Tulsa chaplain heading to Sri Lanka to provide ' hope'

Tuesday, February 1st 2005, 10:12 am
By: News On 6

In the aftermath of the tsunami, there is a lot of grief. People who have lost everything and everyone in their lives must find a way to move forward.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells talks to a Tulsa chaplain who is heading to Sri Lanka to help people find hope.

Jacob George is the director of Spiritual Care at Hospice of Green Country. He has been asked by the Methodist Headquarters in Sri Lanka to help. "The most important thing in life is to provide hope." Hope may be hard to come by in areas hard hit by the tsunami.

He says that's where spiritual counseling will take over after the victims basic needs for food water and safe shelter are taken care of. "Once those needs have been met, the emotional, the spiritual, the psychological issues begin to pop up. People are angry, people are depressed, people are questioning."

That's where he and the grief counselors he will train and work along side will be able to help most.

The medical missionaries who returned from south Asia last week said much the same thing. Dr Mitch Duininck: "Recovering emotionally and psychologically for those who survived will be a long on-going need."

Chaplain George is a native of southwest India and understands the Sri Lankan culture and speaks the language, but with hundreds of thousands of people affected the need is enormous. Yes he says, but the solution is one person at a time. "I can only take care of one person at a time, I can only love one person at a time, I can only listen to one person at time. So it's all one, one ,one. It's like a drop in the ocean, but if I don't put that drop, the ocean will be one drop less."

And however small his contribution may be, he feels he must make it. Chaplain George leaves Wednesday. He will be there a month. His wife is also an ordained minister, and she will go to Sri Lanka for a month when he comes home.