SPECIAL REPORTS

Floods in Sri Lanka

Torrential Rains Wipe Away Homes, Affect More than 520,000

Floods in Sri Lanka swept away 1,300 homes, affecting an estimated 524,000. ©  

A missionary with Gospel for Asia's Compassion Services Teams distributes relief to Sri Lankans in need. © Gospel for Asia 

Unexpected torrential rains—13 inches in five days—came pouring down on the island nation of Sri Lanka last week, primarily in the south, west and central parts of the country, sweeping away homes and leaving hundreds of thousands displaced.

It has been reported that 20 have been killed and more than 524,000 people have been affected, the most affected being in Gampaha, Colombo and Kalutara, Galle, Ratnapura, and surrounding districts; 14 of 25 Sri Lankan districts were affected.

In what many are describing as the worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami, the floods destroyed more than 1,300 homes (most of them shanty-like constructs built by the poor).

The rain, which was not predicted by forecasters, was caused when Cyclone Laila; though not directly hitting the island, its side effects caused the weather nightmare in Sri Lanka.

Relief agencies are now working to provide disaster-relief services, such as food and water, and medical services. The people are sleeping in schools and anywhere they can find shelter. Medical concerns are arising about cleanliness and sanitation.

As the water recedes in some areas and food is distributed, hope is elevating but Sri Lankans know they have a long way to go in to rebuild and many are not sure how that will exactly take place.

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Our prayer: -That those who have suffered in the floods receive the provisions that they need. -That those that are touched by those helping in disaster come to know the love of God and His -work through Jesus Christ. -That the Sri Lankan government is more attentive to people that are the ‘least of these’ that are so susceptible to flooding and the like.

Lord, we know that Your floods and disasters are almost a common occurrence in our world, as it continues to crumble, but we know that in each and every disaster, Your purpose is there and You are at work. We pray for the Sri Lankan people that You provide for them in this time and that You provide a path for their salvation. We give them to You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Our offering: Gospel for Asia (www.gfa.org), which trains native missionaries to make disciples in their own country, the majority of which are Buddhist, is working to aid those in Sri Lanka through its special Compassion Services Teams, who are distributing relief supplies.