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India Missionaries Homeless After Major Floods

Monday, September 19, 2005 | Tag Cloud

Monday, September 19, 2005
By BosNewsLife News Center

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)-- Impoverished native missionaries in Mumbai, the capital of India's Maharashtra state, were reportedly still homeless Friday, September 16, more than a month after their possessions were swept away in record flooding there, which killed over 1000 people.

Christian Aid Mission (CAM), which supports Indian missionaries, said these Christians "who are already impoverished and living in the poorest parts of Mumbai [formerly Bombay]), have now lost everything."

Missionary Ramesh, who leads a church of 60 former Hindus, said he still recalled that faithful July 26 when he lost everything he had worked for.

"I live in the slum area of central Mumbai [formerly known as Bombay when] on July 26, there were heavy rains and wind," he explained in a letter released by CAM.

SIX FEET WATER

Ramesh, whose last name was not revealed for apparent security reasons, said that "by evening water entered my one-room rented house up to six feet (2 meters). I sought refuge in a higher place as I am only five feet tall. All the meager furniture, the cot, couch, clothes, books and food, were soaked in water and became useless."

However "nothing could be salvaged, as the water was very dirty. The public toilets and open drains outside caused a bad stink. After the water abated, my family came home, and now my 3-year-old daughter is suffering from pneumonia. We are looking for another house," he added.

Another missionary, identified only as Joseph, claimed his "whole family was busily engaged in collecting bucketfuls of water and throwing them outside. It was only the hand of the Lord that preserved our lives, because many other slum houses just collapsed in our neighborhood."

NEW FLOOD WARNINGS

There have been fresh flood warnings reported in recent days, although local authorities say the rainfall appears less severe than in July. CAM said it had urged its supporters to "pray for those who lost all they owned, that their sacrificial ministries among the most desperate residents of Mumbai would continue to bear fruit."

Earlier the mission group Gospel For Asia said a dozen churches were destroyed in Mumbai and that its Bible college in the area had been damaged. Mumbai was reportedly hit by an unprecedented deluge of up to 94 centimeters of rain, the heaviest rainfall since India began keeping weather records in 1846.

Much of it came over a few hours, transforming roads into fierce rivers and causing landslides that buried dozens of people and cut off villages. (With BosNewsLife Research and reports from India).

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