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Three Arrested as Mumbai Struggles to Recover from Train Bombing

Hopegivers Leader Faces Surgeries, High Expenses

Contact: Bill Bray, 706-323-4673, bbray@hopegivers.org; Alex Coffin, 704-364-2942, alexcoffin@mindspring.com

MUMBAI, India, July 24 /Christian Newswire/ -- Three men have been arrested in connection with the Mumbai (formerly Bombay) train bombings that killed 207 and injured more than 900 July 11.

Reports indicate hundreds of others have been detained in the bombing, believed to be carried out by Muslim extremists.

The carnage had a direct effect on Hopegivers International’s local Emmanuel Ministry, said Executive Director Michael Glenn. "One of our board members, P.C. Varghese, was on one of the trains and was seriously injured. In fact, he was the only one to survive the blast inside his car.”

“Even death didn’t want me,” Varghese said jokingly from his hospital bed.

“Mr. Varghese faces months of surgeries and rehabilitation. He does have a wife and two daughters to care for, so we've kind of adopted the family," Glenn said. “He'll need at least $5,000 to cover his expenses.”

Hopegivers Pastor A.M. Mathew, head of the Bombay Street Child Outreach in nearby Vasai, was able to help transport the dead and injured immediately after the blast. So far, the ministry has provided emergency relief totaling $15,000, a huge amount of money in a country where the average Hopegivers staff member lives on less than $30 a month. In addition, a Hopegivers blood drive resulted in 250 units of blood being supplied. The Emmanuel school and church assembly hall was filled with the wounded.

Glenn says that initial assistance has opened the door for an on-going outreach. "We're going back there on a daily basis to assist those who are still hurt or experienced damage, and just to help clean up," Glenn said.

Hopegivers’ Mumbai outreach ministry targets the thousands of street children who live in or frequent the train stations along the tracks where the bombs went off.

Glenn said this outreach is having even more impact now.

"We're not coming there just to preach the Gospel, but to meet their basic needs. They see us as ‘Good Samaritans.’ So we're able to communicate Christ's love in a way that has a long term effect," he said.

“In this age of growing religious hatred and violence, God has called Hopegivers to respond with help and hope in disaster and terror relief situations.”

"We grieve with Mumbai’s residents during this difficult time. And we pledge to be there as long as we can and do everything possible to help with the recovery and rehabilitation efforts," says Glenn.

Hopegivers International is a faith-based, not-for-profit humanitarian agency that cares for more than 20,000 at-risk children, primarily in Africa, India and Haiti. Founded in 1960 and based in Columbus, Ga., the mission exists to rescue abandoned orphans, widows, sick and needy people, regardless of race, social class or religion.