News media is ignoring new tsunami in Indonesia, Christians aren’t

By July 21, 2006

Indonesia (MNN) — While the world watches rockets explode in Lebanon and Israel, news outlets around the world are ignoring a disaster that’s claimed hundreds of lives in Indonesia. On July 17 a 7.7 magnitude earthquake shook the southeast part of Java, creating a tsunami that crashed into 110 mile stretch of beach.

Global Aid Network, or GAIN USA, is headed to the region to help. GAIN’s Tim Burns says the situation isn’t good. “Thousands are homeless. 520 are confirmed dead. And, numbers are rising every day. And, this has been a nation that’s been battered with natural disaster after natural disaster. So, everybody’s already stretched and tired and exhausted.”

Burns says their team should be on the ground soon.. “We got a team going in a Saturday, a medical team going in on Saturday to do obviously emergency medical work and to have clinics available to people who need them. And, also to do assessment to see what’s needed in the future.”

While initially it’s focused on the physical, Burns says that’s not the only focus. “Every time we go into an area we have people coming out of the wood work to ask us, ‘why are you here — folks around here hate Christians. Why are you here?’ And, we tell them it’s because the love of Jesus Christ. And, depending on the area that we’re going into, there’s so much that can be done on a spiritual level and an evangelism level.”

Burns says this area is a little bit more open to the Gospel than Banda Aceh, where the 2004 Tsunami hit killing over 100,000 people. He says that’s why funding is needed. “There’s so much to be done in that area and everything’s been hit so hard. We are needing money for relief efforts — food, medicine, shelter. We just need general relief effort money and the body of Christ to come together for Indonesia.”

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