Stories from the Mission Field

September 2022

Holistic Mission

close to the people

The Godavari is one of the largest rivers in India and, along with the Ganges, is one of the most important lifelines. Many people also consider this river sacred. The Godavari has several dams and the huge lakes serve as drinking water supply for many people. Numerous hydroelectric power plants for electricity generation in the country are also operated by the water masses. At the same time, the current regularly poses a threat to the people in the region during the rainy season. This is especially true in Andra Pradesh, where it flows into the Indian Ocean south of Kakinada. In July, horrific images reached us from our partner CREAM, who works in the region, saying, "This year, our region was terribly hit by the floods. It has been 36 years since we last saw such levels of destruction."

Pastor Samuel Sagar from Tallarevu writes further, "We are thankful that many of the dams held this year, saving many lives. Also, entire villages and houses, even the crops grown were saved from great damage in many places. At the same time, many villages were trapped by the water masses. Roads were flooded, the pasture grass of the cattle was covered by water and many people had no possibility to get food for days. With the generous emergency aid from EBM INTERNATIONAL, we as a team from CREAM were able to cook meals immediately, organize food distributions with boats, and help the people who suffered the most in the first days."

In total, meals were distributed over five days for many people in nine villages. The pictures clearly show the logistical effort behind it. 90 volunteers from the project cooked and distributed 3500 meals. This was only possible so quickly because everyone pitched in. Young adults from the community brought the food to the people on boats, many women from the community works cooked and prepared everything. There was shopping, packing and distribution. Countless hands passed on God's blessing and stood by the side of the suffering.

CREAM in Tallarevu is a great example of holistic mission. On the campus are a children's home, several schools and training classes, and the main church. With over 30 Bible women and evangelists, more than 2000 families in the region are spiritually cared for. This closeness to the people is the basis for the fact that quick help is possible in emergency situations. A donation to our church development projects ultimately ensures that many of our partners remain as capable of acting in crises as in this example.