On July 28, participants from Global Trek, a global missions ministry within InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, teamed up with the Salvation Army to distribute food to flood victims outside Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Jacob Crase, a second-year student at the University of Wisconsin stationed participating in Global Trek in Dhaka, cited reports that say 60% of Bangledesh is covered in water from the flood.
Crase along with other members went to a village of 50 people outside Dhaka to hand out emergency food supplied.
Each family received a bag of rice with gur (sugarcane product) and chiru (ready-to-eat rice), a bottle of water, as well as ORSaline (oral saline solution - for diarrhea) packets, and if they had a little baby they also were given powdered milk and surgi (porridge), reported Crase in his an online Trek journal documenting the team’s efforts.
“I am sure in two days they will be starving again, but these people are living day to day and were very happy for the food they received,” wrote Crase.
According to Chase, two other Trek students, Dennis Kim, a second-year student at California State University in Sacramento, Ca., and Ben Wood, a third-year student at University of Wisconsin, went door to door wading in waist deep water passing out food.
The team did more than offer physical food.
Before Kim and Wood distributed the food “the Salvation Army workers preached a message of salvation from their boat as a crowd from the Hindu community gathered,” said Crase.
During the day, Crase also joined up with Director of Team Dhaka, John Jordens, to give food to 240 families who were taking refuge in a 24 room school and two more villages.
The Dhaka team gave food to about 800 families, who will later in the week receive medical supplies from the Salvation Army.
Crase asks that people pray for all the flood victims in Bangladesh and that the relief crews would meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people they meet.
Citing reports, Crase wrote about the dire situation, “The toll reached 400 people today, and 30 million have been left homeless, while the monsoon rains continue.”
Rachel Clodfelter, a senior at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, saw pictures from the team’s trip on July 29 and said in shock, “These are fellow human beings! These are brothers and sisters - they are family - and they have NOTHING! And now the flood has wiped out everything. The desperation, the helplessness, the hopelessness! I can't take it - it feels like my heart is being ripped from my chest and dropped down a never ending well.”
Clodfelter expressed her feelings also on the online journal, saying, “It seems so hopeless. And I see no light at the end of the tunnel. Will things ever become fair? Is there no justice this side of heaven? Lord, I am in the weeping room and my only comfort is that you are here, weeping with me.”
“And Lord, if my heart is breaking this much - how much is yours?” she wrote. However, she concluded, “This is not what you intended.”
Global Trek teams are stationed in nine cities this year, including Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Bangkok, Thailand; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cairo, Egypt (Mokattam); Cairo, Egypt (Sudanese); Calcutta, India; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Manila, Philippines; and Mexico City, Mexico.