HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Gospel for Asia Brings Immediate Relief to India Cyclone Victims; Begins Extended Effort to Help Rebuild Lives

Gospel for Asia Brings Immediate Relief to India Cyclone Victims; Begins Extended Effort to Help Rebuild Lives

GFA Cyclone ReliefGospel for Asia (GFA) Compassion Services disaster relief teams were among the first to reach victims on India's east coast after Phailin made landfall as one of the largest cyclones ever generated in the Bay of Bengal.

Cyclone Phailin made landfall on the evening of October 12 as a Category 4 storm, leaving 17 people dead and more than 500,000 people homeless and currently in relief camps in the Indian state of Odisha alone, according to state officials. Nearly one million people were evacuated from Odisha and neighboring Andhra Pradesh, and an estimated nine million people are victims of the storm in some way.

In response, GFA Compassion Services teams distributed immediate supplies of clean water and food to victims, who have lost homes, livelihoods, crops, and livestock.

"GFA Compassion Services teams traveled 12 hours through roads flooded and blocked by fallen trees to be the first responders in one of the hardest hit areas on the Odisha coast," reported Dr. K. P. Yohannan, Founder and President of GFA and a member of the NRB Board of Directors. "They discovered people filled with despair, devoid of all hope, and reached out to them with lifesaving supplies and the hope that only Jesus can bring."

Reports from Compassion Services teams indicate that more than 500 GFA believers in Odisha alone have lost their mud houses, along with thousands of their neighbors. Most are trying to work on their homes during the day and returning to relief camps at night.

Wrecked fishing boats and nets, and one million acres of lost crops across Odisha and Andhra Pradesh mean loss of livelihood for thousands. The agricultural loss in these states, especially of rice, is anticipated to affect the food supply throughout India.

"Most of our believers are dependent upon agriculture and do not know what they will do now," reported one onsite GFA representative.

Downed power lines, meanwhile, have created additional havoc, affecting not only the flow of electricity but also communication and transportation. Furthermore, medical aid is in short supply.

While the government has reportedly guaranteed initial relief of a few days of food, GFA relief teams are working to meet basic needs by distributing clean water, medical supplies, clothing, and family food packs of rice, salt, oil, potatoes, and matchsticks.

"The recovery process stretches months, perhaps even years, into the future for these people who have endured devastating loss," said Dr. Yohannan. "We must not forsake them in their desperate suffering. We will continue to take to them the love of Jesus as we help them rebuild their lives and find new hope."

To learn more about the effects of Cyclone Phailin, and to donate to the relief efforts, visit www.gfa.org/cyclone/phailin.

Published: October 24, 2013

Latest News

NRB Spearheads ‘Get Out the Vote’ PSA Campaign

NRB has initiated a “Get Out the Vote” campaign to encourage Christians across America to cast their votes in the upcoming election, which could prove to be one of the most crucial in our nation’s history.

Joni Eareckson Tada Presented with the First True Woman Award

Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, received a special honor earlier this month at the True Woman 2014 National Women's Conference.

In Memoriam: Herb Jacobson, Reach Beyond's Longest Serving Missionary

Just a few months after surpassing 65 years of service with Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global) and just three days after celebrating his 89th birthday, missionary engineer Herb Jacobson went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, October 8.

NRB Board Member Jay Flowers Now Managing Director at Grace to You Ministry

Jay Flowers, who serves on the NRB Board of Directors, the NRB President’s Council, and Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace to You ministry, has been named Managing Director at Grace to You.

NRB Concerned by Call for Hate Speech Proceeding

A petition to the FCC challenging a broadcaster license alleges “hate speech” and calls for a FCC hearing on the subject. Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, wrote to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to...

City of Houston Subpoenas Sermons

NRB and many others were alarmed this week by the City of Houston’s subpoena of local pastors’ church sermons. “This inquisition by the City of Houston is unconstitutional,” declared Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB.

Thousands Gather to Pray for Washington

On Columbus Day, I was pleased to gather with thousands of Christians from churches around the Washington, DC area to pray for this capital city.

FCC Calls for Input on LPTV

The FCC recently declared that it is suspending deadlines for construction of new digital low power television (LPTV) stations, and similarly stated its intent to postpone the 2015 deadline for...

NRB to Debut Film & Entertainment Summit in 2015

NRB is launching the Film & Entertainment Summit at the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN.

Don't Miss Early Bird Rates for the NRB15 Int’l Christian Media Convention!

Registration is open for the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention, to be held February 23-26, 2015, in Nashville, TN. But to take advantage of the Early Bird Registration discounts and save up to $200, you’ll need to register by November 15, 2014.

More News