Tuesday, July 16
The Javanese village of Ngrajek is 13 miles from one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Merapi, which in 2010 began its biggest eruption since the 1870s. On October 24, a flow of cold lava took away many of the Ngrajek villagers’ homes.
The increasing number of disasters and the global economic crisis have made funds for aid hard to come by, especially for a village like Ngrajek, located far from the volcano. Seeing few other options, the villagers formed their own response team. Bang Med, the team leader, said that the government offered the villagers a place in makeshift barracks, but on seeing their conditions, Mr. Med said: “We are serving survivors who have already suffered. Why make them suffer more?”
Instead, the community built their own temporary shelters. The village leader provided a small slice of land between rice paddies. Using bamboo that grows abundantly in the area, the people built twelve houses, a worship room, a library, and a village meeting space. Their houses were so much admired that they were copied in two other neighboring villages.
Today the people proudly give visitors a tour of their homegrown village. They brag about how, in a speech at the dedication of the houses, a government official admitted the government’s barracks cost much more but were far less successful than what the people built themselves.
Let us join in prayer for:
Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS-Yogya): Siti Syamsiyatum, M.A., Ph.D., director
Communion of Churches in Indonesia: Rev. Dr. Andreas A. Yewangoe, general chair, Rev. Gomar Gulton, general secretary
Christian Church of Indonesia: Rev. Royandi Tanudjaja, general chair, Rev. Arlyanus Larosa, general secretary
Christian Church of Indonesia, Central Java: Rev. Samuel Adi Perdana, general chair
Christian Church of Java: Rev. Dr. Andreas Untung Wiyono, general secretary
East Java Christian Church: Rev. Rudy Sewoyo, general chair, Rev. Tjondro F. Gardjito, general secretary
Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua: Rev. Jemima J. Mirion-Krey, chair, Rev. Hizkia Rollo, secretary
Protestant Christian Church of Bali: Rev. Nyoman Suanda, general chair, Rev. I. Made Priana, general secretary
Duta Wacana Christian University: Dr. Djohan, Mem, Ph.D., rector, Rev. Dr. Yahya Wijaya, dean of theology
Satya Wacana Christian University: Prof. Dr. John Titalay, rector
Theological Seminary of Jakarta: Rev. Dr. Joas Adiprasetya, rector
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Shelly Lewis, PMA
Tony Lewis, PPC
Let us pray
Dear Creator God, we praise you for the abundance of life-giving strength and provisions you surround us with, even in the midst of disaster. Thank you for the inspiration of the people of Ngrajek. May we open our eyes to the resources you give us to help our neighbors as we help ourselves, so that together we create a more livable world. Amen.