Churches devastated by tsunami in Sri Lanka

By December 29, 2004

Sri Lanka (MNN) — While relief aid is flooding into East Asia in the aftermath of the earthquake induced tsunami, Christians are beginning to feel the incredible impact of the devastation.

Back to the Bible, a worldwide Christian ministry dedicated to leading people into a dynamic relationship with God, has an office in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Back to the Bible’s James Kanaganayagam says while his staff has escaped the wall of water, many churches were directly in the path. “Most churches in the provinces are in coastal areas. And, this tidal wave occurred on Sunday morning while many were in church. Many have been killed within the church premises itself, mainly children and old people and women.”

1.5 million people have been displaced in Sri Lanka. The need for food, water and medical supplies is great.

Kanaganayagam says this disaster has been difficult for him personally. “When things happen like this to people you know, it has really depressed us. The good thing is many people have come together, churches (have) united in Colombo and other cities to help the churches that have been affected in these coastal areas.”

The Lord spared Kanaganayagam from this tragedy. He was planning to vacation in an area hard hit by the tsunami in the southern tip of Sri Lanka on the 26th. “As we were getting ready to leave, we heard about this incident that had occurred about a hour earlier. Had we left earlier we would have been swept off the road or had we (gotten) to the place we were going to we either would have gone missing or dead.”

Back to the Bible is raising $400,000 to help those in need. Kanaganayagam is hoping it will allow them to share the Gospel. “We’ll trust that God will turn the hearts of people in this situation, make it softer, so that they will believe and accept the Gospel as well as the truth of the word of God.”

To donate to Back to the Bible’s relief effort go to their website, or call 402-464-7200.

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