Rev. Dr. Edison Munthe from Indonesia
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Posted by: Pulelehua on Sat, Nov 26, 2005
Notes on the activiites when at CBTS and meeting with Global Missions TeamRev. Dr. Edison Munthe from Indonesia
[Information about him is posted at the Calvary web site.]
Pastor Munthe gave us some very cordial greetings from his church. He was very cordial and inspirational.
Pastor Munthe preached at our Sunday services on 30 Oct 2005. This was followed by a brief “talk story” question and answer time about his work in Indonesia.
He also joined us at a Missions Team-hosted luncheon, which was arranged at very short notice.
He told us about the personal needs of the grass-roots families after the Tsunami hit.
Whatever aid is sent via the government and charitable agencies may not produce significant benefit for critical needs of individual families.
He spoke about how fishermen needed to have boats restored in order to eke out a living, and how support for the local boat-building industry will not only given visible support to both fishermen and boat-builders, but may produce deep spiritual healing from the frightful disruption of their lives and jobs. Many small cottage-industries, such as food market stalls, needed seed moneys to enable them to help themselves.
He mentioned that many children had been fostered for temporary relief, but that those with relatives who could support them were sent back as soon as possible, while those who had lost all family support were continuing to be cared for at foster homes. One dollar U.S. would cover the cost of schooling for one child for about a month [there is no public education].
Pastor Munthe was very much involved in helping the local pastors provide spiritual healing to those traumatized by the tragic events.
He said that all the Christian communities [about 10% of the total population of 230,000] were trying to unite to coordinate their voices and support. He also emphasized that help from his church was extended to peoples of all faiths.
The large moderate Muslim groups were trying to maintain peace with the Christians, but extremists, inflamed by statements such as the U.S. having a “crusade” against Iraq, were very militant, had blown up many churches, and could not be controlled by the government.
When asked about how the church work could be supported, he said that sending checks to a specific addressee, such as a church or himself, involves countless details and huge delays, and may have a substantial fraction deducted by the government, banks, and embezzlers.
Those present at the lunch spontaneously gave him $253 to take home in person when he leaves on Tuesday. He is planning to use this money for the benefit of school-children. He promised to report back to us.
Pastor Tim recommended that our Missions Team carefully review and consider priorities for giving to the many needy causes overseas. He will also explore the possibilities of Church-to-Church donations via the Evangelical Lutheran Church. He and Linda Cluney will explore avenues by which Calvary by the Sea might donate funds to the work of Pastor Munthe’s Tsunami relief in Indonesia.
This first venture by the Missions Team seemed to have been successful in raising the awareness of those who heard Pastor Munthe preach, and especially those who asked him questions, and heard him speak at the luncheon.