With all the focus on the humanitarian disaster in Pakistan (terrible floods, disease, famine) there is an equally devastating one occurring in a little-known part of the world. Ladakh is a tiny region in northern India surrounded by the Himalayan Mountain range, on the border of Pakistan and China. The region receives less than 2 inches of rain per year. It is high, dry, peaceful, and nothing much ever happens. Until last week.
Did you get that snippet of an interesting fact? An arid region that receives less than 2 inches of rain per year, was devastated by a sudden flood. The birth pangs of the last days (Mark 13:8) are increasing just as Jesus said they would. I agree, a flood here or there does not mean the world is ending. But disaster after disaster, more of them than ever, and disasters of unusual aspect like arid regions getting floods, IS a sign of the last days. Read this first-hand account:
India’s Himalayas Battered by Rare Floods in Ladakh
“While the devastating floods in Pakistan continue to make the headlines, torrents have leveled a region of northern India that usually gets less than two inches of rain a year. The famous trekking destination of Ladakh, located in the Himalayan Mountains between Pakistan and Tibet, suffered a heavy death toll and extensive damage early this month when the normally arid desert area was hit by unexpected and violent storms for days. In a place where even a few raindrops are extremely rare and houses are flat-roofed and built with clay, the storms has caused the worst natural disaster in the region’s history.”
Rescuers said the mud was about 15 feet high in some places.
‘Ladakh turned on its people’
An eyewitness account of the floods
In the far north of India, beyond Delhi, Shimla and Dharamshala, lies a remote little region called Ladakh. Sandwiched between Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the imposing hilly state of Himachal Pradesh, its strategic importance is undeniable. Its proximity to constantly conflicted Kashmir makes it an important military hub. But first and foremost, Ladakh is a cultural treasure trove showcasing the way a people – Buddhists, Muslims, Aryans, Mongols and others thrown together in a distinctly central Asian mix – can survive and even flourish in one of the most challenging, isolated regions in the world, a veritable high-altitude desert. August is peak tourist season in Ladakh, about 280 miles (450 kilometers) east of Srinagar. It is a high-altitude desert with a stark moonscape-like terrain, and normally received very little rain.”
“But last week, the land of Ladakh raged and turned on its people. Nature changed its course, cloudbursts brought flash floods, mudslides and avalanches to this usually peaceful region. Over a thousand were declared missing, hundreds feared dead. In Ladakh’s only “big city,” Leh, the damage was devastating. Outside of Leh, it was bound to be worse Between June and September, when the snow melts and the roads open, Leh is a top tourist destination. Hundreds of backpackers and trekking aficionados pour in from countries all over the map, from South Korea to Canada to Israel, and from India’s 26 states.
To supply these tourists with hot running water, electricity and continental food means stretching Leh’s already shoddy infrastructure to the limit and playing host to hundreds of Kashmiri traders eager to make a quick buck away from their troubled native land. And so it goes every summer – but not when nature strikes.
When nature strikes, when Leh is buried under mud, backpackers roam the streets at a loss for words. Stranded, they drift toward the areas that suffered the brunt of the damage, watching in awe as the local men, women and children energetically lift stone after stone and log after log, plunging their shovels into the hard, dry mud. An old woman passes a heavy rock to her grandchild, who passes it to a Kashmiri, who passes it to a tourist from France, Germany, Spain, Poland, New Delhi – and, yes, Israel.”
“The people of Ladakh are not typical Indians. Ethnically, they are not really Indians at all – most are Tibetan Buddhists, and indeed, Ladakh shares a border with Chinese-occupied Tibet. The Dalai Lama, in exile in popular backpacker destination Dharamshala, occasionally visits Ladakh, and his face can be seen on everything from temple altars to buses to trucks. But Ladakh is not Tibet. It was an independent mountain kingdom for several centuries, occupying an important position on the silk route and on the crossroads between the Himalayas and the Karakorum mountains. Its people, over the course of more than a dozen centuries, developed a unique identity and culture and grew into a hardy, resilient people. They developed different uses for everything, from the barley they grew to their animals’ excrement. They survived on salty yak butter tea, spun voluminous sheep’s-wool clothes and adhered to the principles of Buddhism.”
“In Chonglamsar, a Tibetan refugee camp 5 kilometers away from Leh, the devastation is so complete that it almost appears as though the village has always been buried under mud. Cars can be seen sitting stationary half inside, half outside the mire; shop facades are squashed and slanted, leaning down. Women stand on little islands of caked mud, digging into it with sticks to unearth stones with religious inscriptions carved onto them. The people and possessions will be dealt with later on, when the mud hardens enough for the army to bring in its heavy machinery.”
I still can’t get over the suddenly erupting volcano in Indonesia, which had lain dormant for 400 years; the floods in Pakistan displacing 20 million- the same as the population of Texas. The train of hurricanes in the Atlantic and Earl bearing down on the US. And this flood in the High Himalayas where even a few raindrops are cause for wonder and celebration. What will God do next? It is all for the cause to show His power and our helplessness in the face of our unrepentant sin. Will you repent today? Turn from your sins, asking Jesus to forgive them? And you will be standing on this side of the dividing line, awe-struck at God’s power, rather than scratching your head at the scientific perplexities of a world undergoing “climate change”. The climate IS changing, but it is a spiritual change, changing toward sin and away from God. Make no mistake, there IS a dividing line, and you DO want to be on this side of it, the forgiven sin side.
|Estimates are that about 80% of the region’s infrastructure is partially or totally destroyed.|
You can escape all these things: if you are forgiven of your sins when the Rapture comes, you will be removed from the world to be sequestered as Jesus’s bride in heaven while the world undergoes the worst tribulation that it has ever seen. (Matthew 24:21) Repent NOW.