At the end of last year (November and December, 2015), southern India was affected by rainfall totals that had not been seen there in more than a decade. The result was devastating flooding in the regions of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The city of Chennai (which has a population of about five million people) was particularly hard hit. Over five hundred people were killed and almost two million displaced as a result of the flooding. You may be familiar with Chennai, and the regions of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, because our brethren in the Berea Evangelical Lutheran Church (BELC) have their headquarters in Chennai, our CLC missionaries live there, and there are many BELC congregations in these two Indian regions.
As you can imagine, the flooding also caused damage to the property (walls, floors, roofs) of BELC congregations, and the homes of pastors and members.
In response to the needs of our brethren in the BELC, in January the CLC Board of Missions sent $4,000 in disaster relief from the Mission Development Fund to help purchase needed items for BELC members who were affected.
Pastor D. Paul and the leaders of the BELC have visited many of the affected areas and assessed the damage. They have used the funds to help thirty-six pastors in the Chennai area where property of our BELC brethren was damaged by the flood. Supplies like blankets, material for clothing, and rice were distributed to each of these thirty-six pastors, as well as a small amount of cash to help with other needs.
There is much more that needs to be done to repair churches and homes. Remember in your prayers the pastors and members of the BELC, and their work of preaching the Gospel to the lost souls of India.
Nathanael Mayhew is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, and a member of the Board of Missions of the CLC.