Disaster Relief Organizations

What Is a Disaster Relief Volunteer?

A disaster relief volunteer is a person moved by compassion to help those who have been and are being affected by natural disasters around the world. GFA World is made up of people who fully embody this description, and we go above and beyond to assist the less fortunate in these times of crisis.

During extreme flooding in Sri Lanka, which occurred in 2017, GFA’s founder, K.P. Yohannan (Metropolitan Yohan), delivered supplies to the families affected by the floods and resulting landslides. He and other GFA missionaries collaborated with religious leaders from a Buddhist monastery. Their combined efforts provided 250 families with dry ration kits, containing food and supplies to sustain them as they got back on their feet.

“In all these situations, there was one question the local people kept asking us: ‘Why are we doing this?’ Our answer always remains the same: It is because of the love of Christ,” Yohannan said.[1]

This was a great testament of God to the Buddhists, who were impressed that GFA was so willing to jump in and help, showing how God’s love transcends cultural boundaries.

“This is the first time a Christian religious leader has comes [here],” the Buddhist leader of the monastery said, “[They have] helped the really needy people of our village who greatly suffered due to the flood crisis in this area. This shows that there is no division of race, cast or religion, and everyone can join together as one to help.”[2]

Even though our churches and pastors were being threatened by the flooding themselves, GFA was still working to help those around them in Sri Lanka. One GFA missionary, Vidu, reported, “Nobody can think of anything else other than going to safe places.”[3]Despite that, GFA was already making plans to clean up and help the survivors after the flood waters receded.

Our missionaries are some of the frontline workers when it comes to natural disasters. Our volunteers not only provide immediate relief in the wake of disasters; we continue investing in families and communities long after the devastation. GFA works for long-term solutions by helping rebuild homes, ensuring children get back to school and providing income-generating gifts to the most affected families, allowing them to get back on their feet.[4] These steps help break the cycle of poverty, which natural disasters make even more inescapable. These events tend to affect the poorest countries of the world the most dramatically—as they have little infrastructure in place to respond to or prevent them[5]—thus, GFA’s poverty-combatting measures are even more vital.

Consider joining GFA’s efforts to address the impact of natural disasters on the impoverished of the world. Even something little can make a huge difference for these people who have lost everything. Also, please pray for ongoing relief efforts and those involved.

Learn more about GFA and disaster relief organizations

[1] “GFA Founder Visits Monastery to Provide Flood Relief Supplies.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/compassion-services/disaster-flood-relief/srilanka/. September 7, 2017.
[2] Ibid.
[3] “Relief Workers Wait Anxiously While Death Toll Climbs in Sri Lanka Flooding.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/compassion-services/disaster-flood-relief/srilanka/. May 30, 2017.
[4] “Disaster Relief Work.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/compassion-services/disaster-flood-relief/. Accessed October 25, 2022.
[5] Ritchie, Hannah & Roser, Max. “Natural Disasters.” Our World in Data. https://ourworldindata.org/natural-disasters. November 2021.