Tsunami kills thousands, but grows the church

By July 22, 2005

India (MNN) — The first 40 foot wave took the lives of many and destroyed homes and livelihoods. The second wave, measuring about 60 feet, killed even more and destroyed what was left along the shore. As word of the tsunami spread, Gospel For Asia went into action to provide food, water, clothing, and much more importantly, the love of Christ.

Brother Ebenezer is Gospel for Asia’s Head Overseer, who challenged the church to reach out during this time of calamity by providing food, water, clothing and now boats to help fishermen get back on their feet. “They do understand that they receive this in the Name of Jesus. Christians are responding to a need. That is being understood more than anything in this place, which used to be a trouble spot.” He says communal riots used to be common, but now peace and cooperation has taken over.

Gospel for Asia’s District Overseer, Pastor Sam, says the local church is responding not only by providing new boats to fishermen who lost everything, but the local pastor is responding with something else. “He is conducting special counseling meetings for the tsunami victims. For that he has arraigned an auditorium. Every Sunday evening he is gathering hundreds of people together, giving (comforting) messages from the Bible to them. He’s offered special prayer for them.”

According to Pastor Sam, the people have responded. “In 10 different places, (we) were able to establish fellowships. In 10 different places we have worship services now. These fellowship groups are going to be very strong churches in the near future.”

Pray for the 800 Gospel for Asia workers who are working in the state of Tamil Nadu. Pray that they’ll be bold in their faith in the midst of persecution. Pray, too, that as they share Christ’s love through their tsunami relief work, that many of the victims will begin to understand Christ’s love for them.

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