Martyr orphans receive hope and healing

By September 11, 2009

Indonesia (MNN) — From 1999 to 2002, bloody
Muslim-Christian conflict in Maluku, Indonesia left thousands of
children orphaned. Many were severely traumatized from watching their parents
suffer brutal deaths for their faith.

A petty conflict soon escalated into full-scale religious
riots at the beginning of 1999. Lines were soon drawn between Muslims and Christians,
and violent attacks ensued. By the time conflicts dissolved in 2002,
approximately 10,000 people were killed and over half a million displaced.

2001, Varinia Lewerissa started a
counseling ministry to help children of martyrs deal with emotional scars. "I soon learned, however, that monthly
counseling sessions were inadequate to help them recover," she said.

Two years later, she founded an orphanage
called The Caleb Chandler House. Over 40 children have found refuge here, along with
full-time care, schooling, spiritual nourishment, and life-skills training
provided by Lewerissa and her staff.

Open Doors USA recently provided training
and supplies to The Caleb House. Supplies included a set of
sewing machines and carpentry tools; agricultural training was also provided. 

Morning and evening worship services
at The Caleb House encourage children to grow in the Lord. Daily Bible reading and prayer nurtures
their spiritual growth, and the kids are encouraged to always give thanks to God
and care for the needs of others.

Over a decade later, most children are still haunted
by the violent loss of their parents. A boy named James, now 18, was only 9 when
his parents were killed.

"After the funeral, I had a dream where my
parents came back to life and visited me," he said while staring at the
floor. "In my dream, I was shocked and scared because I knew they had
passed away. In reality, I missed them and their love so much."  

Through the counseling training, Lewerissa developed
new skills to help orphans through their grief.

"I put the method into practice right after the
training," Lewerissa stated, "and amazingly, some of the children
started to open up and tell personal secrets I had never heard of before."

Pray for these children as they work through their
post-traumatic counseling. Pray that God envelopes them in His love as they
revisit traumatic scenes in their past.

If you'd like to help Open Doors make a difference
in lives of persecuted Christians, please click here.


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