from the Executive Council of the National Communion of Churches (PGI) in Indonesia
The Vice General Secretary of the PGI, Rev. Krise Gosal, arrived in Palu this afternoon on a military plane from Makassar. Immediately after landing, she tried to coordinate humanitarian aid for churches in and around Palu and Donggala.
She reported several things as follows:
- There are still problems with communications. It is still difficult to know the whereabouts of minister friends who have been PGI contacts. E.g., there has not yet been contact with the Moderator of GPID (the Protestant Church of Indonesia, Donggala). Another difficulty is that there is still no electricity and this, in turn, makes it difficult to get water. Fuel costs have gone up, while no ATM machines are functioning.
- Tarps that were hoped for from the National Board for Disaster Relief have not yet arrived. The PGI Vice General Secretary has tried to request tarps from this Board that is parked in front of the Governor’s office, but was told that the tarps had not yet arrived.
- GKST (the Christian Church of Central Sulawesi) has opened a coordination center at the Imanuel High School in the region of Jalur Dua that is being managed by the Palu Presbytery, and is coordinated by Rev. Nurna Tokede and Rev. Frida Gintu. For now, this is the Coordination Center for Humanitarian Service for the churches in Indonesia.
- People seeking shelter choose to sleep under trees in the schoolyard or under a tarp, probably because they fear the impact of aftershocks that were still being felt this morning.
- Up until this afternoon, ministers and church members were still buy helping to look for members of their congregations who disappeared when the sea swallowed them. Today, two church members were found dead, and tens of others with injuries were taken to the hospital. One church member who was eight months pregnant has not yet been found. Today several members of the GPID Synod Council buried church members whose bodies were rotting. The Moderator and General Secretary were busy looking for and arranging for church members and family members who have not yet been found and who have died.
- Tonight the Vice General Secretary of PGI will return to coordinate with the GPID General Secretary and Vice General Secretary, together with Rev. Nurna, Rev. Frida, and Rev. Ones Kamboji of GKST, while waiting for the arrival of volunteers from the Indonesian Student Christian Movement in Palu and the GKST Synod Council who left Tentena at 11 this morning but have not yet managed to reach Palu yet because the road is so congested with the flow of displaced peoples.
- Meanwhile, aid logistics are being handled by the military who say this is to prevent looting. Apparently some sporadic looting has occurred.
Considering the above notes and the condition that is still not yet being handled well, what is needed is food, medicine, tarps, clothing, and other daily needs [toiletries, solar lights and water filters].
The PGI Executive Council urges all church members to hold families who have suffered from this disaster in your prayers of intercession—personal prayers, family prayers, neighborhood prayers, and prayers during church worship. You are also urged to share in bearing the burden of suffering of our brothers and sisters, without bias, by contributing funds and resources.
The PGI Executive Council will make every effort to send aid immediately to the site, distributing it in coordination with the post that is being coordinated together with churches in Palu, Donggala, and in Central Sulawesi in general.
Rev. Gomar Gultom, PGI General Secretary
HOW TO HELP: