CAMA Work Continues Five Years after Tsunami

Five years ago, when a 9.6 earthquake triggered an Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 250,000, Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA) was there. After years of experience in the area, CAMA workers were able to transcend cultural and language barriers that other agencies could not, gaining credibility with government officials who were leery of outsiders.

CAMA, The Alliance’s relief and development arm, has been helping to rebuild communities that were devastated by the waves. In partnership with other organizations, CAMA rebuilt fishing boats, ice factories, and houses and also established livelihood projects. These practical demonstrations of God’s love have opened doors to building relationships. 

Long-Term Assistance

Two CAMA workers, a husband and wife team, were asked to join a community development project, initiated by a group of farmers, that will enable them to turn traditional rice fields into permanent rice paddies. This will allow them to plant two or three crops a year as opposed to one, providing a much needed additional food source-and qualifying them to apply for legal ownership of the land from the government.

“We provide some building materials, agricultural input, and technical assistance,” say our workers, who began their careers individually with CAMA in Mongolia. The couple met on the field, returned to the States to marry, and were reassigned to Southest Asia after the tsunami.  “[The nationals] have been quite receptive to our presence and our involvement in the project.”

Bridge Building

The couple is building relationships of trust with their peers that will bear the weight of truth. “We work closely with a national couple, John and Sue,* and their new son,” they say. “Because this particular irrigation project has been a community initiative from the beginning, we’ve been able to play a behind the scenes role from the beginning. On a larger scale, though, our hope is that eventually, we could fill the roles that we are in here in some other place of ministry. We have been intentional about doing things together from the beginning with this goal in mind.”


Currently, the team consists of the CAMA workers and the national couple, but “We trust the Lord for more teammates, both local and international,” they say. “We’ve had many chances to talk of deeper things [with the farmers and their families] and are excited to see friends or ours taking steps toward embracing the One who is the Truth.”

CAMA, one of the first agencies to help with on-site relief efforts after the tsunami struck in December 2004, initially raised more than $2.1 million (US). As the work continues, CAMA personnel rely on the generosity of compassionate supporters through the CAMA Advance Fund-your hands to a hurting world. 

*Names changed

Learn More

Visit the CAMA Web site to learn about our priority projects.

What You Can Do

Pray for CAMA workers who are pushing back the darkness in difficult places.

Partner with CAMA by giving toward various humanitarian projects.


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