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Dear Pastor Tim,

I have been on your clean laugh list for what must be over a year now.  It remains a blessing to me to open a clean and cheerful email from you every morning.  Your site is truly salt and light on the net!!

I have just been listening to your 'Tsunami Souls' (Listen Here) as I finish packing my bags here in my home in New Zealand in preparation for flying out tomorrow to do aid & relief work among the tribal groups along the coast of Southern Thailand.  I just want to thank you for your message, it has been a real source of encouragement and motivation for me at a time when my head is too full of too many thoughts.  The reality and the simplicity of the message of Jesus Christ and the cross really brings everything else back into focus.

I grew up on the island of Phuket where my parents worked as . . .

Dear Pastor Tim,

I have been on your clean laugh list for what must be over a year now.  It remains a blessing to me to open a clean and cheerful email from you every morning.  Your site is truly salt and light on the net!!

I have just been listening to your 'Tsunami Souls' (Listen Here) as I finish packing my bags here in my home in New Zealand in preparation for flying out tomorrow to do aid & relief work among the tribal groups along the coast of Southern Thailand.  I just want to thank you for your message, it has been a real source of encouragement and motivation for me at a time when my head is too full of too many thoughts.  The reality and the simplicity of the message of Jesus Christ and the cross really brings everything else back into focus.

I grew up on the island of Phuket where my parents worked as missionaries among one of the tribes of so-called 'sea-gypsies'.  We have lost people we knew well (in the Thai and expat communities), and I will not know until I get there about the fate of many of my childhood friends and their families.

However, in the midst of the tragedy there are amazing stories of survival.
As far as we can make out (I will know more by the end of this week), none of the tribal people were killed on the island of Phuket.  The tribal people saw and understood the signs and were able to evacuate their seaside villages before the wave hit.  Other villages on the Khao Lak coastline were not spared, however, and we intend to visit next week to assess the toll in some of these more remote and unknown villages.  Almost all their fishing boats have been lost at all villages though.  Their boats are their only source of income and there is an urgent need to work out how to restore their livelihoods.

In the midst of this all, I know that what the people need most is a relationship with God.  Although my mission is to assess their needs so we can start to rebuild their shattered lives and livelihoods, this is a time where these people will be far more open to recieve the gospel than any other time previously.  The reality as you said in your message is that the vast majority of those who died had no relationship with God, and so are condemned to an eternity in hell.  This awful truth almost shatters me as I prepare to leave, but at the same time is the primary motivation behind my going.  Indeed, how will they hear unless they are told!

There are stories such as of a man who was one of the first Christians in the village, but who had fallen away for many years now.  He was on the island of Phi Phi when the Tsunami hit, and was swept out to sea.  He only survived because two foreign tourist managed to pull him out of the torrent and on to the debris.  Unfortunately, it seems that the tourists then both perished.  Talk about a wake up call!

Your sermon has helped me to once again refocus on the cross, and the real need of the souls out there.  It has inspired me (along with my Pastor's sermon here tonight), to really be bold and out-there in witnessing and talking to the people when I arrive.  This is such an amazing opportunity.

So thank you once again.  God bless you!!  I will continue to pray for your ministry, and that that sermon in particular would be a turning point in the lives of many who listen.  The truth shall set them free!

regards, David P.

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