to these Tsunami Disaster
I think you'll find the
interesting. It's the story of two tsunami
survivors (Malaysian Christian sisters in Phuket who were warned
the night before and early the next morning that something "was
up".) The story shows the destructive
power of the waves but also God's protection [to those listening to
All the best!
It is definitely a blessing that I can still write
this e-mail and wish you all A Happy New Year. It has been
almost 13 days since the bad episode that almost took my
life. Ever since I returned, and since The Sun
newspaper carried the news of our survival, I have been
getting calls wishing for my speedy recovery. I have to admit
that I have not been responding to any calls as I
was/am still recovering. Most of all, I personally want to
thank all of you for your encouragement. The whole experience has been
shocking, but if anything good that has come out of it, is
that my personal faith, walking with the Lord has
definitely soared higher, and that He has spared my life to
I am better;
my injuries are nothing, just some cuts and bruises on my
head and leg through broken glass and the hard knock against the
glass door. Unfortunately others have not been so blessed.
The pictures in papers and on TV gave a clearer picture of
the death and destruction ~ indeed all of it was not a movie,
but it was the actual catastrophe which took much
Therefore, to those who have been contacting me, I am taking
this opportunity to write and tell you my experience. You
will also hear me mentioning about Jesus, and how miraculously HE
saved me and my sister from death. Please note that this is
my personal experience which I have encountered during the
DECEMBER 2004 - 8:00 p.m...
The night before the incident - around 8:00 p.m. - both
June, and I were walking down the streets in Phuket, Thailand. I
had this sudden urge to sing a Christian worship song which
I have not sung for a long long time. So, as I was walking I
sang the chorus over and over again. During our walk, my heart
felt uneasy. I told my sister of my uneasiness ~
and she asked me to pray in tongues to the Lord.
I did just that. Looking back and realizing the lyrics of the
song, I now understand how merciful God is, because HE tried
to prepare and warn me about the tragedy.
The song is entitled "STILL."
This is the Chorus:
WHEN THE OCEAN RISE
AND THUNDER ROARS
I WILL SOAR WITH YOU ABOVE THE STORM
FATHER, YOU ARE KING OVER THE FLOOD
I WILL BE STILL and KNOW YOU ARE GOD.
DECEMBER 6:00 AM...
We were supposed to check
out from one hotel
and check into another at 12:00 noon on 26th December 2004.
There was no reason for us to wake up early since it was our much
deserved holiday. But on that 26th December at 6:00 a.m. both
my sister and I (who were sleeping on separate beds)
felt as though someone was waking us up. I thought my sister woke
me up to pray, as she normally would, but I thought, "can't
be" as it was still so early. Little did I know, she felt it,
too, and she had the same thought. I then opened my eyes and
looked at her, and realized that it was not our own doing. We
were not scared, and concluded that the Lord wanted us to wake up
to pray. So we did just that, and later checked out - way
ahead of time.
DECEMBER 2004 9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m....
We dragged our
and walked along the street towards the hotel. We arrived at
the next hotel around 9:45 a.m.
As soon as we handed our check-in
slip to the receptionist, we saw people were running
frantically away from the beach towards the hotel. The moment
we turned our head and looked in front, we saw a huge 30
ft high wave come crushing through the glass door of
the reception. It was so scary. As the height of the
wave covered the blue sky, the whole area was
darkened. We were inside the reception area - there was
nowhere to run as the wave crashed mercilessly towards the
glass door. We could hear loud noises from the shattered
glass, and in a split second the reception area was
filled with the sea water. The water rose to our necks and we
were swept against another glass door. The glass door shattered
and threw us out of the reception area. We both were clinging
onto each other. It was as though the water swept right through us and
we went under the water. My mind went blank; I gulped
some sea water. That was all I could remember.
Somehow, somewhere in the middle of it, as everything happened so
fast, we managed to cling onto a wooden pillar. At that
precise moment, all we could do was to just pray. I left
everything on earth at that point in time: my family, my
love ones, my business, my friends, everything... There
was nothing or no one I could cry to, except to GOD ~ and I did
just that. I took out all the knowledge that I learned during
my Bible Class called Deeper Life Seminar conducted by Pastor
Vernon Falls. I remembered that he told us to pray in the Spirit
more when we are in trouble. That was the only knowledge that
I had and could use then.
We were looking at the disaster, trying to comprehend it all. But
it was total chaos. Cars were crashing through the buildings, gas
tanks were leaking, roofs were tumbling down, people
were screaming. We knew dead bodies were everywhere. All I
did was pray and pray, and all I knew was to hold my
sister tightly to me so that we would not be separated
by the strong wave.
