Scientists say the earthquake that caused the catastrophic tsunamis in South Asia and Africa the day after Christmas was so powerful that it may have jolted the earth on its axis.
It was, in many ways, a shock felt around the world. The death toll, devastation and despair are worse than anything I have ever seen. The outpouring of charity has been unprecedented, too.
In times like these, we need to draw closer to God. We find comfort in the words of the 46th Psalm: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling” (Psalm 46:1-3, NKJV).
It’s frightening to imagine what it would be like to face such a disaster without faith in an unshakeable God.
Among the millions of survivors in the coastal towns, fishing villages and tourist resorts that bore the brunt of the tsunamis, not many people profess faith in Jesus Christ. Some of the hardest-hit parts of Indonesia and Sri Lanka have been virtually closed to outsiders by local religious conflicts and military insurgencies. Grieving people who desperately need the hope of the Gospel have been cut off from it.
But in the aftermath of the tsunamis, God is opening doors for ministry. Places that were forbidden to Christians are now welcoming our help. Churches are being strengthened and united as they reach out to their neighbors as good Samaritans.
To support and encourage these Christians and their churches, and to demonstrate the hope that Christ gives, both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse are working to bring help and comfort to the people of South Asia. As I write, I’m preparing to travel there to see what more we can do.
The Apostle Paul describes God as “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NKJV). That same passage challenges us to be agents of His mercies and comfort, “that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:4, NKJV).
As much as the tsunami victims need deliveries of water, food, shelter and medicine, they need deliverance from grief, hopelessness and death apart from Christ. That’s why we’re going in His Name, as His representatives. Please pray.