After traveling 16 hours along treacherous roads, half of Pastor Baha Udeen’s 11-member Compassion Services team arrived June 26 to serve families in one of the areas hit hardest by the flooding in North India.
While they waited for the second vehicle, which broke down due to the combination of steep climbs and a heavy load of supplies, team members surveyed the area and gave vouchers to needy families. The next morning, the second vehicle arrived, and the team began distributing supplies.
Families came from nine villages and colonies for relief. During a previous trip to survey the need, the team had asked families cut off from roads and communications to come to a central location where everyone could be served. By late afternoon, every village in the area had heard about the distribution, and people rushed to stand in line for supplies.
“Our target had been [to help] 100 families,” said Pastor Baha Udeen, “but at the end of the day, and after a complete counting, we realized we had provided help to approximately 200 families.”
When the flood hit on the evening of June 16, many of the villagers left their homes to sleep in a local school building built on higher ground. That night, a local river overflowed, wiping out almost all the houses and destroying most of the roads in the area. A new route to the victims wasn’t opened until June 20.
Team Provides Long-Awaited Relief
When the Compassion Services team began handing out supplies, one mother and son had not eaten for three days. They said words could not express their thanks.
Others told the team they were the first relief group to bring what the villagers actually needed.
“No other group has done for the area as much as this church,” said a local leader. “We have been blessed that you have come.”
Relief kits included rice, oil, salt, potatoes, first-aid kits, tarps, raincoats, blankets and other necessary supplies. Although the team served double the number of people expected, families were overwhelmed by how much help they received.
“I have a big family,” said Wafiya, a local resident. “After the flood, all our domestic things and our home had been washed away. If I go to buy things, the road is damaged. What was I to do? I was wondering how to feed my small children, but thank you for providing provisions. They will last at least one month.”
Along with survival supplies, the team also handed out Gospel literature, and by the end of the day many of the locals asked them to start a church service so they could learn more about Jesus.
“No other group has concern for us, but this church came from a long distance and helped us,” said local resident Baanbhatt. “I am greatly thankful to them.”