Sunday, March 11, 2007


We had a Tsunami hit us this past Tuesday night. It was a series of three waves that hit back to back. By my estimations each wave was around 35 miles long, with a possible fourth wave about half that size. I live in a place called Namatanai. My house is less than a quarter of a mile from the ocean, but we are on top of a hill. The village next us had several houses destroyed. These are bush houses so it does not take much. The village where I started the church was hit hard, and had three houses taken into the ocean. The church sits close to the ocean as well and the ocean did come into the church but only a few feet. Had the ocean went another 30 feet inside it would have carried our pews away. The picture, to the left, shows how close our church is to the ocean. The picture was taken three years ago when I had several men from my home church come and help build a church house. Our church house was not damaged but our church ground was changed. Parts of the ground are no longer there! The ocean swept it away! Where I used to baptize, it is now nothing but sand. It was chest deep water!

There has only been one death reported from the three waves. A small child was taken out to sea. There were other children who needed to be rescued though. Some lost their live stock, pigs. The tsunami was very small compared to the major one that hit our neighbor Indonesia two years ago, but it was still destructive. It was a reminder to the people on the island how fast life can end. I preached in a village Friday night called Wilo, where I started a mission work. There were two who made professions of faith. This village was not hit by the Tsunami, but they were only a few miles away from where the tsunami had hit.

Praise the Lord for his protection. When you live on a small island that is only a mile or two wide in most parts, you often think about tsunamis. For the Christian, though, we know that God is in control, and that nothing happens to us without his permission. Romans 8:28.


Jerry Bouey said...

Terry, I am glad the Lord kept you and your congregation safe there. Praying that this Tsunami will give you further opportunities to witness/preach to the lost about the brevity and uncertainty of this life and their need for the Saviour. God bless.

Cindy said...

I praise God that He kept you and your family safe. I will pray for the family of the little girl who was taken out to sea. I continually pray for you and your family and all the wonderful things you do for God!!

Tim Matthews said...

It seems that it doesn't matter where you go in this world, there is always the great risk of loosing the most important thing that anyone could ever have--the soul. Those that strive hard to hang onto this loose even that, because they cannot keep their soul as Jesus can. It's quite evident that you weren't sent there just to be washed into the water! It's quite evident that the church house wasn't built to be destroyed! It's quite evident that God is in control, as you said!

In the Highlands of PNG, I had friends there that were at constant risk of being nailed down my machine gun fire, but down there, there are other dangers. Even when I step outside my door, I could be hit by the twin trailer milk truck that tears up and down the road each morning (for example).

As Christians, our soul is safe with Jesus. This is a message, not only you have to carry, but myself also, and all the other Christians in the world! After that, it just boils down to: will we do our job? Praise God that His Sprit is still active in this dark day and age of fear. For with Him there is no need to fear.

God bless.

Juan Carlos Asmat said...

Praise the Lord for His safety of you, your family, and church members. Be praying for you and the congregation.