Disaster Relief Team Home From Sri Lanka - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/29/05-Longview

Disaster Relief Team Home From Sri Lanka

       The east Texas disaster relief team is back home after a two week mission to tsunami ravaged Sri Lanka.

    "It really amazed at the destruction on the eastern side of the island to see it first hand and visit with the people of what they'd been through really opened your eyes to what they experienced" says team member Mike Brittain of Harleton.

     Brittain and 10 other east Texans just returned from relief efforts in Sri Lanka, a trip that he won't soon forget.

     "When you got to a certain point there was nothing, no houses, no foundations left" he says.

      His team helped hundreds of families and orphanages by installing water purifiers, giving them clean well water. They set up field kitchens , but didn't cook food. They had to respect cultural differences, men serving meals in Sri Lanka would have been insulting, the honor falls upon women.

    "We realized in that culture for us to set up and start feeding the masses was not what was needed, that would take the worth away from the ladies that were there totally" Brittain says.

    But the thing he may most remember are stories of the unthinkable, people having to decide who they could save when the disaster hit.

    " I talked to a parent who had to make a choice of which child to save, you'll never escape that, we felt the power of prayer in a great way" he says.

   The images of a suffering people , and the efforts to ease their hurting will always be with the team members.

   "It touched our hearts, it'll be there forever" says Brittain.

    The team remains on stand-by for another possible mission to help tsunami victims. Bob Hallmark reporting.

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