“You Have Given Us Hope”

A year after the tsunami in Southeast Asia, hope has been reborn 
By a CAMA worker 
The December 26, 2004, tsunami unleashed massive devastation in many areas. Everyone lost someone. In some cases whole families were wiped out. More than 200,000 people died that Sunday morning in Sumatra, Indonesia, alone. Yet the great loss of life is only part of the story. The tragedy has opened doors for God’s love to be demonstrated in an area long closed to the outside world.  
One survivor recently testified of the hope he and his family now have as a result of CAMA workers. Compassion and Mercy Associates is the relief arm of The Alliance. “The tsunami came roaring in from the ocean after the great earthquake,” he said. “We lost our earthly possessions but not our immediate family. Alhamdulilah [Praise be to God]. Hundreds of people like you from CAMA and other groups have come over here to help us. You have given us hope. We thank you for the food, the boats, and the houses you have provided, but most of all we thank you for giving us hope.” 
What a difference a year makes. I will never forget my first impressions of this area soon after the tsunami—the total devastation, the smell of death, and the flies—yes, the flies were everywhere. Death was in the air. But what a change has taken place since then. Houses are being built, men in boats are out fishing (and the fishing is good!), shops are open, and people are beginning to play on the beach again. They haven’t done that since the tsunami. Many people have said to us, “Please don’t leave us. Stay here forever. You brought us hope.”


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