Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Exciting news re the Tsunami

I received the following email today which I am posting in its entirety.

Dear Mr. Miller
Trust the below information is of help to you.
Bill Hekman

I have received this further word (below) from Pastor Hekman ... and have CONFIRMED THE STORY via a follow up phone call to Himawan Duhana of the Indonesian Relief Fund in California.

"I just had a call from Pastor Arnold Abraham in Ambon. I can now confirm the story about the 400 Christians who were saved from destruction by the Tsunami.

Pastor Abraham had a visit from some Chinese Indonesian pastors, one which now lives in the States. The names of the 3 men are Rev. Himawan (representing www.irfusa.org and www.cityblessing.org), Rev. Hana Ananda (founder and president of Pondok Kasih in Surabaya), and Jhon Kahuluge (also from Pondok Kasih in Surabaya). They were accompanies by Rev. Abraham Gitono from Surabaya, a board member of Pondok Kasih, ordained by the Bethany Church. The other 9 in the group came from 7 different humanitarian organizations from the US. They had come from visiting Meulaboh, Aceh and heard this account from the believers in Meulaboh. The 400 believers involved are from the Roman Catholic Church, GPIB Church and HKPB Church. They had requested permission from the District Leader (Camat), Police (POLRES) and DANDIM (Army) to celebrate Christmas in Meulaboh. They were told that since Meulaboh is under Sharia Islamic law it would better to go somewhere where there are no moslems. So the believers left the morning of Dec. 25th and walked about 5 kms to a hill area. They were accompanied by some members of the Marine Corps who were also Christians. They celebrated Christmas the afternoon of Dec. 25th and stayed there for the night. They had brought food, etc to camp there for the night. The Tsunami took place the morning of the 26th of Dec. These believers are now refugees living in Aceh Jaya. "

You can see pictures from Himawan's recent mission trip to Aceh at www.IRFUSA.org

We have posted another accounting of the story ( a bit longer than the above), on this page on the site www.expat.or.id/orgs/calvarylifefellowship.html

Sorry for the "back and forth" on this story .. but I wanted to get to the heart of it and find out from an authoritative source that it was true!!

All the best,

Danielle Surkatty
Member of the Organizing Committee
Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates