With a continuously rising death toll, it is feared that more than 800 people are dead and hundreds more are missing or trapped beneath ruined buildings in a 7.4 magnitude earthquake which hit district Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Moutong, the coastal city of Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia on Friday 28 September 2018.
While offering prayers and condolences to the families and friends of hundreds of people who have lost lives in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi region, the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) called on its member churches and councils to pray for those affected.
The CCA General Secretary, Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, expressed heartfelt sympathy and offered prayers especially for the healing of the injured and the consolation of all who grieve on the loss of their loved ones.
Reports from various sources confirm that dead bodies that have been lying in city streets and the injured are being treated in tents because of damage to hospitals. Many victims were still buried under the rubble of buildings and collapsed houses. Three days after the earthquake hit the island, rescue workers are still combing through chunks of concrete and wreckage searching for survivors.
In a message addressed to member churches of CCA in Indonesia that have congregations in the Central Sulawesi – Gereja Kristen Sulawesi Tengah (GKST), Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP), Gereja Kristen Indonesia (GKI), Gereja Toraja and the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI), the CCA General Secretary stated, “As we learn the extent of this disaster, our thoughts and prayers are with the people and communities in the Central Sulawesi region, especially the families of those dead or still missing. We pray to the All-Merciful Lord for the quick recovery of the wounded, for bestowing spiritual accompaniment and aid for all those who have lost their livelihood and shelter. We pray for the strengthening of those who are involved in the rescue operations”.
Recalling a prayer offered on a previous occasion, the CCA General Secretary urged all member churches of CCA as well as churches around the world to pray for the victims:
“God, the violence of nature shocks us.
We don’t understand why these things happen,
but in the midst of our confusion we turn towards you, not away from you.
We ask for your mercy to be with the victims of the earthquake in Indonesia.
Comfort those who have lost family.
Protect and preserve those still in danger.
Give rescue workers courage and wisdom and direction to stem the suffering.
God, have mercy! Heal and save.
We need your hand to work in this case, now. In Jesus…”
(Source: Prayer Plain & Simple / Mark and Jill Herringshaw).
Indonesian Disaster Management Agency reported that 2.4 million people were impacted by Friday’s earthquake.
For CCA General Secretary’s Message to Indonesian Churches, please click here CCA-GS-Letter-to-churches-in-Central-Sulawesi.pdf
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