Fire damages a Christian children’s home in Indonesia.

By October 3, 2003

Indonesia (MNN)–Workers were gathered for prayer and fasting on the second floor of a Christian children’s home in Indonesia two weeks ago, when heavy smoke began descended from the floor above them.

Someone called the fire department, and everyone began evacuating. Three fire engines arrived and firemen put out the fire, but not before it destroyed all the belongings and furnishings on the third floor.

No one was lost or injured in the blaze, but mattresses, bedding, musical instruments, tape recorders, fans and furniture were consumed. In addition, schoolbooks,
bags, uniforms, shoes and personal belongings of 100 children were lost.

The children cannot return to school until they are supplied with new uniforms, shoes and books. “The girls are sleeping in any space on the floor like sardines,” said the school’s director, “while the boys are staying temporarily in a community building next to the children’s home.”

Most of the children are from rural areas where they have little chance to obtain an education, and some have lost a mother or father to terrorist attacks in the past three years.

Christian Aid Mission’s John Lindner says news of the crisis reached them only recently. When asked if this was an extremist-fueled arson, Lindner said: “We don’t know what caused the fire, and it did not consume the building, but, it did consume the contents on the third floor of the building where a lot of the children slept. So, they are now having to improvise, find shelter for the children, and other quarters. All of the books and school clothing has been destroyed; that has to be replaced.”

Lindner added the incident was most likely an accident, but they need help. “A lot of these children came from impoverished rural families. Some came from families that have suffered persecution elsewhere and were brought here because they had no home. The children are cared for, they are loved they are taught Christian principles and bible training and given schooling. So, they find the love of Christ in this home.”

Ministry leaders are praying for funds to renovate the damaged third floor and replace the damaged goods.

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