Flood damage in Indonesia still felt

By May 31, 2007

Indonesia (MNN) — Flooding continues to have an impact on Sentani, a small city on the island of Papua, Indonesia. In March, more than a dozen people were killed when more than 14 inches of rain fell in just hours causing landslides, flooding, and destruction throughout the city. 

The flooding also affected the work of Mission Aviation Fellowship. Water was knee-deep in some areas of the MAF compound. Computers and supplies were destroyed. But within hours, flights resumed.

Almost three months later, however, the people of Sentani are still being affected by the destruction, says MAF's base manager Mike Brooks. "The flooding destroyed a lot of the key bridges in this area–two major key bridges in the little town of Sentani, and it's really caused a lot of traffic snarls."

The flooding also took out water lines in the city, says Brooks. "A lot of the people had to resort to using rain water and river water to wash their clothes and to bathe. We've been able to help literally hundreds of people on a weekly basis, providing them with fresh drinking water from our underground wells that's safe to drink and to cook with."

Providing love and compassion has given MAF a platform, says Brooks. "It's times like these that people really have an opportunity to see who we really are, that we do have a heart of compassion and a heart of love, and we really have a desire to reach out."

According to Brooks, their water ministry has had the most impact on their Muslim neighbors. "I think their hearts have really been changed. They see that there is a difference in who we are and who we say that we are."

MAF needs your prayers. The two main bridges will not be repaired any time soon, and it's uncertain when water lines will be repaired.

In the meantime, MAF continues to fly into hard-to-reach areas of the country. "We as pilots and technicians are constantly dealing with adverse conditions. The terrain and mountainous type flying that we do is a challenge, and it's an assumed risk that we all take doing day to day ministry in flying."

Leave a Reply