Pray for the victims of floods and landslides in East Timor and Indonesia
“For us in Timor Leste (East Timor), Easter should have been a happy day, but the situation changed in the morning to tears and distress because of the sudden floods – homes washed away, property carried away by water, and pregnant women and babies lying helpless”, writes Rev. Juliana Temperaja, general secretary of the Protestant church in East Timor (IPTL).
At least 113 people have been reported dead so far after flash floods and landslides hit Indonesia and East Timor on Sunday the 4th of April. Torrential rains with water from overflowing dams have submerged thousands of homes.
The affected area stretches from Flores island in eastern Indonesia to East Timor. In Indonesia alone, 86 people have died with dozens still missing.
At least 27 people have also died in East Timor. Many of the victims are believed to be from the country’s capital Dili.
Landslides and flash floods are not uncommon across the Indonesian archipelago during the rainy season. The country’s disaster agency has estimated that nearly half of the country’s population – some 125 million people – live in parts of the country at risk of landslides.
IPTL, despite majority of its members drawn from economically disempowered sections, hopes to reach out to the worst affected in Dili and Lospalos. Incidentally IPTL and GMIT are key partner churches of Global Ministries in Southern East Asia.
Rev. Dr. Mery Kolimon, moderator of Evangelical Protestant in Timor (GMIT) too asserts her determination to keep hope alive amidst sadness and destruction:
“The memory of the risen Christ
gives us strength.
He does not leave us without power….
Only by caring for each other can we get through this together.
Turning to the Life is turning to solidarity, caring one with another.
After the circumstances subsided
we clean the scattered debris
We help the most vulnerable
We rebuild the future together
In faith, hope, and love.
Happy Easter Gratitude.”