On December 26,
while traveling across the Czech Republic into Frankfurt, Germany, we
learned about the earthquake and tsunami. For the next 6 days, we
were in the "Russian news vacuum". When we arrived in Moscow, the
first thing we did was find English speaking news channels. We
watched for 2 days, soaking in all the information we could.
At one point,
Donna and I sat in amazement as either BBC or CNN showed a Sri Lankan
man telling about the orphanage he built for the children who lost
their parents in the civil war. It wasn't just that his story was so
powerful, telling of how he gathered the orphans into a tiny boat to
face down the tsunami, but the passion he spoke with, as he told of
his faith, was undeniable.
Over the next two
weeks, the man was on our hearts...you know, orphans and all. When we
returned home, we talked to Stephanie about the story. She had seen
the man's sister telling his story. Now, the chase was on, we had to
find him. An internet search was easy enough; there was Pastor
Dayalan Sanders and his incredible testimony.
Dr. Joe Finley, TOTH's doctor of record, was also
looking for a way to help. But, money was not his first choice, he
wanted to go. He found a group from Texas, YWAM, making a First
Response trip to Sri Lanka, on January 24 - February 9...he signed up.
As we visited with
him on Sunday morning, he was teasing me about my mugging experience
in St. Petersburg, "Don't get in any trouble while I am gone. Or go
with me!" Donna said, "Can he go?" "Why not?" We knew immediately,
yes...I had to go.
We stepped out in
faith. Having just returned from Russia, money was,
well...non-existent. It never is, at a time like this. But, as usual,
when God calls you to a work, He has the finances to make it happen.
Today, most of the money has come in, some from sources who know me,
and some from sources who never heard my name. God is always faithful
to provide when we are willing.
Linda Finley, Dr.
Joe's wife, who is an R.N., has joined our tiny group.
It was an amazing time. Where we believed Howard was going
to help Pastor Sanders, God had another plan. The pastor in
Ambalangoda who helped YWAM with all the families in need, Yogesh
Mudalige was our "divine appointment".