I’ve been highlighting India Rural Evangelical Fellowship (IREF) for the past few weeks, and I just received this tragic news from them, which I wanted to pass along to all you WND readers.

Last week, a horrific fire broke out in a nearby village, gutting over 400 homes. This tragedy has rendered over 2,000 people homeless in Konaseema, Andhra Pradesh. Started by some celebratory fireworks, the fire overtook the homes (mostly thatched roofs) and made it impossible to retrieve belongings.

This has become the temporary home for a family.

By the grace of God, no one was hurt, but local officials have estimated that it caused approximately $1 million in damages.

IREF has always been involved in emergency relief, from the tsunami of 2004 to flood victims a couple years back to any other major catastrophe in the area. That said, IREF already has a pastor in the village, and they mobilized others to the area within hours.  These folks have been doing their best to assist already by providing temporary housing in IREF churches, but they’re also hoping to raise $10,000 to help provide the basics: groceries, cooking utensils, rice and clothing.

The entire area has been demolished by the blaze.

I can’t tell you how devastating a house fire is. When I was in grade school, my family lost our entire home in a fire. We literally lost everything but the clothes on our back. And we will never forget those who lent a helping hand.

Now is your chance to lend a helping hand to folks on the other side of the world, who are in desperate need of your help. Here’s more info on how you can help.

And please believe any amount you’re able to donate will be greatly appreciated. Note: when using PayPal or JustGive, be sure to designate your donation as “FIRE RELIEF.” Checks can be sent to:

India Rural Evangelical Fellowship

P.O. Box 65

White Lake, WI 54491-0065

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About the Author: Stephen Crane is a year-long fellow with World Next Door. He has a bachelor's degree in theology from Calvin College and a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University. He has a passion for overlooked places and people and would snowboard at all times if it were possible!

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