MISSION WATCH: Christian Broadcaster Encourages Survivors Of Lambok Earthquake In Indonesia

Utomo Iman Santosa, TWR’s international director for Southeast Asia. Photo: TWR


By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent reporting from Jakarta, Indonesia

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BosNewsLife)-- Global Christian broadcaster Trans World Radio (TWR) has begun airing programming aimed at encouraging and informing survivors in Indonesia's earthquake-shattered Lombok. The program comes amid warnings of more aftershocks after the quake hit the island on August 5, killing more than 400 people and leaving over 350,000 displaced.

"My trip was good, but it was so gloomy and sad to see how my people are devastated by that earthquake,” said Utomo Iman Santosa, an Indonesian native who serves as TWR’s international director for Southeast Asia. The official described the destruction on the Indonesian island as “heartbreaking.”

Santosa suggested that survivors need spiritual encouragement through TWR's radio transmissions. "Many people are traumatized with the aftershocks, as, even until today, there are still minor aftershocks hitting the island.”

The TWR program 'Therapy for the Soul' is airing to the area from TWR’s powerful shortwave station on Guam. Additionally,
the FEBC FM station on nearby Bali and a commercial FM station on Lombok have agreed to air TWR’s program.

The northern half of the island was the hardest hit, Santosa said, adding that aid groups were reporting having a hard time to reach the epicenter of the quake.

AID GROUP

Santosa said a nongovernmental organization Kemah Peduli Indonesia, which provides help to survivors living in tents, agreed to
collaborate with TWR by distributing free radios and promoting the special programming.

Partnerships with local churches and FM stations are a crucial part of TWR’s ministry to Indonesia, spread across more than 17,000 islands. "Its vast diversity makes it a challenging place to share the Gospel," TWR said.

The broadcaster said that its "ministry in Indonesia" began in January 2000 and that it has since grown to reach most of the bigger islands.

TWR Indonesia is also known as Yayasan Terang Warta Rohani (YTWR), which roughly translates into English as “Light of Spiritual Message.”

(BosNewsLife's MISSION WATCH is a regular look at missionaries working in the two-thirds world and other difficult areas and related developments)

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