The sad news struk Indonesia of the earthquake and tsunami in the city of Palu, Sigi and Donggala, Central Sulawesi on Friday, September 28, 2018 around 17.02.44 Western Indonesian Time. The quick sweeping Tsuname has left deep sorrow on the Indonesians. The shockwave of the earthquake with a very destructive power swept away anything including homes, worship sites, schools, and public facilities, in a blink of an eye, only to leave debris and mud. Even a large ship moved far inland up to at least 70 meters, crashing into people’s homes, damaged and claimed many casualties. The tsunami wave that was so strong also hit and leveled a number of buildings. This earthquake and tsunami caused many families to lose loved ones: die or disappear and only to leave the ones loosing loved ones sobbing in hysteria. It was written that this earthquake claimed thousands of lives and more than 500 were seriously injured.

In this deepest sorrow, Sulawesi has been receiving special attention from the Indonesian Government, people and the international community. The Indonesians have pulled together many forms of charity purses for the distribution of material assistance, health services and many things that are needed by the victims affected by this earthquake and tsunami. Religious institutions, government and many other institutions have been helping one another in alleviating the burden these affected communities. The international assistance has been very much felt and visible throughout the entire recovery period. Quite a number of countries also expressed their sense of mourning with the Indonesians in Palu, Sigi and Donggala. They acted quickly to deliver emergency assistance to those most affected in Indonesia. Their assistance come in the form of food, basic necessities, refuge and settlement facilities and tools, materials and many other things.

The FCJM Congregation of Indonesian Province also took part to lightened  up the burden by providing funds and personnel. Sr. M. Ludovina Sidauruk FCJM who is a nurse chosen to lead a convoy from the FCJM Sister to volunteer in Palu. She joined with several Sisters and Priests from the JPIC Solidarity Movement in Indonesia. They stayed for several weeks there providing health services, distributing aid in the form of food and drinks, toiletries, tents and they did many other things there. Sr. Ludovika shared that the experience of being a volunteer was an interesting and uqnie experience. She said that it was very satisfying experience. She was very happy to be chosen by the Congregation to be a volunteer in Palu. Sincere service is needed by people who are afflicted with grief and suffering. The spirit of service made her realized that this was part of the work of salvation, where Christ came to teach a way of life, mercy, brotherhood, caring, solidarity and others, making us able to be together to serve.

This Tsunami event in Indonesia is an warning for us all. Let’s love our nature, our motherland. Nature is not our enemy but our friend. Indonesia is one of the countries that has a seductive and alluring tourist charm. Indonesian beauty is not only at the beach, on the mountains, and in the valleys. The beauty of God’s handy work depicted in every curve of indonesian nature, should make us  proud to be Indonesian. Indonesia holds the beauty of beaches lined up from the west to the east of the country. The beauty of Nias Island, the beauty of the sea in Derawan, the elegance of Mount Bromo, the beauty of Lake Toba nicknamed by people as “Kepingan Surga” a Piece of Heaven  stretched down to the charm of the underwater world of Wakatobi is just a glimpse of the many tourist treasures in Indonesia.

In Indonesia, it also provides endless beautiful nature and scenic views. Starting from the white sandy beach and also the black ones are all beautiful according to its portions. God has shows His greatness by creating Indonesian beauty with all its advantages. But unfortunately nowadays many of beautiful nature have been tarnished and stained. This vast nature requires humans to care for and not hurt them. Enjoying its beauty is a right for humans. But maintaining its sustainability is an obligation that cannot be forgotten.

We all have the right to enjoy the natural fame of Mother Earth in our respective countries. Let us, together preserve and maintain our nature. We express our gratitude for the attention and love we received, especially from all FCJM Sisters wherever they are, who provide encouragement and comfort through their prayers to Indonesians. Especially, to the Sisters in the Netherlands, who have donated to our charity wallet. We are increasingly feeling the unity of our love in joy and sorrow in FCJM boats. (Sr. Angela Siallagan)

Dituliskan dalam Newsletter JPIC FCJM Internasional edisi Januari 2019.