A Marshalltown pastor who’s a native of Sri Lanka is urging Iowans to pray for the victims of the December 26th tsunami in his country, and to make some sacrifice in order to help. Christopher Daniel is a United Methodist minister in Marshalltown who’s lived in the U.S. since 1976. He is from Sri Lanka, and his siblings still live there. His five sisters, three brothers and their extended families are safe, but they haven’t heard from cousins who live on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. “So we’re waiting for some news,” Daniel says. “God is calling his people — whether you are a Christian or a Hindu or a Buddhist or a Muslim — God is calling us to pray. Pray with compassion for the suffering people.” “I am also praying and asking people to give and to give generously and sacrificially because that’s going to meet the needs of those suffering people over there. And then, I’m also calling on people to go.” Daniel will be going to his homeland in February for two weeks on a mission trip. He’s planning to go back to the eight churches in Sri Lanka where he served as pastor. The eight churches were “right on the beach” where the tsunami hit, according to Daniel, and he’s heard nothing from any of the parishoners. Daniel spoke last night in Des Moines at a prayer service for the victims of the tsunami. The prayer service was held at St. Augustin’s Catholic Church. Daniel plans to lead a mission trip to Sri Lanka in July. Forty people from his congregation in Marshalltown have signed up to go work on the trip.
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