"And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work." - Nehemiah 2:18
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average sustained wind speed within a hurricane or cyclone is measured to be anywhere from 74-156+ miles per hour. Just to put this into perspective, it only takes a sustained wind speed of around 30 miles per hour to nearly knock you to the ground. Anything above 30 miles per hour begins to cause isolated to severe damage to property. The least severe cyclone clocks in at 74 miles per hour, which is over twice as fast as 30 miles per hour. Basic math indicates a whole lot of damage occurring from even the smallest cyclones.
In many countries all over the world, cyclones and hurricanes are an annual to bi-annual occasion. India, for example, bares the brute force of severe cyclonic activity every November and every May, almost like clock-work. You might think that precautions and preparations would be in place by now after experiencing so many storms time and time again, but you must also remember that many regions in India are still considered "third-world" or "developing." And quite frankly, it doesn't matter how much money or time a country may have if the wind is strong enough.
To make matters worse, cyclones and hurricanes are more than just wind. They also include massive amounts of rain. So, to imagine a scenario, the incredibly strong winds will blow your roof off. Then, the storm will dump unimaginable amounts of water onto your head. This is exactly what happened to 5 partner churches of IDES in India.
"These Church buildings were damaged and destroyed by the past cyclones and heavy rains in the past time. Some of these started rebuilding with their little amount of contributions and they need help to complete the re-construct the Church buildings," one pastor reported.
IDES was blessed with the opportunity to help fund these churches' rebuilding processes.
Like Nehemiah leading the newly-freed Israelites in reconstructing the broken wall around Jerusalem, our partners went straight to work together as brothers and sisters in Christ. They cleared rubble, erected new walls, and constructed stable roofs. Sweat and tears were poured into each structure, and the glimmer of hope that was washed away in the storm began to reappear.
"We are living so remote area and no one help us so far and we are so thankful for you for the help to reconstruct our Church building and pray for finishing works of the building,” said the pastor of one of the churches.
Unfortunately, the rebuilding process can take much more time than the destroying process does. So, there is work yet to be done; however, you can be a part of the restoration. You can make a difference in the lives of these Church families, and many others like them all over the world after times of disaster. Whether you choose to donate to IDES Disaster Response fund, or you choose to commit to pray for those who are suffering in the world right now, or you choose to do BOTH--please know that your support is vitally important. God can take your time, your talent, your resources--anything, really--and He can multiply them to meet the needs of many people in Jesus' name.
"No one recognize us in this area to help and now IDES has helped when we were hit by big cyclone and also helped to rebuild the Church building and we work in the Tribal agency areas where there is no streets or road to reach these Tribal people," another pastor said.
May quotes like these be multiplied. May the number of Jesus-followers be multiplied. May the number of churches be multiplied. May we work and pray with all of our might alongside our Heavenly Father to bring hope to the hopeless. Friends, we have work to do.
Let us rise up and build!
"Tropical Cyclone Winds and Energy." NOAA. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 13 Apr. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.