TWR has stepped in to help Lombok as national and international agencies rush survival supplies to the Indonesian island ravaged by deadly earthquakes.
Government and nongovernmental officials are working to meet immediate physical needs: evacuating stranded tourists and providing shelter and medical help. Meanwhile, TWR is leveraging its strengths in multilingual broadcasting to provide information, encouragement and spiritual nourishment.
“This situation put the people in Lombok in the state of chaos and terror,” said Utomo Iman Santosa, a native of Indonesia who serves as TWR’s international director for Southeast Asia. “Many of them are still in shock because of the loss of their loved ones and their belongings. We hope that our programmes will help the survivors to stand strong even in their difficult situation and to help them look to the true source of hope and strength, God alone.”
Santosa flew to Lombok only a few days after the second big quake struck, to further coordinate TWR’s response. On 29th July a magnitude 6.4 quake rocked the island, located just east of Bali, and a more powerful temblor followed on 5th August. Early reports said at least 98 people were killed and hundreds injured, but that has since risen to over 250.
Santosa said special programming created by TWR’s national partner in Indonesia received positive responses from listeners after the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 left much of Aceh province in ruins. Now the 70 episodes of Therapy for the Soul are being reviewed and adapted as necessary, to address the needs of the Lombok crisis. Indonesian, also called Bahasa Indonesia, is one of more than 230 languages in which TWR proclaims the Gospel around the world.
The programme will be beamed from Guam and from Christian broadcaster FEBC’s station in East Bali, with an FM station on Lombok to be added to the mix if possible. Arrangements are also in the works for a local network of churches on Lombok to collaborate with TWR to promote the broadcasts and distribute radios to households needing them.
Please join us in praying for the effectiveness of the broadcasts and for the relief efforts in the region.
Photo: Indonesian President Joko Widodo (facing camera) inspects damage after the initial earthquake struck Lombok.