“My house is destroyed. Where do I start?” said “John Joseph” a Christian rickshaw driver in Kerala, India, after his home was destroyed by floods.
Ten months after the floods, thousands of desperately poor Indian Christians are still homeless and appealing to their church leaders for help. The church leaders have turned to Barnabas Fund. Will you help us to help them?.
Phase 3 - rebuilding houses
Praise God the Indian government is giving funds to help rebuild houses destroyed in the Kerala floods, but only 400,000 rupees per family, which is about £4,500 ($5,750 ; €5,000). This is not enough, even for a small and simple house. They need extra funds: around £1,500 ($1,900; €1,700) per family, or even £2,000 ($2,500; €2,250) if the building materials have to be transported from a long distance away. Another problem is that the authorities are often very slow to pay, and demand full paperwork which is impossible for families whose documents have been washed away in a flood or landslide.
In phase 1 of our flood relief for Christians in Kerala, Barnabas provided emergency food, clothes, shoes, bedding, toiletries and medicines. We also gave cleaning materials and disinfectant for those whose homes had been filled with filthy water. Then we moved to phase 2 and repaired damaged homes, also providing simple household appliances to enable a family to cook hot meals. Now we have started phase 3 – building new homes for Christians whose houses were completely destroyed.
“So relieved and grateful”
More than 200,000 Indian Christians were affected by this disaster. Many of them are Dalits, considered “untouchable” by high caste Hindus. Marginalised, despised, unwanted and at the bottom of society, Christian Dalits were poor before the floods and now they are destitute.
“These people live on their daily wages and are the very poor,” said one of our project partners in India, explaining how they had lost livelihoods, property and “their tiny homes”.
The house repairs of Phase 2 have had a huge impact on the recipients. “They are so relieved and grateful,” writes one project partner. “They say that now they have a great sense of protection in the sense that they have an enclosed unit even through very small, to call as their home. The people whom we helped with the electric wiring told us they want to thank us for helping them – so now they don’t have to worry about electric shocks or getting burned from the open and wet cables and electric circuits.”
Many thanks to all Barnabas Fund supporters whose donations made this possible.
Will you stand with our Indian Christian brothers and sisters?
Landslides are over in seconds and floods will sooner or later drain away, but the destruction they caused does not disappear.
While the global media have moved on to other natural disasters and other news, the needs of flood-affected Christians in Kerala remain. Let them know they are not forgotten.
Show your love in a practical way. Make a gift to Barnabas Fund to enable Christians like John Joseph to rebuild their homes.
Just £1,500 ($1,900; €1,700) could enable a homeless family to have their own four walls and roof again, safe and strong. A gift of any size, large or small, will help.