As reports from indigenous ministries on the field in South Asia continue to come in, Christian Aid grieves with the missionaries who have lost loved ones in the tsunami tragedy. We ask all Christians around the world to pray for their suffering brothers and sisters as they struggle with these losses.
The leader of a ministry working among tribal people on the Andaman Islands off the coast of India was able to confirm a few days ago that one of his fellow workers, David Adhikesavan, lost his wife, Esther, in the tsunami. Below is a letter written by David, requesting prayer:
"On Sunday morning the 26th, my wife and I got up at 3:30 AM to pray and prepare for our Christmas service. The promise that the Lord gave us for the coming new year was Isaiah 12:2: "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation." My wife used to say that this verse was a great source of strength to her.
"As we were getting ready for the service the tsunami struck. People from nearby areas came rushing to our church building. All of us were holding onto windows, doorframes, whatever we could find. My wife and a few others were holding my shoulders and hands.
"Then suddenly the wave struck the church and submerged us. It broke down the church wall. As we were being carried away, I saw my wife. I could not reach her so I cried out to her to hold on to any tree floating in the water. That was the last time I saw her.
"I was pushed under the water but somehow struggled to the surface. I found a tree floating on the water and held onto it. The force of the wave took me about half a mile away from the church. I was hit on the head, foot, and hand but somehow God gave me the strength to hold onto the tree.
"Then the wave that carried me began to wash back to the sea. All the while I was praying aloud and quoting Scriptures. At the right time, I spotted a standing tree and jumped from the tree I was floating on to grab it. Had I not done so I would have been completely lost.
"The water began to recede, so thinking everything was okay I climbed down from the tree. All of the sudden I spotted another wave coming towards me. I hurriedly climbed the tree again. I do not know from where I got the strength to do so.
"I held onto the tree until the water subsided. Some other survivors spotted me and helped me make the 3-hour walk to a hospital, since I had many injuries.
"I escaped with my life by the grace of God. My three sons, who are in Port Blair [capital city of the Andaman Islands], also miraculously escaped. But I never saw my wife again.
"I thank God for my wife. She was a great source of strength and encouragement to me. She was the reason for my growth in the ministry. At this hour of pain and sorrow I kindly request you to pray for me."
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints" (Ps. 116:15).