Even Four years later, she was still haunted by nightmares. Again and again, in her dreams she would try reaching out for her little brother’s hand, only to see him sucked away by the power of the tsunami.
Now at ten years old, the trauma of the Indonesian earthquake and tidal waves that devastated the northern shores of Sumatra were still fresh in the little girl’s mind. Even the sound of thunder from a passing rainstorm was enough to send her into a panic. Her extreme reactions to such things precluded even her being able to attend school. Finally, her mother agreed to let one of the workers from the Northern Aceh Counseling Center meet with her. Slowly and sensitively, the counselor began to help the little girl deal with her inner fears and allow God’s healing touch put to rest the horrific images.of the tsunami and her lost brother.
Today, restored and healthy, the girl is back in school and leading a normal life. Even more important, seeing the power of God in their lives, she and her mother have responded positively to the Gospel message offered by the workers at the Center.
Partners International is not a relief and development organization. But often, a major disaster will strike in the very places where our ministry partners are working. In those cases, we have been able to mobilize resources, people, and especially prayers, in support of local outreach efforts. Instead of competing with the Red Cross or other large relief agencies, we have focused our efforts on equipping small, local ministries to establish long-term rehabilitation and community services. From water wells to fish ponds, from home reconstruction to community centers, our partners seek creative, yet meaningful ways to show God’s love in the midst of devastating disaster.
In the case of the young girl in this story, it was a counseling center established to care for her and thousands of others traumatized by the 2004 tsunami that led her to Jesus. And because our partners are part of the local community, they carry on these relationships years after other relief agencies have left. It’s just one more way that Partners International is privileged to empower indigenous ministries to demonstrate God’s love and help build His Kingdom in the hard places of the world.
Straight Way, the greatest name in heaven and on earth. As they sat discussing the uniqueness of Jesus, they said, ‘We’ve never heard anything like this!’ “Even before the earthquake, it had always been on my heart to minister in West Sumatra. The Minang culture is deeply tied to Islam, and it has always been difficult to share the Good News with them. But God had a plan! They have received us with open arms and have even prayed with us many times in the name of Jesus. Truly, this is something I never imagined!”
Immediately after the quake, Cahaya Suku mobilized 10 church planters, including Yani, to move into the disaster area and organize the distribution of relief supplies. Now 18 months later, the ministry continues among the Minang people-the fourth largest ethnic group in the country. Since the disaster, Cahaya Suku’s team has prayed for 1,500 people in Jesus’ name, baptized 11 new believers, and delivered thousands of relief packages Minang people play a major role in Indonesian political, economic, and religious life.
If the Minang could be reached for Christ, they would have a tremendous impact on other unreached people groups in Indonesia, Malaysia, and perhaps the whole Islamic world. “Pray that the name of the Lord Jesus would be praised by many among the Minang,” Yani said, “and that they’d become the beginning of a movement of the Holy Spirit throughout West Sumatra!”