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Feeding the thousands: the pastor who became a lifeline to his storm-battered community

Pastor Martin and his church have been able to help thousands of people who have been affected by disasters.

Written by Agnes McGrane | 10 Dec 2021

Credit: Shahadat Hossain/Tearfund

Everyone in Pastor Martin’s community is painfully aware of the climate crisis. Their village on the coast of Bangladesh has been suffering from an increasing number of extreme storms. But Pastor Martin is helping his community take steps towards a better future.

‘A simple storm can bring huge suffering and loss to this community,’ shares Pastor Martin. ‘Every time disaster strikes, people lose their possessions and they need to evacuate to temporary shelters.

‘The vulnerable, the elderly and children suffer the most. People also lose their crops so they no longer have food to put on the table.’ 

Equipped to lead

Pastor Martin has been doing his best to support those around him during times of crisis. And when Tearfund’s local partner, World Concern Bangladesh, offered him training on how to prepare for disasters and lead disaster response efforts, he welcomed the opportunity.

Equipped by what he had learned on the training, Pastor Martin set up a community group to practically prepare for and respond to disasters.

Frequent disasters can crush morale, but Pastor Martin is inspiring and encouraging people in his community to work together to overcome challenges.

Supporting tens of thousands 

During recent floods, Pastor Martin and his community group pooled their resources to help the most vulnerable, delivering food and essential supplies.

And this support extended far beyond their community, reaching eight local villages and about 10,000 people.

Pastor Martin’s church has now become a hub of support. Our local partner even helped to renovate the church building, so that it can be used as a shelter during cyclones and other disasters.

‘I am so thankful,’ says Pastor Martin. ‘Please pray for us so that we will be able to overcome all our problems.’

Pray with us

    • Thank God for Pastor Martin and his dedication to leading and serving his community. Ask that he will be strengthened and encouraged.
    • Pray for communities that are vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis. Ask that more people will get the support they need to limit the damage caused by extreme weather.
    • Pray that world leaders will keep their commitments made at COP26 to take action to tackle the climate crisis and offer support to people living in poverty. 

Find out more about Tearfund’s Christmas Appeal and how you can support communities around the world, like Pastor Martin’s, as they face up to to the climate crisis.

Written by

Written by  Agnes McGrane

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