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New Zealand Relief Worker Returns from Banda Aceh

New Zealand Relief Worker Returns from Banda Aceh

The Rev. Julian Dobbs (Anglican Minister and National Director of the Barnabas Fund, based in Nelson) has recently returned from an assessment mission to Banda Aceh. Julian was in Indonesia 8 days.

Barnabas Fund exists to serve the suffering Church and make their needs known to Christians around the world. It provides practical help to strengthen and encourage the Church in many different ways. The Barnabas Fund is involved in 40 different nations and offers aid through 150 separate projects.

Barnabas Fund is committed to working with Christians in the Tsunami affected area of Indonesia. Christians in Aceh already live in an extremely hostile environment and the Tsunami has only added to their suffering!

Church burnings have been an intermittent occurrence for the Christian Community of Aceh over the past 30 years. The most significant protestant church in Banda Aceh was burned down in the early 90's. Subsequently, permission to rebuild was refused. Local Christian communities can have great difficulty getting permission to have a place for worship, having to build over water, or use the back of a shop. Against this background the people of Aceh have now experienced further devastation through the Tsunami.

Julian says, “In Aceh today, villages have been wiped from the face of the earth and the area now looks more like a swamp with the odor of decaying human flesh as bodies still lie around caught under the rubble. It is not hard to get apocalyptic visions of the events described in the Book of Revelation when one sees this chaos!”

Barnabas Fund will be involved in Indonesia for the long term. We have committed to building houses for the Christians in Banda Aceh and on the nearby Island of Nias. Fishing boats are required by those Christians who have had their lively hoods all but destroyed, churches need to be rebuilt. Barnabas Fund has a toll free number for donations 0800 008 805.

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