On May 20, a Super Cyclone called Amphan hit the State of West Bengal, India where our supported EFCA missionary Gus Peters is located. Following are updates from Gus following the Super Cyclone.
May 23: Thank you for praying with us as we deal with the after effects of the Super Cyclone. Just to give you a little update on the extent of the damage in our State of West Bengal:
86 lives have been lost.
Approximately 7500 trees have been uprooted.
Over 1600 villages in just two districts are under water.
Total affected area: 21560 square kilometers
13 Million people have been affected.
110000 people have been left homeless and thousands of homes have been flattened.
1.4 million people are without power.
88000 hectares of paddy crop have been damaged.
100000 hectares of vegetables destroyed.
100000 hectares of sesame washed away.
We as a team have discussed about relief efforts to our people. We have more a little over 700 children who are part of our ministry besides the families that attend our 11 Churches. While we would like to be of a help to everyone during this time, we know that would take a lot of funding. So we decided on the following:
Care Bags to 1000 individuals: Each care bag will have Rice, Lentils, Sugar, Cooking Oil, Semolina, Soya Chunks, Hand Wash and Soap.
The Cost of each bag is $14.
Khanaberia Tutoring Centre/ Church: In the month of February we had inaugurated this facility and now less than 3 months it has been damaged. The roof has been completed destroyed. Repairs and construction approximately $10000. By way of information Khanaberia is the village just outside the city’s garbage dump. We have around 180 children that our part of our ministry here besides adults who attend the Church.
If you would like to help us, here is how you could do so:
Give online at: https://give.efca.org/ Type Reach Kolkata – Account No. 5709 under the designation box.
May the Lord guide you all as you prayerfully consider strengthening our hands during this hour of great need. God bless.
May 24: Please pray for one of our Church locations i.e. Rupamari. This is one of the 52 islands that make up what is known as the Sunderbans. It is a World Heritage Site inscribed in 1987. The area is known for its wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Bengal tiger and other endangered species as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.
The super cyclone hit Rupamari on 20th May and went on for 12 plus hours. Today we received the first pictures of the damage that the cyclone has caused. People have lost everything, yes literally everything. All that they now have is the clothes they are wearing. Between 400 - 500 people are taking shelter in a Disaster Management Centre.
As soon as the roads are open, we will be travelling there (approximately 4 hours) with some food, clothes, medicines, plastic etc. Many thanks once again!
June 17: Things in the city are slowly moving back to normal, despite the daily increase in positive cases of COVID 19. I guess this will be something we will have to live with for a long time.
We have helped around 20 people with some funds to repair their homes which were damaged during the super cyclone.
We are working on details about one of Church facility roof. The roof which was made of plastic actually blew away with the cyclone. The structure is bamboo. We are thinking it may be good to put a concrete roof but in that case we would need to make changes to the existing structure. Pray with us.
One of the communities where we work are still in a problem. It is on an island and with the cyclone etc the banks of the river broke and the entire village is submerged. People lost everything.
The villagers are trying to get the banks repaired but twice a day when there is a high tide the water again comes in.
They still do not have electricity and will not get it for at least a month till the water totally recedes. Pray for them as well.
Please join us in prayer for the people and infrastructure affect by this super cyclone. If you feel lead, please consider making a financial contribution to the relief effort using the online giving link above.
Thank you, The Missions Committee