Just days before Christmas, Indonesia was once again thrown into chaos after a deadly tsunami smashed into the coastline of the Sunda Strait, killing at least 281 people and injuring more than 1,000.
FEBC Indonesia’s First Response Radio (FRR) team was able to assist the local station to provide help and life-giving broadcasts. Despite the local station’s lack of knowledge about how they could broadcast to help people in the emergency, the FRR team was able to offer effective training and show them the opportunity. FEBC also distributed 200 radios to the people in a temporary refugee shelter.
The tsunami impacted a very strong Muslim area and there was a great response to the help provided by FEBC. Listeners and people on the ground said that they really appreciated and were moved by seeing our Christian team on Christmas Eve coming to help them in their time of need, instead of going to their own churches and gathering with their own families. What a testimony of practical Christian love!
FEBC remains committed to responding in such emergencies. We accept that Indonesia’s high frequency of tsunamis and earthquakes is due to its location. The archipelago straddles the so-called Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ – the spot where four tectonic plates meet – with the majority of the world’s volcanic and earthquake activity happening along this belt. Due to Indonesia’s location and exposure, it is vital we continue to offer emergency radio support and relief to our neighbour.
The love of God compels us to help one another. We are stewards and God will hold us all accountable one day for what we have done with what we are given. Doing for others is doing for Christ, as written in Matthew 25:35-40. When you visit the sick, when you visit those in prison or write letters to them, when you give clothing to the poor, and when you reach out with emergency radio to support our brothers and sisters in Indonesia, you actually do it to Christ.
Our faith in God enables us to face disasters in all walks of life, whether they be natural, personal, emotional or spiritual. As Psalm 46:1-2 comforts us: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
The most recent disaster follows a tragic year of natural disasters for our Australian neighbour. The deadliest of these hit the city of Palu, in Sulawesi, in September, killing more than 2000 people.
For the people in Indonesia, rebuilding their lives and still mourning the loss of loved ones – with almost 3000 people killed in earthquakes and tsunamis in 2018 – FEBC is doubly blessed to be able to offer not only the love of Christ in doing for others, but also the hope of Christ through faith via radio to help comfort and guide them through any future disasters.