Sylhet Seeks Disaster Relief as Kalboishakhi Batters Bangladesh

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Disaster Relief, Global Strategy

By Carl Stagner

Unfamiliar syllables and alternate spellings challenge the native English tongue to pronounce the word Kalboishakhi correctly, but the need to take seriously the annual season of brutal winds and torrential rains is clear in any language. Parts of Bangladesh and India face late-afternoon and early-evening thunderstorms as the monsoon establishes itself in the region; often these calamitous meteorological events pop up in minutes, catching residents off-guard and leaving widespread damage—and too often, death—behind. One such storm on April 20 caused severe damage to a primary office building of the Church of God in Sylhet, in addition to homes belonging to Church of God families. Though assessments and restoration are ongoing processes, the Church of God in the United States and Canada was, yet again, positioned to respond swiftly with initial disaster relief.

Storm damage to the roof of the office building.

While locals are somewhat used to the uncertainty of the weather, especially in this season, they referred to the severity of the April 20 storms as “unexpected.” “In the blink of an eye, the main office room, guest house, some pillars, [and] all electric wire connections [were] damaged,” a report outlined. The report also noted that roof damage exposed office supplies like the computer and printer, lights and fans, and other necessary documents to the adverse conditions. The Lumdonbok Mission Center of the Church of God serves as a spiritual light in the region, but after this storm, they needed light from other sources to extinguish the darkness. Disaster Relief funds were sent to empower the Church of God people living at the mission to replace the office building roof, restore other damaged homes and infrastructures, and fortify the mission for better protection in future storms. Thank God for donors who support Church of God Disaster Relief, readying the Church of God for rapid response when disasters strike.

…in the midst of reconstruction!

As a result of funds disbursed, the Church of God in Sylhet has already been able to complete immediate repairs to the roof and wiring, as well as replace damaged furnishings and technological infrastructure.

Staff gathered for worship and devotion.

Church of God Disaster Relief sees the opportunity not only to respond reactively, but proactively to global disasters. In Bangladesh, the Church of God recognizes the advantage of reenforcing and strengthening existing structures that could be at risk amid future severe weather. The generosity of the Church of God enables this kind of loving, strategic response.

Food and fellowship mark their celebration post-reconstruction.

Lovely Suchiang offers leadership of the Church of God Sylhet and, in light of the April disaster, has updated the Church of God movement on developments in short order. “We are evermore grateful to Global Strategy,” she writes, “for immediately standing by our hazard and extending a helping hand to deal with all the damages. Thank you for your love and support.”

To come alongside the Church of God in Sylhet, Bangladesh, donations can be made to Church of God Ministries Disaster Relief. 100 percent of your donation goes to assist our brothers and sisters suffering from the Kalboishakhi storm, as well as other Church of God communities affected by disasters globally. Click here to read more: CGM Current Disaster Responses.

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