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After the Flood: Christian Groups Help Victims Long-Term after Devastating Natural Disaster

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Watch CBN News' Wendy Griffith's full interview with Dr. Johnson about what he has seen and experienced in southern India

Flood waters are receding in Kerala, India after one of the worst floods in almost a 100 years in southern India.

Dr. Daniel Johnson with Gospel for Asia (GFA) calls Kerala home. He lives and works there, but he has never seen anything like this devastating flood. 

GFA founder, Dr. K.P. Yohannan agrees, "I have never seen rain like this in my life."

"No matter which way I look, it is like I am surrounded by an ocean of water. Many have escaped with only the clothes on their backs. To rebuild and restore what has been lost will take time," Yohannan said at the height of the flooding. 

Yohannan reports it has claimed the lives of at least 410 people since June and has left a million people homeless, putting thousands in shelters and relief camps.

"We are doing all we can to help those in immediate need, and we are asking people everywhere to stand with us through prayers and giving so that we can do more to bring comfort and care in the name of Jesus," he added.

Dr. Johnson is the Director of Medical Missions at Believers Church and works in conjunction with GFA leading "initiatives to improve the health of the poor and downtrodden."

He gave CBN News an update on the situation in Kerala and talked about being at "ground zero" of the flooding.

"I was stranded in one of these places trying to rescue some people in a boat. Now imagine this: it's a freeway. It's a highway. It's a big four-way traffic place. The only way you could go through was with a big truck and once the truck couldn't go into the byways, you had to use a boat – a fishing boat."

"When we got stuck we had to get out of the boat. You had to swim to houses. You had to swim to places," he recalled.

Johnson says the situation has improved, but when the flooding began people initially had to swim to get food and water.

Because this is home for Johnson, he told CBN News he experienced many motions concerning the flood. 

"The good side that I saw was everywhere was people coming together to help," he explained.

According to Johnson, people formed groups on social media and apps to coordinate relief efforts and distribute life-saving supplies.

Johnson said he has seen God at work in the way communities have come together through the crisis. He described selfless encounters with people who arrived in the interior to help those who were trapped on rooftops trying to evade the floodwaters. They would decline assistance and instead urge the volunteers to go help others.

"They would actually tell us 'Now, we've got some help go beyond us. There are people beyond us we know are there. Please go find them out. Give them the help you were gonna give to us.' So there's so much of thinking about others," he said.

Yohannan called for "urgent assistance" in a news release Thursday. 

"Scripture says that we are called to love through our actions ( ). Right now, hundreds of thousands of people — including many brothers and sisters in Christ — are suffering and in need of our help, as southern India has been hit by the worst floods in almost a century," he said.

Yohannan believes the flood victims need prayer now and but will also need tangible assistance in the days ahead. He is asking for donations to help GFA help them.

"I'm there now, working with our brothers and sisters on the field to help rescue the stranded and bring supplies and a loving smile to many in relief camps in some of the worst affected areas. As Jesus said, 'When you do this, you do it for Me,' and that's the most important thing. It's a privilege to be used by God to care for the poor and wipe their tears," he explained.

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