Approximately seven minutes later, the second, much stronger
wave came and swept us again. I am really amazed that
I didn't cry, nor had any panic attacks at the time. I still
knew what to do. In fact, there was this Thai lady who was
clinging onto my sister so hard because she could not swim.
She was screaming away. In times like that, I don't know how
I can still think. I raised my voice at the Thai lady, so that
she could hear me and asked her to stop screaming
~ and not to panic. I told her to calm down and
just pray. I saw how she held on to my sister, and I
was worried for my sister in case her weight might have
pushed my sister under the water. So I said, "Don't scream,
don't panic, and don't hold her so tight. It is
okay, everything is going to be fine." She calmed down immediately
and followed exactly what we asked her to do.
My sister has
been very strong in her devotion with the Lord.
She knew that she had to share Jesus with the Thai lady and
she asked her to accept the Lord as her Saviour. I know you
will think it is crazy to do so in times like that, but as
Christians we believe that eternal life begins when you receive
Jesus and we believe that when you accept Christ as your Lord
and Saviour, you automatically go to heaven when you die. And
because of that, my sister knew our situation then was life
and death and that she felt that if anything should happen to
the Thai lady, at least she will end up in heaven. It
was really amazing in a crisis like that, that my sister
could lead the Thai lady into prayer to accept Christ. The
Thai lady accepted Christ right there and then. And she even
joined us in praying crying out to the Lord, commanding the sea
water to calm down and "stop the next wave from coming, in
Our prayer felt
stronger when the three of us prayed in agreement. After the
second wave, we took the risk to swim across to a staircase.
When I was up at the balcony I began to think about this terrible
disaster. Only then I started to cry, and the fear was
overwhelming. There were about 20 foreigners at the
balcony ~ everyone was in shock, people were crying, and
blood was everywhere. My sister only suffered some
bruises, while I had a deep cut on both my feet. It was
painful, but the shock was worse - it seemed unbearable. I could not
take my eyes away from the sea, worried that the third wave
will attack us again.
At the balcony I was still holding on to a pole, while my
sister went around praying for others, telling them that
Jesus will keep us safe from harm. I knew she meant well, she
didn't care about her own safety. She knew if anything happened to
us we will go to heaven ~ BUT she was more concerned for
the others. She also wanted them to go to heaven. She kept
telling them about Jesus and she prayed for all of them. She
prayed in Jesus' name to break and bind all the fear in them.
I noticed some foreigners appreciated her and accepted Christ
there and then, while others were calmer after her prayers for
She didn't want me to cry so she told me to keep praying
and worshipping the Lord, and I did nothing but just
that. Later when she was next to me, I then asked my
sister in my chocking voice, "Can I sing a worship song"? She
looked at me helplessly and said, "ok, you sing to
the Lord"...Tears kept flowing down my cheeks. I sang, "When
the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You above
the storm; Father, You are King over the flood, I will be still
and know you are God." Right
after I sang that song, my
sister looked at me and quickly said "That's right!! That is
what God has been trying to tell us. He is the King over the flood
and He is asking us to be still and know that He is GOD ~ and
He will oversee the whole situation."
June continued saying, "God was trying to prepare us before
the tragedy. That is why He gave you the song to sing last
night, and that is why He woke us up earlier this morning, so that
we could leave the room. If not we would have been trapped." I
listened attentively, nodded my head, still crying and
agreed that everything she said made sense. The sudden
feeling of God's presence and His greatest love just
flowed in my heart and immediately I had peace. And fear just
left me. I felt the Lord was telling me, "Don't worry, everything
is going to be over and the wave will not come near you
anymore." True enough, there was no third wave. The sea water
subsided, the rescue team began to search and rescued all of us.
The ambulance took me to the nearby hospital as I was badly cut
and could not walk. There were neither after shocks during this
time nor was there a third tidal wave. But the
town was in chaos. The hospital that we were at was
in chaos. They had too many other priorities so they
could not treat me. But they did provide a bandage.
We walked out of the hospital to find a pair of sandals as my
sandals were swept away by the wave. As we were walking to
look for a shop, my sister realized I could not walk and I
was still bleeding due to the deep cuts. She asked me to wait
for her, while she proceeded to look for a shop to get me a pair
of sandals. While waiting for her, people were again seen
running towards me. The police were making some announcement
in their local language. I could not understand.
