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Alleviate suffering of earthquake victims

The Churchs relief efforts following a 6.3 earthquake in Indonesia on May 27 provide an example of how government business and religious organizations — Muslims and Christians — can work together said Asia Area Seventy Elder Subandriyo.
Photo by Tyler HarrisA truck filled with Church emergency relief and medical supplies including casting material splints braces canes crutches and wheelchairs prepares to leave Latter-day Saint chapel in Indonesia for disaster zone.
Even though we are sad of the tragedy this relief has been helpful for both the giver and the receiver of the service he said.
When Church leaders learned of the disaster — the largest to strike Indonesia since a tsunami devastated the country Dec. 26 2004 — they immediately chartered a 747 jetliner and filled it with eight semi-truckloads of relief supplies. When the supplies requested by the Indonesian Ministry of Health and sent in cooperation with Islamic Relief Worldwide arrived in Indonesia 12 trucks owned by Media Indonesia transported the supplies to the Churchs staging area and then to the disaster zone.
As a result of the cooperative effort between the Church the Indonesian government Islamic Relief and Media Indonesia emergency relief and medical supplies including casting material splints braces canes crutches and wheelchairs reached those in need days after the disaster. In all the Church helped 66 hospitals and clinics.
Dr. Alwi Shihab Indonesian Envoy to the Middle East and former Indonesian Minister of Health told a Latter-day Saint film crew that the government is grateful for what the Church has been doing for the Indonesian people — in terms of help contributions and friendship.
He said the Church has been able to work effectively with the Indonesian government because both entities share the same objective. They want to alleviate the suffering the agony of the people he said. We are proud of this cooperation and we want to continue this cooperation.
Dr. Shihab praised Church leaders for their quick action after the earthquake. The attention of the Church is significant because it acts so quickly and so fast to alleviate the suffering of the people.
The Church has become well known in his country because it helps without asking for anything in return he added.
The Churchs efforts were featured in numerous media reports in Indonesia and elsewhere. Elder Subandriyo said his colleagues heard about Latter-day Saint efforts through local media; with so many others they express appreciation for the Church. They said Hey your church is wonderful. It is amazing to see how quick we are and how generous we are in helping the people of Indonesia.
Photo by Elder SubandriyoChurch members in Indonesia prepare food boxes for earthquake victims in their country. The quake left 200000 people homeless.
Dr. Shihab said it is impossible to visit Yogyakarta the hardest-hit area and not feel the pain and agony of those who are the victims of the earthquake.
No Church members were injured in the disaster said Elder Subandriyo. However six member homes were destroyed and another 10 damaged during the earthquake that killed at least 5600 people injured more than 20000 and left 200000 homeless.
After the disaster many of the 2000 members in Indonesia worked around-the-clock to provide meals for those with injured family members. Several community food kitchens were unable to operate as they had no food. The Church provided two trucks filled with rice cooking oil sugar and vegetables for those food kitchens in need.
More than a week after the disaster members continued their efforts assembling hygiene kits and school kits.
Local Latter-day Saints Elder Subandriyo said have helped so many. They have also found he added that the giver receives as much from service as the recipient. I am so amazed how their service has strengthened their testimony in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what we are trying to do.
An earlier report and photos were published in the June 3 2006 issue of Church News.
Photo by Tyler HarrisIndonesians line a street days after an 6.3 earthquake struck their nation killing at least 5600.
E-mail to: sarah@desnews.com

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