Not Indonesia Again!

by Bob Gerow

The island nation of Indonesia has suffered another set of blows. A few weeks back, areas around Jogjakarta had to be evacuated due to a volcanic eruption. Within a week, an earthquake struck in the same area. Since those first blows, Mount Merapi has continued to erupt and thousands have been evacuated from the surrounding region. John Dana, director of AMG's work in Indonesia, sent this note two days after the earthquake: "We have dispatched four teams from our office to the stricken area. One team has gone to Bantul village, one team to Jogjakarta, and two teams to Klaten. We are helping erect tents in places that do not yet have any shelter where church members have suffered great loss. Tents are also being erected for stricken people who are not Christians. "We shared 25 kilograms of rice to each family, together with a box in which are 40 packages of small instant-cook noodles. One team will assist constructing a well and a place to bathe along with a toilet in one area of Klaten where there is no water at all! They are also involved in taking apart homes which were destroyed because in the ruins of the homes there are still possible dead people who have not been recovered." Immediately on hearing of the earthquake, AMG sent $15,000 as a first response to begin providing assistance. As details became available, we learned that several AMG ministry endeavors have been affected. The believers mentioned in John Dana's note were from churches where AMG workers are ministering. We have also learned that some children in AMG's care have also suffered great loss. Early in June, Tim Lovestrand, former national director of AMG Philippines, traveled to the stricken area on behalf of AMG International to provide encouragement and comfort to John Dana and other AMG staff and workers, and to assess the situation. We are in day-to-day contact with Tim as we focus our continuing relief efforts in the heart of our outreach area. It is here that we can offer the greatest impact for the relief of suffering and for the sake of the gospel. It seems our world is becoming more familiar with disasters of great magnitude. We often refer to such calamities as "acts of God." But what an insurance company defines as out of its coverage limits, in the providence of God becomes a tremendous opportunity to bring Him glory. God moves in the hearts of His people, and lays claim to what is properly His, and through providential leading, marshals great resources and goodwill to bring care to the suffering. AMG International has ministered in Indonesia for many decades. It is a delight to see John Dana and others respond with their own energies and resources. AMG is also delighted to report a generous outpouring of prayer and support as we come to the aid of Christian brethren half a world away. For details on AMG's ministries in Indonesia and around the globe, and for updates on relief efforts as they become available, please visit www.amginternational.org.

Bob Gerow is development administrator for AMG

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