Signs of hope and progress in Indonesia.

By December 28, 2005

Indonesia (MNN) — Since the first days after the earthquake and tsunami hit Indonesia, International Aid has been present in that country, bringing aid and assistance to those devastated.

While no one is grateful for the tsunami and its destruction, International Aid’s Myles Fish says there’s great reason to hope as rebuilding continues to move forward. “Even though the trauma is not yet over, and won’t be for years and years to come, the fact of the matter is that in just one year, you can go back there today, and you can definitely see signs of hope. Progress is being made; reconstruction has started. Some homes are being rebuilt. A new fishing fleet is being constructed on the beach.”

IA recently set up a medical equipment repair and training center in Banda Aceh. IA offered and the Indonesian government accepted the proposal for IA to construct and manage a center that would repair the medical equipment in all 32 hospitals of the Aceh Province. The center is an important and strategic step in restoring Indonesia’s health care infrastructure.

Fish is grateful for the outpouring of support as IA has responded to the tsunami disaster (among others) this year, and although it’s far from being over, Fish insists there’s reason to hope in the progress that is being made. “And we’re very, very grateful for that support, and we feel as though we’ve been privileged to be the mechanism by which people reached out and provided assistance to those victims.”

There were great needs in that area even before the tsunami, but Fish says they would not have been able to enter that region. “It was a closed society, and it would not have been possible for us to go in and provide support to them. We’re now able to do that. And I want to be really clear that nobody’s grateful for the tsunami, but now that the tsunami has happened, we’ve had the opportunity to demonstrate to the officials there in Indonesia that we have a meaningful, positive contribution that can be made on behalf of their people, and we have been welcomed.”

God has opened doors where they once were closed, and Fish is eager to see that work continue. “We’re really looking forward to not only building the relationships that we’ve already started there, but growing in those relationships to the point where we can have open, honest, respectful dialogue about why we’re there, who we believe in, who Jesus Christ is, and what the difference is between our faith and their faith. And that day is not too far around the corner. We see it coming, and we’re looking forward to it with great anticipation.”

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