I thought I lost my sister, but thank God she came
out looking for me, and we found each other in the midst of
people running for their lives. We asked one of the locals,
and we were told to run to the mountain as there could be an
"after shock" and the possibility of even greater damage. I
felt the tension again. We walked as fast as we could, but
we had no idea where to. Later, we stopped a van and the
driver dropped us near a hill top. When we reached the
mountain we saw a bungalow belonging to a local. There were
many foreigners seated along the roadside. June told me to find a
quiet place so that we could pray. We found this
little corner at the side of the bungalow. We sat down and
started to pray.
The place we were resting overlooked the sea. By this time I
must confess that hated the sea. I never thought such a
beautiful and peaceful place could turn out to be so ugly,
so fierce, and so merciless. I was angry at the sea ~ deep in
me I knew it was the devil's work. The devil chooses the
holiday season to kill much innocent life. I just could
not leave my eyes from looking at the sea, crying and
praying at the same time. I was feeling very insecure and was
worried of another attack.
About 30 minutes later, the owner of the house came out and asked
us if we wanted a drink. I knew we looked miserable and
dirty in our wet shorts and t-shirts, dirty sand on our hair.
We looked and felt like refugees. At that instant I really
knew how it feels to be one. June had earlier said to me, "Should
we need to notify anyone, it has to be someone who can pray
and intercede for us. So I asked if I could call our Pastor,
and she agreed. We both walked towards the house entrance and
asked the owner's permission to use their phone. We were
blessed that we still had our passports and money, as we had
stuffed those in a waist pouch. We knew that we could pay the
owner on the telephone charges made by us. I believe it
was the favour from the Lord that the local owner not
only allowed us to use their phone, they even offered us to
take a rest in their place. They allowed us to shower, provided us
with dry clothes, gave us food to eat, provided us with
new blankets, and even gave us a mattress and pillow so we
could be more comfortable. We were the only two among
the many foreigners that were given such treatment by that
owner. The rest of the victims were left waiting and camping
along the roadside.
The two hours after shock never came and time passed. We were
still waiting. When it was 6:00 p.m. the locals told us that
the airport is open. June was feeling uneasy; she felt that
we should leave the island. But we wanted to hear from the
Lord. We knew God can give us instructions. So we prayed in
agreement and prayed in tongues. Again I felt the Lord was
saying something to me. I felt that the Lord was saying we
would be flying off that very night . If I were to use
my mind to analyse that, I knew it was impossible, as
everything was in chaos, and we can't even call the airport.
All the telephone lines were dead. In my mind, even if we were to
reach the airport, it was near to the sea and, "What if
another big wave hit?" We would be facing again what we
faced earlier. Being up in the mountain is not the
safest place to be either. Should there be an after shock, the
mountain will likely give way and cause another major
collapse. I obeyed what I felt the Lord said to me and
told my sister. My sister then prayed to the Lord
and said, "Lord, if it is Your will for us to leave
the island tonight, Pastor Vernon will call the house. And
that will be the confirmation" We continued praying.
At 11:00 p.m.,
phone rang and it was Pastor Vernon. June asked Pastor and
told him about our plan. Pastor mentioned that during his
prayer he also felt the Lord wanted us to leave the island as
soon as possible. That was the confirmation and we asked the
owner's son if he could take us to the airport immediately.
the airport at 12:30 a.m. There was only a handful of
people. None of the victims were seen in the airport
except June and I. Nobody knew what had happened to us
and we proceeded to ask if there were any tickets to Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia. There wasn't, obviously, but the lady told us there
was a plane leaving to Bangkok in half an hour's time. We
looked at each other ~ we were very surprised and
quickly purchased two tickets to Bangkok. We arrived at
Bangkok airport at 3:00 a.m. I noticed that the flight that
we were in was a delayed flight from Phuket which was meant
to fly off at 7:45 p.m. I had a look of
disbelief and deep within me I knew that the Lord must have
waited for us to board that plane. Again I was totally amazed
with the Lord's timing and His plan for us to leave the
island. Again I had learned another lesson from the Lord. When
HE gives you instruction ~ don't think how, just do
it! Everything is possible according to HIS will.
We both returned safely to
Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12:00
p.m. on 27th December 2004. HE is truly an awesome
HE is alive, and HIS words are real. I don't regret going through
the disaster, as it has made me a stronger person, and my
faith in the Lord has definitely soared higher... higher than the
tidal wave for sure.
Thank you all for your kind concerns, your sms and your calls. God
Bless you always.
~ Chung Eng Lee
(Petaling Jaya, Malaysia).