While the Central Sulawesi region of Indonesia is still reeling from a recent earthquake and tsunami, Chad Isenhart, international response director for Foursquare Disaster Relief (FDR), says the disaster has created a major opportunity for the church to shine.
FDR and Foursquare churches have distributed more than $51,000 of emergency supplies and cash grants for necessities since early October. Among the supplies handed out: rice, eggs, noodles, diapers, water and medications.
Chad reports that one pastor has been giving free food and water to Christian and non-Christian neighbors alike—some of whom had even attacked his church in the past.
“He’s using his resources to bless people who in the past have fought him,” states Chad, who visited the Southeast Asian nation Oct. 9-13. “You see that time and time again. People are seeing the church reach out to the community.”
Although the Sept. 28 tsunami primarily affected the city of Palu, the earthquake caused widespread damage. It destroyed Regional Supervisor Franky Rewah’s church, located nearly two hours from Palu.
“It’s been neat to see not only The Foursquare Church, but also other churches, working together.”
—Chad Isenhart, FDR international response director
So far, FDR has assessed conditions of 60 of the area’s 125 Foursquare (known locally as GPDI) churches and determined that 40 have been seriously damaged or destroyed.
Even though the early October death toll of nine Foursquare members remains unchanged, Chad notes that an undetermined number of people are still missing.
“Pastor Franky has done an incredible job of mobilizing leaders and pastors to meet with people, pray with them, and get them food, water and a little bit of financial assistance,” Chad affirms. “It’s been neat to see not only The Foursquare Church, but also other churches, working together.”
In addition to praying for people in Indonesia, anyone who wants to help fund relief efforts can give to FDR’s Indonesia Relief Fund.