Although the Alliance of Indian Ministries (AIM*) is still relatively new, its commitment to both local and regional aid has already been proven even in its previous identity as the Indian Christian Network. This was clearly demonstrated in the aftermath of the deadly South Asian floods in 2017 that took place from June to September.
In just three months, more than 45 million people were affected by the monsoon flooding. Rural villages with poor infrastructure were hit the hardest. It was one of the worst monsoon seasons in recent years—buried homes and submerged cultivated fields were a common sight as the extent of the destruction gradually came to light.
With many of those affected unable to get by on a daily basis, let alone even begin to think about rebuilding the livelihoods they had lost, AIM—along with the Bible Society of Singapore (BSS) and with the approval from the Commissioner of Charities—helped raise funds for victims in three of the affected countries: India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. The money was used to purchase daily necessities that they were sorely lacking.
Rev Samuel Gift Stephen, Chairman of AIM, recounted how the ministry was able to tap into its extensive network to maximise its relief efforts. "Many of the AIM churches rallied and were activated to send clothes and food rations to India and Sri Lanka," he explained. Apart from daily necessities, Bibles and school supplies were also distributed. Amazingly, one of the requests from a particular Sri Lankan village was to replace their Bibles that were lost in the flood! In total, BSS and AIM jointly gave US$60,000 to the victims.
It is incredibly encouraging to witness our different Indian Christian communities come together to lend their support to fellow Indians beyond Singapore's shores, and we pray that as AIM continues to grow, it will have an even greater impact and presence in the region as a conduit of God's love and hope.
*AIM is a ministry of The Bible Society of Singapore