Harvest India Continues Flood Relief Efforts
October 19, 2009Last week, Steve and Tracey Ansell (supporters from England) passed along an update on Harvest India's continued effort to help those who are being impacted by the devastating floods. "Just yesterday we were thinking that the recovery operation was starting to get underway, but now we hear that due to heavy rain, another flood will come through the state of Andhra Pradesh. Following a 600% increase in normal rainfall for this time of year they need to operate the flood gates to move the massive amounts of water that has collected. For 3 months there was no rain and concern was building over the drought that was happening, and then in just 5 days, nearly 2 years worth of rain fell and has so far ruined over 200,000 hectares of crops, causing $25 billion damage to the agriculture industry. Many of us still have visions of the devastating affect that Hurricane Katrina had on the US; the floods and devastation that are affecting the whole state of Andhra Pradesh is 10 times more catastrophic! For cultural reasons, India does not like to report the total amount of deaths, but hopefully the above statement, will help to convey the situation here. It is no surprise that the India government and the state government are reporting this as the biggest relief program that India has put into operation. 750,000 children and their families in the state of Andhra Pradesh need emergency help with the basic provisions of clean drinking water, food and medical help. With nearly 20% of them malnourished before the floods, you can imagine how quickly diarrhea and water born diseases will spread and inflict yet more pain. With the news that yet more floods are coming to the same areas, state ministers are encouraging people to stay in the evacuation centres and not to return to their villages. The floods at the beginning of last week saw villages in over 4 metres of water, and the same is likely to happen again this week. This is starting to cause confusion and panic. Where some people have returned, they have faced complete ruin, their homes now just a few sticks in the ground with their few possession half buried in the mud. The smell and stench is making them ill and the pain, despair and disbelief is written over their faces and engulfs you as try to absorb some of their pain. We have been so fortunate to be staying with Harvest India and to help with the massive relief work that they have put into operation, we have been able to offer comfort and prayers, hold them and stand beside them as sisters and brothers in their time of need. We have helped distribute food and water to over 30,000 people at the emergency camps, and have offered them hope through the distribution of blankets, sarees and utensils. My husband, Steve has been out in the boats rescuing people, and Harvest India have now handed over their boats to the military as the current in the water is so strong and electricity cables are protruding from the water. Whilst our prayers are still very much needed, this is a time for action, this is a time for us to unite across the globe and put our emotional response into some practical use. Harvest India have stepped out in faith, using their resources they have immediately, without hesitation to meet the needs of the flood victims, to offer them hope, to stand beside them and to show them that they are not forgotten and that people do care. I urge you to do what you can, dig deep into your pockets and support Harvest India, by donating online or through contacts that you know that can get the resources to Harvest India. Every penny that you donate will go to the relief work, no administration or government charges, a donation of $10 will go to providing life saving basics such as medical help, clean water and food for one family. Harvest India has lost over 200 churches, Pastors will have to begin again, and $100 will provide them with a drum, a light and a bicycle to get them up and running again, and providing a contact for Harvest India in the villages once people are able to return and begin the painful task of rebuilding their lives. God bless you in all that you do and blessings on all your relief work." How Will You Respond to the Flood Victims Today? For just $10, a person can have their immediate needs met by receiving a blanket, a water pouch, rice, lentils, and a clean sari where possible. Please ask God how He would like you to respond. To support the work of Harvest India, donate online at www.HowWillYouRespond.com.