Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Walking the Talk After Tsunami - Christianity Today Magazine

Walking the Talk After Tsunami - Christianity Today Magazine:
In a region known for its hostility to the church, Christian relief work is building bridges with Muslims.

by Tony Carnes | posted 02/28/2006 09:00 a.m.

"On remote Breueh Island, northern Sumatra, lie two fishing villages, Lhoh and Lampuyang, which serve as home to local fishermen. Lhoh faces west on the island's inlet. Lampuyang is on the other side, much closer to the island's mountains. Lhoh is smaller and is known for its popular coffee shop. Lampuyang is larger, richer, and has a vibrant downtown and the local mosque.

Stories of fishing adventures were being swapped the late December morning that a massive earthquake shook the region. Minutes later, a Lhoh villager shouted, "The water is disappearing!" The quake had moved thousands of square miles of ocean bottom to the east, triggering three gigantic waves—a tsunami of frightening proportions...."

This is a story of Christian groups, indigenous as well as external, rolling up their sleeves, doing relief work, and in the process earning the respect of the Muslim community.

It is also a story of changing perceptions, and the courage of a village leader who resisted the pressure to forcibly expel the Christian groups who were helping rebuild houses, fishing boats, and airlifting supplies.

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