September 23, 2005
Indonesia is still recovering from the tsunami of 2004, as a team of Oklahoma Baptist University students found out this summer with a journey to the Asian country. OBU campus minister Dale Griffin led a group of seven that assisted with medical care, carpentry and clean-up, spending two weeks in the tsunami region.
The team made friends in a village that was still heavily polluted from the tsunami, and the aid that the team offered ignited the village, Griffin said. He mentioned how the natives got involved with the work, and the clean-up project became a community effort.
“There is still work to be done, and the country is open to Americans offering assistance to rebuild,” said Griffin, who took the group to visit mass gravesites containing anywhere from 700 to 40,000 bodies in each grave.
“We were so overcome with all we had experienced,” he said. “It was overwhelming to think of the loss of life, and to think that it happened in only 15 minutes. It was a ministry just to be there and hear the stories of those who survived. All of the medical help and clean-up that we offered opened up for that more important thing. We were complete strangers, but we wept with them, held their hands and hugged them. It was a ministry of presence, a ministry of mourning with those who mourn.”