After the Storm

Thailand: after 2004 tsunami

 

Full body immersion. Many of the Urak Lawoi of Thailand have embraced Christ in the years since the tsunami. Photo by Rath Lekhavat

The waves that brought devastation to Southeast Asia in late 2004 brought change to the people living along the coast — not all of which was bad. Since the tsunami, there has been significant church growth among the Urak Lawoi (the “Sea Gypsies”), who have in the past been slow to respond to the Christian message.

United Bible Societies Translation Consultant Dr. Stephen Pattemore, speaking from Thailand, says there has been a new receptiveness to the Bible message in the past few years: “In living memory, [the sea] has been their only source of livelihood, but now it can no longer be trusted, and anxious eyes are watching from the beach at all times. Perhaps this fracture of their worldview has led to their greater openness to the liberating message of the love of God.”

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