One year after the tsunami ravaged the coastal regions of South Asia, mission groups stay committed to rebuilding lives.
The Gospel for Asia (GFA) is one such group, who has set up tsunami relief funds to be used in rebuilding or constructing new homes, providing medical supplies, and caring for thousands of children, all in an effort to support those who have lost everything as a result of the waves.
"Thanks to our friends…who prayed and contributed, we are now in the midst of fulfilling the promises we made to the tsunami survivors," K.P. Yohannan, president of GFA said in a Christmas letter sent out to supporters. "Yet much work still needs to be done."
"Sadly, much of the world has already forgotten about the needs of the tens of thousands of tsunami survivors-many of whom still live in refuge camps," Yohannan added.
GFA started their emergency response early on, concentrating on supplying food, water, clothing, shelter, medical aid and counseling. Then in April, they began the reconstruction phase to help tsunami survivors get back on their feet.
Their most recent commitment on top of the medical outreach and the spiritual ministry is to build 1,000 homes, provide 500 fishing boats, supply fishing nets, and open Bridge of Hope centers to care for and educate several thousand displaced children.
Yohannan commented on those whose lives were touched by the relief saying, "In the midst of pain, sorrow, and uncertainties" there were some who "recognized this evidence that God cares about" them. "Most of all, we see it in the hearts of those we pray for and comfort. They begin to understand that Jesus loves them and wants to give them hope and a future."
One year has past since the tsunami struck the South Asia region on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered by a 9.15 magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean that took the lives of tens of thousands of people and displacing millions who are still living in shelters.
GFA said they will continue their mission of ministering to the tsunami survivors by sharing the "hope of Christ."