From the earthquake region around Yogyakarta

Zurich. According to reports from District Apostle Alfons Tansahtikno, leader of the New Apostolic Church in Indonesia, four New Apostolic members lost their lives in the serious earthquake in Yogyakarta on the island of Java. Hundreds of members are without shelter, as is the majority of the region’s population.

"Several ministers drove directly to Yogyakarta in order to comfort our brethren there,” writes the District Apostle—at the moment there is no communication since the telephone lines are down, and there are no flights to Yogyakarta either—“The brothers are driving there by car!” Then they learn the terrible news that four members of the congregation of Mawen have lost their lives, while another 15 lie injured in hospital. The Mawen church building is completely destroyed, and many houses have been seriously damaged.

Apostle Edy Isnugroho arrives in his hometown of Yogyakarta at 2:30 AM Sunday. His house is filled with neighbours who have lost their homes! He spends the night under the open sky on the church grounds of the New Apostolic congregation in Gendeng, Yogyakarta. There too, many buildings and homes have been either badly damaged or completely destroyed. The church building in Gendeng has ruptured walls. The neighbouring house, where retired Apostle Yusak Saptohadiprayitno lives, has also been seriously damaged.

Early Monday morning the Apostle makes his way to Mawen, which is his church district. His succinct assessment: “Everything is broken and destroyed, and there is a great deal of misery and suffering.”

In the meantime, news agencies have reported some 30,000 injured. Nearly 650,000 people are homeless and in dire need of food. The number of dead has risen to more than 6,230.

1 June 2006