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Indonesian leaders aware of Church aid

PROVO Utah — Government leaders in Indonesia are aware of and grateful for Latter-day Saint humanitarian efforts in their country said a prominent Indonesian leader Oct. 10.
The presence of the Mormon Church in Indonesia is more visible and more felt now then ever said Alwi Shihab Indonesias Presidential Envoy to the Middle East.
In Provo to speak at a BYU forum Dr. Shihab told the Church News that Indonesian leaders appreciate the Churchs desire to alleviate suffering after two recent disasters in his country. We are grateful and we have to acknowledge that he said.
The Church entered the Indonesian humanitarian scene on a large scale after a tsunami killed more than 100000 people in the country Dec. 26 2004. This year when a 6.3 earthquake struck the country May 27 the Church again sent emergency aid and medical equipment.
Today nearly 22 months after the tsunami the Church is still helping Indonesia rebuild. In partnership with major humanitarian organizations the Church is constructing homes schools health clinics and water and sanitation systems in Indonesia. The Churchs work in the area is the organizations most significant humanitarian effort to date — fueled by the fast offerings of members and contributions from others in responding to a request from the First Presidency and marking the first time the organization has offered long-term assistance after a disaster.
As time progresses the Mormon Church gains more respect by the people of Indonesia because they are doing it without a certain motive but to help the needy and the underprivileged said Dr. Shihab.
As an example of the Churchs goodwill gestures toward his country Dr. Shihab recalled touring the tsunami devastation with Indonesian President Yudhoyono. He received a phone call from President Boyd K. Packer Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve and Dr. Shihabs friend. President Packer asked Dr. Shihab what the Church could do. Just two days removed from the disaster Dr. Shihab looked at the thousands of corpses in front of him. He asked President Packer to send body bags a request the Church honored by sending in total 50000 body bags.
He told President Yudhoyono that President Packer from the Mormon Church will send us bags. Not only that but whatever we need. We always turn to the Church because we know they are responsive and doing it without any ulterior motive.
E-mail to: sarah@desnews.com

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