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Tsunami disaster in India - YWAM relief efforts - Thank you for your partnership with us

India tsunami relief update - December 15th, 2005

We have started some youth activities in the Kannagi Nagar slum. We call it "Youth Club" and we are mostly arranging sports activities and games for the kids that come. More importantly, it has also opened a door for us to share the Gospel with them. So far we have around thirty who regularly attend - all boys. We are continuously building relationships with them and praying for them.

Our tuition center in Kannagi Nagar now has ten teachers and a total of 208 children (of which 145 attend regularly). On Indian Independence Day we celebrated with dances, dramas and speeches. All the children showed up for this and many parents also came along. We sang worship songs, told stories and taught them all some Bible verses. The whole event went really well.

One of the students in the tuition center is Uma. She has been coming regularly for the last two months and she has already improved greatly in her tests and homework. She has also heard us talk about Jesus and how He hears our prayers. When Uma's mother was sick recently, Uma prayed for her the way she had seen us do and Jesus immediately healed her.

Desappan is in the 6th standard and is a very active and distracted boy. His family was deeply affected by the tsunami, but even before that he had problems in school. As long as we know he has had difficulties learning his lessons and doing his homework. Tutoring him has not been easy - he seems to take in information, but a few seconds later he simply forgets. One day one of our workers sat down with Desappan and told him the story about Solomon and how God blessed him with great wisdom. He then encouraged the boy to pray and ask the Lord to give him wisdom and knowledge. Since then Desappan is praying every day for help in his studies, and we have all noticed a radical difference! We have so many other stories like this from the tsunami affected children. God is answering their prayers and they know it. We are so grateful to God.

During the month of October we personally met with twenty five tsunami affected fishermen and we were able to share the Gospel and pray with most of these. Please continue to pray for our house visits and evangelism efforts in these tsunami affected villages. It takes a long time to see the fruit of our ministry, and we need to be patient.

We recently met with the people from Alizkal to whom we had given new boats not too long ago. Forty people came, packed into two vans and we were surprised to see how many people showed up. We taught them on personal and community development, and then renewed our agreement for more boats. The meeting provided a good opportunity to find out what the community's strengths and struggles are. Soon after the meeting we provided the fishermen with 300 kg (600 lbs.) of new fishing nets.

Nazar and his wife Beema lives in Indra Colony in Colachel with their two children. Beema has lately been sick with a high viral fever and Nazar is suffering from high blood pressure. As they are now both sick they cannot provide for the family, or even pay for medicine and treatment. We really felt that we needed to help this family, so we took them to the hospital and covered their bills. After three days in the hospital they were doing a lot better. It can be so simple to show God's love in a practical way and we really pray that they will understand through this how much Christ loves them.

Bhanu and his wife along with their five children were living on the Nicobar Islands from many years. Bhanu is a videographer and he had his own studio on Nicobar. After the Christmas celebration at church last year, they were all in a deep sleep when the earthquake happened. They quickly got up and saw their broken studio with all the equipment in pieces. With a great disappointment, Bhanu took his only functioning video camera (which he had at his house) and started filming the damage from the quake. Soon after, they heard the sound of the tsunami wave and they started running away from their house. As Bhanu was a professional videographer, he captured all that happened. When the first wave came they were in a safe place, and the water only came up to their thighs. He thought that this was all that was going to happen, so he placed his family in a nearby house and continued filming the water. But suddenly the next wave came and put him under water for a few seconds.

At this point Bhanu lost his camera. Looking around he noticed that the only building still standing was the one where his family was. He made his way to them and with his family Bhanu waded towards the forest. As they were walking through the water he still remembers walking on dead bodies. Today Bhanu praises God that his entire family made it. But even though they are all still alive, Bhanu lost his studio and all his equipment in the water. They are now all living in temporary shelters at Port Blair. Our hearts went out to the family as we counselled them and prayed for them. We have been able to help Bhanu get started again in his video business, and for that he is very grateful.

YWAM Tsunami Relief Committee

India tsunami relief update - October 2005

Dear Friends,

Here is the latest update on the Tsunami relief and development work that we have taken on from YWAM Chennai. Please continue to pray for this situation as the drama of rebuilding people’s lives from a major devastation continues. Television and newspapers around the world have turned their attention to other major disasters but the work of rebuilding communities is not accomplished overnight. Pray for our workers who are living in the middle of this ongoing situation and seeking to bring help and relief.

Tim and Karol Svoboda

We are very pleased to report that the response to the tsunami has been amazing! We have received more than enough funds for the projects and places we have committed to and we are not needing any more funds at this time. We want to thank you all so much for your prayers and contributions. At the same time, we remember the various other places in the world where other disasters have struck and pray for those who have been similarly affected.

Financial Donation Information
Financial needs and how you can donate

Tsunami damage & relief Updates
Andaman Islands
Sri Lanka

YWAM International

Tsunami damage in India - Photos
Royapuram slum
Royapuram slum II
Royapuram boats
Government officials tour the Royapuram area
Cleanup efforts in the Royapuram area
**NEW** Royapuram - 2 weeks later (part 1)
**NEW** Royapuram - 2 weeks later (part 2)
Foreshore Estates (North) - Fishing Boats & Aid
Foreshore Estates (South) - Tsunami Damage
Elliots beach slum (north) - Tsunami damage
Besant Nagar slum (part I) - beach debris
Besant Nagar slum (part II) - destroyed huts
Besant Nagar slum (part III) - destroyed huts, homeless
Kottivakkam fishermens village
Newspaper headlines in local Chennai papers
Colachel tsunami destruction - part I
Colachel tsunami destruction - part II

YWAM - Tsunami Disaster Relief Projects in India
YWAM comforting hurting people in Colachel
YWAM over a relief camp in Colachel
YWAM Distribution of surgical masks at Colachel
YWAM giving out filtered water at Colachel
YWAM bread distribution at Kottivakkam fishermens village
Artlab, Intermission & YWAM - Kottivakkam Beach cleanup (part 1)
Artlab, Intermission & YWAM - Kottivakkam Beach cleanup (part 2)
YWAM collection of donated items to help affected villages

Tsunami Related Links

Back to Main Page
Main Chennai tsunami page

Photos (except Colachel) by Dave Brodie -
Photos of Colachel by Anil Kumar -

This map shows the route and timing of the tsunami. Notice that it wrapped a bit westward around the southern tip of India, where the city of Colachel is. Chennai was not so much protected from the tsunami by the presence of Sri Lanka as were some portions of Tamil Nadu further south.