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A Big Range of Needs

It's not just food but also teeth to eat the food

Photo: Dewi helps to sort emergency supplies.When I was on my mission in Medan and Aceh, one of my tasks was to buy supplies for the earthquake and tsunami victims. JRS Medan office functioned especially to buy supplies, for the needs in Banda Aceh, other areas in Aceh and also for the victims who stayed in Medan. In January and February of 2005, most of the supplies that we bought, almost every week, was food most needed by the Tsunami victims.

There is a camp in Medan run by "Aceh Sepakat", an organization of people which had once been in Aceh and now is based in Medan. Actually the place is like an unused storehouse, where almost 60 persons, including children, live. They are all victims of the tsunami and earthquake on 26th December, 2004. I used to visit families and single women there, just to listen to their stories and situations.

There was a woman in the camp, Ibu Setiawati, who lived there with her husband. She was living in Banda Aceh when the tsunami attacked Aceh. She was a vegetable and fruit seller in a market in Banda Aceh. She needed walking sticks to help her walk, because there was something wrong with her hips. Before the disaster happened, she had collected some money so that her hips could be operated on early in 2005. She also had to use false teeth, because all her teeth were bad and needed to be extracted.

When the tsunami came, her husband, a brave and simple man, helped her so that she did not sink in the flood. But they lost everything, including the money they had collected. Ibu Setiawati lost her walking sticks.  She was up on a wall when a big floating refrigerator, caught up by the flood, hit her face and forced her to open her mouth and lose her false teeth.

When I visited her, somebody had given her new walking sticks. So, she asked if anyone could help her to buy new false teeth, because she could not chew her food and this gave her indigestion. JRS decided to buy her new teeth and I accompanied Ibu Setiawati to a dentist who made new false teeth for her.  She was very happy about this. Now she can eat well again and her face looks younger than before. Actually she is an optimistic and happy woman.

Well that is just one person whom I met during my days in Medan. I really thank God for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to meet people in their suffering. From many of the people I have learnt to be more optimistic and full of hope for a better tomorrow. Thank you to the FCJ Society and all the people who prayed for me during my ministry in Medan and Aceh. May God bless you with hope all the time. Syallom.

This article was contributed by Dewi Gallang, an FCJ novice,
who was an FCJ postulant at the time of her experience.

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Unsere kleine Gemeinschaft hat das Ziel,
     mit allen Mitteln ihrer Macht
           das Herz Jesus zu ehren ...     (Marie Madeleine)