To: The Partner Churches, Prayer Partners, friends and Well Wishers,
Greetings. Thanks for your love, concern, prayers , email, telephones and letters to us in this time of grief sorrow and tragedy. On behalf of Gujarat Diocese and people of our state I say my heartfelt thanks to you. As you know through the media the situation of Gujarat is worst and beyond our description and estimate. I was in Gandhidham on the day Earthquake struck to our state. Rev. Nicholas G.Parmar the Secretary of the Bible Society and my self have seen the situation and got the first hand information. Bhuj, Anjar, Gandhidham, Jamnagar, Morbi, Rajkot, Surendranagar, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara and Ahmedabad are the affected areas.Bhuj, Gandhidham, Morbi, Jamnagar and Ahmedabad are the most affected areas. More than 90 % buildings are collapsed in Bhuj, Anjar, Gandhidham and the surrounding villages. Some of the villages and small towns are 100 % destroyed.It is very difficult to say how many people have been died but it is sure that the causality is very high. Those who have survived are left without any help and without anything with them.
People are in fear, anxiety and disappointment. In Ahmedabad about 100 high-rise buildings have been damaged. All the high rise building are vacated and people are staying outside the flats either on roads or in a open ground. Many have lost their properties and their houses. In Bhuj, Anjar, Gandhidjam , Bhachau and Jamnagar we have families. All Christian members are safe but they have lost their houses. It is a miracle that all the surrounding buildings of our Church in Gandhidham have collapsed but our Church and Parsonage have survived. The relief work is been operated from a building in Gandhidham which miraculously have been only partially damaged.
In Bhuj the Church has been damaged. The Christian families have lost their properties and houses but they have survived. From tomorrow I am hoping to visit Gandhidham, Anjar, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Surendranagar, Bhuj and Porbandar. So far I know 4 Christian people have died. Two in Gandhidham belonging to Pentecostal Church and two in Ahmedabad ( One girl of 8 years old belonging to Methodist Church & one girl of 16 years old belonging to CNI. ). Some are very badly injured but we fear that there will be many more in Bhuj. I have not received any figure from Roman Catholic Church.
After returning from Gandhidham, immediately I called an emergency meeting of our Pastors, leaders of Ahmedabad Area and ,local Executive Committee members. We have decided that the CNI must start immediate relief work and also encourage other Christian Institutions like CASA and Christian people to work together and bring all Christian relief agencies together so that we may be more effective and serve needy people in better way. The need is so great and we had decided to take up the following relief work:
We are also encouraging the congregations to raise the funds. The demand is so high that in comparison to the need the fund from us will not be enough. so we invite our Partner churches, Prayer partners and well wishers to join with us in the relief ministry and request you to pray for us and send your generous donation under the following name. You may also send food, medicines, blankets etc.
A/c Name: Church of North India, Gujarat Diocesan Council.
A/c No: 1821
Name : Indian Overseas Bank, Ashram Road Branch, Ahmedabad : 9
Kindly uphold the people of Gujarat in this natural catastrophe.
Rt Revd V M Malaviya
Bishop of Gujarat