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Thomas is from India. He tells of a terrible time for all his family. But he knew God was helping them.

In December 2004, I went with my parents, uncle and his family to the coast of South India. It was when we were there, that the tsunami waves hit some of the Asian coasts. At 9:30am on 26th December, we were on our way to a Christian meeting.

Suddenly, we heard a noise and people crying for help. The waves came in from the sea and covered everything with water and debris. I was pulled towards the sea by the strong waves. I took hold of a branch of a coconut tree and stayed there until the waves became calm.

No-one to save

Dead bodies lay all around me and I could see yet more bodies in the sea. I looked around for anyone still alive so that I could save them, but there was no-one. I became very frightened, sure that my family must also have drowned in the waves. Desperately, I looked around the whole area for them. In the evening the waves became very strong again. I was even more afraid, sure that my parents were no longer alive.

I decided to kill myself in the sea. It would not be difficult to let myself drown in those waves. But something inside of me stopped me. That night I stayed in a relief camp which had been opened.

Found

The next morning I went on searching for my family. Suddenly I heard my motherʼs voice calling me. I turned round and there they were, all my family, safe! Not even a hair on their heads was harmed. I ran and hugged them. They had been able to find our car. It was damaged but we could use it. We returned that day to our village. On the way back I sat thinking. I realised it was God who kept us all safe and stopped me from killing myself. We thanked God for saving our lives.