"Thank you very much for remembering the people of Orissa in your prayers. Yes, it's the state which is undergoing various types of trials and tribulations.
"Last the whole month the ethnic violence in Kondhmal District of Orissa where churches were torched and Christians were massacred and the whole community was in fear and distress and most of them were hiding in the jungles , and this violence has spread to different other states like Bangalore and Mangalore in Karnataka and Kerala and also in other states like Madhyapradesh, and Chatisgarh, in which mostly the churches and Christians were attacked by the particular fundamentalist, exreme outfit of the so called Hindus even though it is not supported by the majority of the Hindus. Even now there are continued attacks on Christians and the destruction of churches in various parts of our country...
"When the state was recovering gradually from these tragedies, then came the devastating flood in Orissa where 17 districts have been affected but more so the worst affected are the four districts like CUTTACK , PURI, KENDRAPADA, JAGATSINGPUR. Because of the typical topography of Cuttack, as you have seen, on both the sides there are two major rivers--the Mahanadi & Kathjuri, and both are fully swollen with the water level much above the city of Cuttack. But we are safe because of the ring road surrounding the city of Cuttack, and more of the damages are in the suburban towns because of the breeches in the embankments of the river which were carrying the water much above the danger lines. This situation is there since about 4-5 days and we are busy with the relief and rescue work along with the Govt machinery.
"However, to worsen the situation now since today we are again having the rains along with the cyclone which is threatening to hit the coastal Orissa in the next two days which will definitely be bad for the city of Cuttack, as the water of the rains of the cyclone cannot be drained to the two rivers on either side of the city which are already full and swollen. So most probably the people of the city will be drowned in the city water itself. So we are planning to shift the people to higher buildings and getting prepared for any eventualities. Please do PRAY that this coming cyclone will be weakened.
"But in all these situations God has helped us to strengthen our faith and be allowed to trust Him more. In most of the churches we are having worship services conducted with tight police custody and protection.
"Here we have formed a NGO by name THE SAMARITANS which is collecting funds from our local people and giving relief to some at least, and tomorrow we are planning to go to another suburban village of 42 Mouza which has been very badly affected by the flood and we hear that some of the families are still marooned in the water and needs to be rescued and some food to be given immediately."
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
On today's travels we return to news from Orissa, a state in eastern India. Here is a first-person report from a Christian friend and doctor who is leading an effort to bring relief to those suffering from the many trials Orissa has been facing over the past months. As you will read, the situation is now becoming dire, not only because of the persecution and communal violence that has racked the state, but also because of the monsoon rains and an impending cyclone.