KHULNA, BANGLADESH (WGN)- Christians were hurt, and one was killed by the cyclone that hit the country. Houses, church buildings and crops were damaged or destroyed. The Christian killed was from the Shikarpur church.
High-powered Cyclone Sidr came from the Bay of Bengal and hit Bangladesh to cause death and devastation Nov. 15, as 15-foot-high waves battered the country’s sealine.
According to a Nov. 19 report by Disaster News Network, estimates are that from 10 to 15 thousand have died.
Michael E. Brooks, missions minister of the Highland Park church in Muscle Shoals, Ala., received the following letter from Ibon Halder, Assistant Director of the Khulna Bible College.
“November 20, 2007
“Here is the report on Cyclone damage. Luther is back from Kalmegha. I am also back from Jalabari. There are more than 2500 dead until today (Nov 20) and more discovered every day.
- “Shikarpur & Kalabaria Church: All the members’ houses and trees are on ground and no rice on the field. Church building destroyed.
- “Rajapur Church: Members’ houses and trees are on the ground and no rice on the field. Swapon’s house also broken. (Note: Swapon Guarami is the preacher in Rajapur.)*
- “Barnard Biswas’ land in Rajapur has trees blown down and rice crop destroyed. (Barnard is from Rajapur, living and working now in Barisal City.)
- “Dasher Khanda: Protap’s house broken, trees and crops destroyed, two of the member’s home destroyed. Church building destroyed. (Note: Protap is the preacher in Dasher Kanda).
- “Kataltala Church: Trees and crops destroyed, three of the member’s home destroyed. Church building destroyed.
- Laudov Church: Trees and crops destroyed, all the member’s houses destroyed. Church building little damaged.
- Vorosapur Church: Trees and crops destroyed; no damage on Church building.
- Lakhanpur Church: Trees and crops destroyed.
- Ophapur Church: Trees and crops destroyed.
- Kalachandpur Church (in Dhaka): One of member’s home in the village completely destroyed. Thomas’s house in the village also destroyed. He also lost the entire paper document for land and other important papers. (Thomas Sarkar is the preacher at Kalachandpur. This is his parents’ / family home in rural Bangladesh).
- Jalabari Church; my parent’s house is under a big tree. It pulled out from the root and fell over our house and smashed it. It is repairable and none is hurt but my uncle’s house beside our house was blown down. A tree fell on his house and he was inside the house. Clive (Ibon’s brother) pulled him out and he was bruised and cut seriously. Another uncle by the lake also same and my aunt was in there were under the house, also Clive pulled her out from under the house after house collapsed. She also was hurt seriously and injured. My grandmother’s house was also torn apart. She is all right. In there thousands of trees were pulled out from the root and thrown afar. Other people who are in my village are suffering seriously; like Litton’s parent’s house blown and taken far away. Litton’s uncle was coming out of his house and a tin from his roof blown out and thrown into his neck from behind and cut his neck. He died this morning. Litton went home for burial for his uncle in Jalabari. (Note: Litton is a security guard at Khulna Bible College.)
“The major force of the cyclone attacked in Barguna, Pathorghata, Jalokati, Swarupkati, Pirojpur, Barisal and Faridpur. Khulna is not as bad as the other places. (Note: However, Khulna also suffered much damage including loss of electrical power, building damage and personal injuries.)
“Ibon Philip Halder
“Assistant Director, Khulna Bible College”
* Notes in parentheses are made by Michael E. Brooks
In response to this news, Brooks sent out the following request for help Nov. 21.
“November 21, 2007
“To Christians Concerned for Bangladesh Storm Victims
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“You have no doubt heard of the devastating cyclone that hit Bangladesh on November 15. With winds up to 150 mph this storm has destroyed many thousands of homes and killed over 3,500 people. Many Christian families were injured and their property was damaged or destroyed. The major rice crop of the year was also greatly damaged, with expected food shortages in the near future.
“Government and charitable organizations are already responding to the great needs in Bangladesh. However, because of the millions of victims and the fact that Bangladesh is a majority Islamic nation, many members of the Churches of Christ may not receive sufficient assistance through these sources.
“We have already heard from Ibon Halder and other preachers and contacts in Bangladesh. I am enclosing a copy of a report he has given on the damage that he observed in the area near Khulna (southwest portion of Bangladesh). This is only a small part of the total picture.
“Many of our congregations were severely affected. In addition to bodily injuries and at least one death, many homes are completely lost and several church buildings were destroyed. The Lord’s people are suffering greatly.
“The elders of Highland Park Church of Christ are asking our members to give generously to bring relief for our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh. We also will give from our budgeted funds. Additionally we are organizing members of the Church there to administer these funds so that they reach those who are in greatest need.
“We are inviting you to join with us in showing Christian love and support to these storm victims. If you or your congregation wish to be a part of this effort please notify us, or send funds to Highland Park Church of Christ, P.O. Box 2216, Muscle Shoals, AL 35662.
“Please mark your checks ‘Bangladesh Cyclone Relief Fund.’ If you have questions please call 256-381-8311 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
“Please pray for all those suffering from the cyclone in Bangladesh, and especially for our Christian brothers and sisters. Thank you,
“Michael E. Brooks
“Minister of Missions and Evangelism
“Highland Park Church of Christ”