO CUTLINE: Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers have delivered much-needed relief supplies to Sri Lankan communities hit hard by storms which devastated the country last month.