The four murders were witnessed by the men’s wives, children and grandchildren. Sam*, one of Open Doors’ partners for Southeast Asia, shared that an estimated 25 local children have been traumatized.
The 8-year-old son of Srikandi, now a young widow, is one example. After witnessing the deaths of his father and grandfather, he has gone from being a normal, active child to now silent, traumatized by what he saw.
“The children are our biggest concern.”
Sam shares: “We need to help them overcome this trauma. We need to do something for them. We don’t want the children to grow up with vengeance or anger of their father being killed. We want to see them grow up in the love of God, forgiving the people who killed their family members.”
Leban Tongoa, was made up mostly of Christians who are very active in sharing their faith with their family members and neighbors. Villagers said the terrorists told them they don’t want them to live there anymore. The details are difficult to report and read. Our Open Doors partners tell us that three men were violently beheaded; another was burned alive in his house. Armed with knives and guns, eight to 10 men from the Islamic terrorist group East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) torched and destroyed six other homes, a makeshift church and a Salvation Army outpost—leaving 13 families grieving and traumatized.
The team of Open Doors’ partners offered to rebuild the Christians’ homes, but they do not want to return to their village—they’re too traumatized by the attack and say they will not be able to live at peace there.
‘Our presence is making a difference’
When Open Doors’ Southeast Asia team heard about the attack and dire situation, they quickly mobilized and traveled to the area be present with the community and provide much-needed support. Our team attended the funerals and talked and prayed with traumatized believers.
Shortly after arriving, one local partner told us, “I see sadness in the eyes of the villagers. There is a lot of emptiness in the Srikandi’s face. However, when they saw us, the villagers smiled.”
Being there to sit face-to-face with traumatized Christians paints a beautiful picture of the Church being the hands and feet of Christ in times of crisis and need.
Says Sam: “Our presence is making a difference.”
In addition to helping support believers with their practical needs, our partners are working to arrange ongoing trauma support for children and also adults.
“Trauma support is one of the most important things they need in this village,” Sam says.
Praying with traumatized believers
- Pray these precious children will be healed of the trauma and loss they have experienced.
- Pray the believers would be able to deeply sense the peace of Christ and that they would not be overcome by the righteous anger they feel.
- Pray these believers will be able to forgive the people who have done these atrocities to their families.
- Pray the kids in the village will grow up in the love of God, showing His gifts of forgiveness and reconciliation wherever they go.
- Pray Sam and our other partners will have wisdom in how to best help these believers now and in the future.
Photo: Believers mourn at the funeral for four murdered Christian men.