Flash floods in Indonesia allow ministry teams to plant new seeds.

By November 7, 2003

Indonesia (MNN)–Monday’s flash flood on the Indonesian island of Sumatra is now known to have killed at least 101 people.

The tragedy has focused attention once again on the rapid destruction of Indonesia’s forests. The area is hit by floods every year, but environmentalists say that illegal logging has stripped the area of much of the tree cover and other vegetation which would normally absorb water during the rainy season.

AMG International’s Larry Malone says they have ministry teams in the area who are putting aside their current outreach to help.

Their workers are generally occupied in Scripture translation and church planting, but the greater needs presented by the crisis motivate response. The floods, Malone explains, provide an opportunity for greater work. “One of the things that has helped AMG is that anytime there’s a disaster, flood relief, we’re in with immediate supplies to help the people just to live and exist for the time-being and then we seek to reach into their lives by helping provide homes and food.”

On his most recent trip to the area, Malone saw a dedication to ministry despite the conditions. He also was encouraged that their teams were not cowed by the presence of the militant Muslims in the area.

However, their resistance to pressure from the militants marked them for trouble in other trouble areas of Indonesia. Malone says, “On the island of Java, many of our men have been told, even after they had built new buildings, that they couldn’t occupy the buildings, otherwise the fanatical Muslim element that’s there would burn them to the ground.”

Acknowledging the loss of several churches to this element, Malone asks for support. “Pray that God will continue to provide for their needs. The economy in Indonesia is devastating. The people are existing on very little. They just need Gods people to uphold them in prayer that they’ll stay faithful to the Lord.”

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