Christians respond as Indonesia hit by back-to-back disasters

By January 19, 2021

Indonesia (MNN) — The search for survivors continues today in West Sulawesi, Indonesia. “[A] 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit West Sulawesi on January 15; 81 people die[d] and more than 1,000 houses [were] damaged,” Asian Access leader Juserdi* says.

The International Red Cross reports local and international first responders working side-by-side to comb through the rubble, searching for anyone who may be alive in affected areas. Multiple disasters, including landslides, flooding, and volcanic eruption, are stretching resources and manpower thin, making recovery efforts even harder.

West Sulawesi’s earthquake presents the most significant immediate challenge, Juserdi says, “because more than 10,000 people should be evacuated [as a result of] their house [being] damaged by the earthquake.”

Fear is tangible as survivors huddle in emergency housing, worrying about aftershocks and COVID-19. “The government office ma[d]e some temporary tent [shelters] and many people [are] crowded there,” Juserdi says.

Asian Access is mobilizing its network of pastors and church leaders throughout Indonesia to send tangible help.

“We are together trying to help the people in the earthquake location through the network with fellow servant[s] of God,” Juserdi explains. You can financially support their efforts by giving to the Where Most Needed fund.

Damage from 2018 triple-disaster in Sulawesi, Indonesia.
(Wikimedia Commons)

We will “try to send money to buy some items that they need, and distribute [those items] to the people around the disaster location,” Juserdi continues.

Reaching Indonesia for Christ

Indonesia has the world’s highest Muslim population at 229 million people or 87-percent of the total population. Asian Access began partnering with believers in the archipelago in 2018, shortly before a massive triple-disaster rocked Sulawesi.

Since then, Asian Access and local believers have worked hand-in-hand to train local leaders, plant churches, and transform communities throughout Indonesia. Learn more about the process here.

Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is no stranger to life-altering natural disasters. Aid distributions like the ones currently underway in West Sulawesi provide believers with an opportunity to share the hope of Christ.

Use the prompts listed alongside this article to intercede for Indonesian pastors and church leaders, Juserdi requests. “Pray for us because the rainy season is predicted to last until February. This is a long period for [people trying to recover from] this earthquake and flooding,” he says.

“We need believers from outside Indonesia to pray for us. Pray God’s people will unite to help [and] show love to the affected communities.”


*–Name withheld for security purposes.


Header image depicts the destroyed ceiling of a building in Majene after a magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck the region. The earthquake was a foreshock of a larger 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck a day later. (Photo, caption courtesy of Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management via Wikimedia Commons)

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