Many of the projects that IDES and our partners begin following a crisis can take months to complete. At first, this may seem daunting. But by the grace and provision of God, and by the perseverance of our partners, lives are radically changed in the long-term. Hope is made possible -- it just takes time.
Such is the case with our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh following Cyclone Mora last summer. Not only did the cyclone destroy hundreds of poor, farming-families' and refugee families' homes, but also two serious circumstances frustrated the recovery process. However, IDES' partners did not give up.
"Bangladesh is rapidly developing in agriculture, road communication and technology since five years ago. But, the Hill Tracts area where most of the inhabitants are known as tribal, many of them are still living as a primitive life," IDES' mission partner reported. "No TV and radio are available in most of the remote jungle villages. So the villagers did not know about the weather forecast through TV and radio."
In May of 2017, Cyclone Mora slammed into the nation for four excruciating hours. The heavy rain continued to pour for two whole days. As said before, hundreds of families's homes were completely destroyed. These families included not only Bangladeshi farmers, but also Rohingya Muslim families who had recently fled neighboring Myanmar due to severe persecution. Several people even lost their lives.
To say the least, these families were already impoverished. The cyclone destroyed nearly everything they had left.
Just when you might think the story could not be more tragic, the following circumstances arose.
While we gave thanks to God, hearing that IDES had approved the [grant] proposal to help cyclone victims, the Bangladesh government [suddenly] banned foreign currency remittance that blocked receiving the IDES project funds for six months," our partner lamented.
Due to the government's decision, its own people were not able to benefit from disaster response and recovery efforts. For six months, these families barely survived, many living in make-shift shelters. Finally, the remittance was ended, and your generous gifts were finally able to be received by our local partners in Bangladesh. But, the process was still difficult.
"Having received the IDES project funds, we also faced another problem on road transportation. [The main] road was broken due to landslide," our partner said. "As soon as road transportation access was available we could send tin sheets by 4WD jeep to the affected areas. Finally, we could distribute wood and tin Sheets for the people who houses were completely destroyed."
Praise God, help was finally a reality. Local ministers actively distributed the tin sheets, wood, and other building materials. Local church members, many of whom also lost their homes, actively engaged the surrounding community.
"All the families who received the IDES help gave thanks to God, the IDES organization and our local ministries. Knowing God’s love for the world through our Lord Jesus Christ, two persons even received Christ as their personal savior and were baptized by their local pastor," our partner reported.
The road to full recovery is long, especially considering the influx of refugee families from neighboring Myanmar. But, thanks to your love, these families in Bangladesh are one step closer to normalcy.
Thank you for making hope possible!