Sunday, January 4, 2015

TSUNAMI Then and Now

How blessed is India that Bishop Leo Michael and his writing wife Holly have this story to tell? If not the whole country, at least those poor souls who lived on the south seashore of India who experienced and survived the devastation of the worst tsunami of our lifetimes.

It happened on December 26, 2004. The pictures they showed on the news will forever be in my memory. Until that time, I'd never heard a tsunami. I'm uncertain why, but India's TSUNAMI 2004 made the news world-wide. And the Michaels almost immediately started a fund-raiser in Northern Arkansas that quickly went coast to coast and the generosity of Americans shone. 

This new book Tsunami 2004, Still Wading Through Waves of Hope is a work of love from these two servants of God.

It tells two true stories, a decade apart, tied together by the Michaels' Christian works of charity to those affected by the natural disaster in India. They went in January, 2005, within two weeks of the gigantic wave's annihilation of life as the simple fisherfolk knew it.

The Children, survivors of tsunami:
Tsunami orphaned so many little ones, and besides helping the adults, the Michaels turned the love of Christ toward these little ones and in 2005, set up certificates of deposit for those who lost one or both of their parents in the storm. The CDs were set up to mature in ten years.
The children all got a new shirt and shorts and were required to go to the bank. A very grown-up thing for them to do.
In TSUNAMI 2004, Still Wading Through Waves of Hope, author Holly Michael writes about that first trip. The people they met, the love they extended and devastation and despair they encountered first hand.
The children in 2005 lined up for a picture, the other photo show young entrepreneurial boys gathering what the sea gave back to scrap for a few pennies to buy food. 

The book that you won't be able to put down is filled with heart wrenching photographs from the trip in 2205 as well as the journey in 2014 to go back for the tenth anniversary of the natural disaster. Fishing was the livelihood of so many, yet some of the men refused to fish in the waters that swallowed their loved ones. To the right, the smoldering piles are bodies burning, thousands of lives were lost.

And God made a way for them to return in 2014, just before the tenth anniversary of the tsunami and see those children they met a decade ago, and make sure they received their monies if they chose to cash them in. You'll be right there on the beaches a decade later and see how things have changed.

Holly also interviews the children, now ten years older and starting their lives with a little help from their matured certificates of deposit. They remember that day and share their survival stories and the obstacles they still face.

After the shock of loss that fateful day, the children needed places to sleep, food. Many surviving fathers abandoned their family leaving the older siblings to care for the younger.

While it is a story that will touch your heart, the courage and brave stamina of the stories speak of determination to overcome what life offered. It reminds me of a verse: In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world. God's presence was with the Michaels there on the beautiful tropical beaches, recovered in 2014, though life there will never be the same carefree existence for those survivors of tsunami 2004. You will not want to miss this book!

A Memorial to the Lives Lost

Holly with Big Ben in the backgroud. 

The orphans a decade later, Some traveled for hours to see the Michaels again.

Holly Michael also has a novel that you'll definitely want to read if you haven't already. Crooked Lines is available in print or digital formats. She artistically weaves two stories, two souls in two cultures, together for a you-can't-put-it-down novel. A sequel is planned to release in 2015.
And be watching in the Spring for Harvest House's  publishing FIRST AND GOAL: What football taught me about life, a wonderful devotional written with Jake, her NFL football playing son. I had the privilege of being a beta reader and can truthfully say you will not need to be a fan of the game to thoroughly enjoy the book! And you'll learn a few things, too!

LINKS:   Amazon Tsunami   Amazon Crooked Lines  Blog   Facebook

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