‘Before you kill me, first hear me’
WICHITA, Kan. — ‘They have mouths, but cannot speak; eyes, but…
The worst monsoon floods in a century have claimed more than 350 lives since June and displaced nearly a million people in the Indian state of Kerala.
As the floodwaters finally begin to recede, Churches of Christ in southern India are reaching out to congregations in Kerala to help victims.
“The damage is so bad. People, cattle and livelihood are in danger,” said David Martin, an evangelist in the southern Indian city of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, which survived the monsoons without significant damage. Martin has communicated with ministers for Churches of Christ in Kerala to assess needs.
The coastal state of Kerala, home to 34.8 million souls, has a long Christian history. Many Indian Christians believe that the apostle Thomas himself traveled to the subcontinent and baptized the country’s first converts in the ancient port city of Muziris. Today about 18 percent of people in Kerala claim Christianity as their faith, according to a government census. That’s still a minority, but a larger percentage than other Indian states.
Paul Renganathan, a native of Kerala, is a longtime minister in Chennai who preaches for Churches of Christ and oversees a preacher-training school and multiple livelihood programs.
“Our team is distributing food, drinking water, blankets and clothes” in Kerala, Renganathan said. Church members are coordinating relief efforts in the city of Alappuzha (also known as Alleppey), Kannur, Kochi (also known as Cochin) and Kozhikode (also known as Calicut).
“Your prayers are asked for the people who are suffering,” Renganathan said.
The ministers also requested contributions for relief that will be distributed through Churches of Christ in Kerala. Donations may be sent to:
World Bible School Of Tulare County
PO Box 3700
Visalia, CA 93278
Healing Hands International, a relief and development ministry associated with Churches of Christ, also is collecting funds to help flood victims, said director of operations Joseph Smith.
Healing Hands works with women empowerment programs in India that have connections to Kerala and plans to help provide food, clothing and other relief items to those who have lost their homes.
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