Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Vijayawada, from Fire to Flood

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2005
While most of us here in the States are watching to see what will happen next with hurricane Rita another crisis is underway halfway around the world in Andhra Pradesh, India.

Pastor Daniel called this morning to ask urgently for our prayers. He opened his main church which will seat about 500 as a shelter for families who lost their homes in the RajuNagar fire Sunday morning (410 homes burned). The monsoons this year have poured out record amounts of rainfall and the Godavari and Krishna Rivers are overflowing their banks and may soon overflow or possibly break the dams upriver.

I could hear the pleading in his voice as I read the email he sent following the phone call: "Nearly all our church members houses totally spoiled. We all resting with our children on roof. Please pray. If rain comes its very hard to face flood victims. Government totally left us (without help)."

Water has risen to an unprescedented high. Pastor Daniel's home and the church are both elevatated 4-5' off the ground as protection against flooding. But that is not enough this year. Flood waters have never come close to their door before. There is no drinkable water, no toilet facilities, no gas or stoves for cooking, no more food, and no shelter. If the rains hit again as predicted for Friday and Saturday, they will have no place to get out of the rain. Please pray that the buildings hold up in the rain and flooding. Nearly all other homes and businesses were flooded before the church was flooded.

The city of Vijayawada is mostly submerged (2.5 million people). There is no bus service, no trains, the airport is flooded. And Vijayawada is only a small portion of the area of Andhra Pradesh (state) that is flooded.

Also flooded is Yellandu where Pastor Timothy and Pastor John Mullar minister. Eluru is also under water. Hyderabad is struggling with flooding. Nearly half of the roads in Hyderabad (6.5 million population) are reported as being washed out.

Pastor Daniel especially asked that we pray for their protection from snakes. Much of the area in Maharashtra (state that is up-river) is farmland and the waters are full of swimming cobras.
Along with the cobras are floating bodies of dead cows, pigs and dogs. Doctors are very concerned about the potential for spreading diseases, especially waterborne diseases.

Pastor Daniel is still planning to go to North India as scheduled, even though he will be sorely missed at home now. He is determined not to let the enemy's plans prevent the harvest of souls that the Lord has planned for the North. He has parked his motorcycle on high ground and has his bag all packed. He will have to ride his motorcycle all the way to Hyderabad (normally 5 1/2 hour drive) and then is expecting to fly out from there up to New Delhi to begin his 2 week tour in the North through 5 states where there is much persecution of Christians and even martyrdom. Please pray for his safety and success and for the strength of his family and those left behind to cope with the results of the fire and the flooding.

It was reported as of last night that 56 people had died in the flooding, most of those from electrocution, the others from building collapses.

One bright spot in this is the response from Christian brothers and sisters that we helped with Tsunami relief earlier this year. They are cooking up huge boilers of yellow rice and planning to come by boat and deliver it to the families on top of the church roof and Pastor Daniel's familiy.

Pastor Daniel has been out with crews on rescue boats helping to save people stranded or trapped in the water.

I discovered an article in a trade magazine for dam and power plant builders, that the earth quake last March significantly damaged the Royna Dam which is upriver in Maharashtra leaving cracks that have weakened it. Dam managers wanted to release more water but were unable to do so without flooding the next dam downriver. If the dam should break there would be flooding on a much greater scale and it would likely come as a wall of water with much force. Please pray for mercy and that the Hindus and Muslims alike would cry out to God and surrender their lives to Jesus before it is too late.

These people have no FEMA to help them. Croplands have been washed out along with homes and cities flooded. Livestock has drowned. Please have mercy on them and send whatver you can to help our Christian friends there and enable them to share food, water, tents or tarps in the Name of Jesus as they share the gospel. Jesus said, "Love one another as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples." John 13-33-34. Whatever you can can sacrifice for their sakes will make a difference.

You may send a check to: Full Circle Ministries International, 1603 Monroe St., Suite B-One, Madison, WI 53711

or you may donate online at

Please feel free to call if you have questions.
Sherry 608-577-3264.


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