Rebuilding a Village

By Bob Paulson   •   February 3, 2006

On Dec. 26, 2004, when the tsunami struck the coastlines of Asia, many people lost nearly everything.

Several villagers lost their lives in the disaster, which also swept away many possessions and damaged most of the village’s homes and fishing boats beyond repair.

Billy Graham was moved by the plight of tsunami victims, and in early 2005, BGEA purchased several acres of land on India’s coast and pledged to rebuild. Plans for the village, to be called Village of Hope, include 239 houses, a school, a community center, a primary health center and a store.

In addition to the construction project, BGEA and other organizations donated fishing boats and motors, so the men are once again plying their trade. And BGEA has hired a community liaison officer who is teaching a six-month sewing course for women and has implemented a program in which women make greeting cards, giving villagers sources of income to supplement fishing.

Despite an unusually long rainy season in the fall of 2005, significant construction progress had been made by the one-year anniversary of the tsunami. On Dec. 26, BGEA representatives joined villagers for a program that honored the memory of those who lost their lives, celebrated the strides the village has made since the tsunami, and communicated the motivation behind BGEA’s involvement: to demonstrate the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.