An encouraging day
In January 2005 I travelled here to Thailand to see how Lutheran Church-Canada could assist the Takuapa Sahatay Lutheran Church with its relief efforts. At that time, I witnessed the unbridled power of nature and the raw emotion of a natural disaster. Entire villages wiped out; families looking for missing members by viewing photographs of bodies or parts of bodies; fisherman wondering how they would ever support their families again because the water had destroyed their boats; children realizing their mother, father and siblings were gone forever; survivors crammed into make-shift camps not knowing where they would live.
We toured the tsunami areas today, four years later. What a difference. The refugee camps are vacated, gone or replaced by permanent housing; survivors live in new homes, many built by the King of Thailand and his family’s charitable foundations as well as agencies such as Rotary International and World Vision. The fishing industry is thriving thanks to gifts from Lutheran Church-Canada and others who helped build new boats. Memorial parks have sprung up in memory of those who perished. One of the orphans Lutheran Church–Canada helped now operates her own business. And best of all, many of those who received practical help from the local Lutheran Church continue attending worship services.
This is a good news day. The Lord took a terrible tragedy and provided opportunities for people around the world to share their resources and bring about lasting blessings, the best of all, the proclamation of His Word to people who needed the message of hope found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.