Strong quake rattles Indonesia’s residents, memory

By January 12, 2012

Indonesia (MNN) — Hours after Indonesia lifted a tsunami
warning on Wednesday following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, life seems to have
returned to normal. 

Banda Aceh (260 miles
from the epicenter) was reminded of the eerie similarities between Wednesday's
tremors and the 2004 quake off Aceh which created a tsunami that killed over 200,000
people around the Indian Ocean. The
force of the temblor was felt in northern and western Sumatra.

Kathy Redmond with Compassion International says they're still
waiting on word from their teams, which could take up to another day to come
in. However, she says because their
work is in Jakarta, she's not expecting to see much in the way of damages. 

Still, "the concern is that the Child Development
Centers are prepared for something, and I think that they are. Our centers and
our staff have emergency kits and that sort of thing. They monitor these things
very closely."

After 2004, the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPD)
worked with residents to help them better understand and respond to earthquake
and tsunamis. The government
also used the disaster management agency funds to create local-level disaster
management agencies, train volunteer disaster responders, and help create a
disaster management plan and map out the high-risk areas.

That's a big part of what Compassion International did, too,
and with good reason. With a quake as
strong as the one that struck this week, she wonders "whether this 7.3
magnitude earthquake is a pre-cursor to something else, what the aftershocks might bring. These people in Indonesia
are used to disaster, so I think their readiness is okay."

Noting a severe uptick in the number of simultaneous disasters
Compassion is confronting in areas such as Colombia, Brazil, the  Philippines, Thailand, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, Redmond admits it's easy to feel compassion fatigue. "You have so many disasters going on
right now, that it's really important to stay abreast of it and to follow and
to make sure that people are there who can support that kind of thing and pray
for it as well."

Their team is in a state of alert now. Compassion works through the local church in
meeting the needs of the most at-risk families in the communities where they work. In a disaster, they can easily shift into
first responder mode as the hands and feet of Christ. "That
church works around the clock, especially in times of crisis or disaster. that's when it opens its doors. That's when they have the water, blankets, the
food, the medicine, and things like that. People are able to go to the church and
get their needs met, and at the same time, they do find the love of Christ in
that church."

Pray. Even though the
Indonesia Compassion team seems to have escaped harm for now, they need to
remain vigilant. "There's a lot
more openness to the message of Christ and to Christ's love during times of
crisis. The great thing about Compassion is that we work through the local
churches in all of these areas. That church then, becomes the refuge."

Check our Featured Links section for more detail on
Compassion International in Indonesia.

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