“That roof once stood firmly beneath the horizon, pointing up towards the Zenith, before being blown to one side with the Earth”

By Erland Tatus

Translation by: Rizky Ully – AIYA Nusa Tenggara Timur

Graphic Design by Candra Prasetiatama – AIYA Graphic Design Officer

Versi Bahasa Indonesia, klik disini.

East Nusa Tenggara, a cluster of tropical islands known for their exotic beauty, photogenic beaches, and collection of hills, lies on the southern tip of Indonesia with their backs to the Indian Ocean. But behind the captivating charm, lies the potential for natural dangers that is always looming over.

Since April, the hashtag #PrayForNTT has echoed beyond the national scene along with tears of grief across the regions in the Province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). The sad wailing caused by the injury from The “Seroja” Tropical Cyclone bellowed throughout the days and nights, resonating the sound of devastation. The cyclone has hit with such power and destruction, highlighting the grace of nature, and as a morbid way to remind us humans of what happens when we stand the face of natural disasters.

“That roof that once stood firmly beneath the horizon, pointing up towards the Zenith, was blown away, taken with the Earth beneath it”.

GMIT (Christian Evangelical Church in Timor) Talitakum Raekore, is located in Raekore, Sabu Raijua Regency. Sabu Raijua is one of the worst hit areas, as it stands directly in the path of the cyclone.

As soon as the cyclone had hit, the Church was in full swing. All 174 members of the head felt a common emotion: sorrow. The sweat of their struggle, which started from the step of laying the first stone, has just been completely eradicated. Every prayer, every bit of hope that was deposited in each stone that had been meticulously and tediously arranged was blown away and the tropical cyclone “Seroja” has left them now with the remains of the building.

“Just now, we enjoyed 5 (five) months of fun after the establishment of our proud Church, immediately shattered to pieces hit by the storm”, said GMIT Talitakum Raekore Church Pastor, Paulina Bole Tade.

The church was initially built, thanks to the initiative of the whole congregation. The congregation, which was formed in 1927, finally had an adequate building. The entire congregation banded together and after more than 4 (four) years of work, it was finally inaugurated in the middle of November, 2020. There were countless sacrifices made by each congregation which, through the best of their abilities, strived for their right to get their dream place of worship, a place to call shelter. A place to call home.

However, hope had vanished. At first, the only option was to look back and lament on all the sweat that had been poured out. All now that remains is the rubble of the building, buried together with all the struggles of their ancestors.

However, the congregation shall persevere, for as long as there is still an Earth, there is still hope.

GMIT Talitakum Raekore congregation, suffered IDR400.000.0000, – (Four Hundred Million Indonesian Rupiah) worth of damages, but are still carrying out the mandate of worship properly.

This time they need your help. This time, all members of the GMIT Talitakum Raekore Church, ask for our prayers and donations, so that they can continue with their dream of having a place to call home.

To lend our support during these challenging times, AIYA (Australia- Indonesian Youth Association) has started a fundraiser to help raise funds for the incredible group of GMIT Talitakum Raekore congregation of Sabu Raijua for essential supplies, and to once again, obtain a proper place of worship. 

We invite all of you, wherever you are, to deposit your prayers through donations in order to help fund relief efforts, restart and rebuild the community. These initiatives and donations will mean a big difference for the community.

It is time to act, whether you are going to donate, volunteer, or raise awareness, the people of East Tenggara Timur need your help. If you would like to donate, please visit KitaBisa campaign website for more information.