Muslims in Indonesia receiving help, Christians still in need

By January 7, 2005

Indonesia (MNN) — As relief is beginning to be distributed in Indonesia, Christians in the region aren’t getting what they need to survive. Teen Missions International’s Bob Bland says they have a headquarters near Banda Aceh.

Bland describes the area. “It’s a strong Muslim area and people that have been known to profess Christianity have been killed.”

However, Bland believes providing relief in Jesus name can change hearts. “People know us by the work that we do. And, they’re looking to see if Christianity really produces anything or not. And, I think that’s why it’s important that Christians do something, regardless of whether these people are Christians or Muslims (or whatever).”

While this area is receiving aid, areas that are predominately Christian aren’t getting what they need, as access is difficult. One areas of concern is Nias Island, south of Banda Aceh and near one of their Bible Schools. Bland says, “We know it because we have so many students in our Bible schools from there. It’s a Christian Island it’s 95-percent Christian. It has received no help.”

Leaders from Teen Missions traveled to the island to assess the damage. Bland says they visited two villages along the coast. “In Sirombu there were 166 houses, all of them swept right out to sea. In Mandrehe there were 42 houses and they were swept into the sea. Hundreds died and many more are missing. There’s a tremendous need to reach out to these people.”

Teen Missions is raising money for large tents, to shelter the homeless. Funding is needed for this effort and other relief efforots.

While shelter for these victims is top priority, Teen Missions is also getting ready to help in rebuilding efforts. “We’ve set up a team to go there this summer, a work team, to rebuild a church and we’re trying to help raise the finances because at this time there is no church, it’s gone.”

Teen Mission is recruiting young people now to join that summer trip. You can get contact information at http://www.MNNonline.org/tsunami.

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