Local Samoans Pray for Tsunami Victims

October 1, 2009 1:07:29 AM PDT
Prayers and songs were offered at the Samoan Christian Center Wednesday night. All of the two hundred members of the church have family members in Samoa. While communication with the island nation of Samoa and the territory of American Samoa, Filigata Samuelu has already received bad news about her family."One of our family members has passed away. She drowned in the car and they were looking for her daughter. That's the last information I just received before arriving here tonight," said Samuelu.

Others like Edward Lealofi are still waiting for word. He said, "I have my brother and his family I have cousins, aunies and uncles that are still in Samoa. There's no way that we can contact them."

The Samoan Islands were blasted by Tsunami's on Tuesday. As of Wednesday night the death toll was at least 120. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed by the giant waves. Relief efforts are underway but the images of devastation are unsettling to those with ties to the islands.

"It makes us worried. We want to find out how they are doing and what's going on," said Lealofi.

With communication to the islands cut off, this church was the one place these Samoan people could connect with their homeland.

Filiagata Samuelu described her feelings, "It's very hard. I mean, I don't have to words to explain. You want to reach out and hold them and hug them. But you can't the only way you can connect with them is through your prayers."

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