Dear Supporters of CEDAR,
Few weeks ago, I was in Donggala, Indonesia, one of the hardest hit regions by the earthquake and tsunami on 28th September. We visited the victims in 7 of the 11 villages/temporary camps, where CEDAR is offering emergency support via our local partner, PESAT. Please click for details there. Here, I want to share with you my reflection from the trip.
Donggala, situated in eastern Indonesia, has a good population of Christians. The earthquake had not only caused the loss of many homes, but also brought severe damages to churches. In one of the villages we visited, the 2-year-old church building had completely gone. Today, most believers have to worship God either outdoor or inside a tent.
Although the brothers and sisters in places I visited suffered from the losses of homes, relatives and friends, I can find them selflessly helping others in their communities. We all know that the word “church” in the Bible does not refer to the cathedral, instead, the community of Jesus’ followers. Our Indonesian brothers and sisters illustrate how a genuine Body of Christ should be.
Even more beautiful is that I find believers from two different local churches are serving together in a camp. I believe this is the kind of unity Jesus talks about. When we put Christ and the suffering people in the centre of our lives, we will be able to put aside our differences and join hands in bringing transformation to this world.
When Jesus prays for unity among His believers, He doesn’t ask for unity merely in great catastrophes (which is often the case). Unity should exist in every dimension of the Church. Unity should be among different local churches and denominations, between the more affluent local churches and those with lesser, as well as among churches from different cultures and continents.
No doubt that unity would come with effort. Perhaps, a simple first step is to share our resources with brothers and sisters in less developed countries while they are faithfully serving the needy. Our annual “Red Packet Campaign” raises fund for our overseas church partners to eradicate poverty and injustice in their communities. Please consider to join us in this journey of promoting unity within the Body of Christ.
Wishing you and your family a fruitful 2019!