Heavy rains have caused major flooding and landslides in Sentani, Papua, Indonesia over the past few days. Many lives and homes have been lost in this disaster. MAF staff based in Sentani have been active in helping those in need as they seek the safety of higher ground.

MAF Papua program manager Mike Brown reports: “Today was a great team effort by all the mission orgs and the national church here in Sentani,” said Mike. “It was awesome to see our staff and their kids jumping in and helping out in any way they could. A lot of people in the community received shelter and food in their time of need.”

The gym of Hillcrest School, where many MAF staff serve as teachers, is being used as a shelter for those that have lost their homes due to the violent flooding. MAF missionaries Jeremy & Lindsay Brazeau share:

“Last Saturday night, March 17, our town, Sentani, was hit by torrential rains, which lead to flooding and landslides. Areas of Sentani have been completely devastated. Homes destroyed and many lives lost.”

“The night of the first rains a neighborhood below our school was completely wiped out. Hundreds of people began climbing the hill to our school for safety. Lindsay was one of the first on the scene. She was involved in taking care of wounds and heard many stories of flood waters ripping children from parents. Our school is now one of many shelters in Sentani aiding displaced people. Over 600 people who have lost homes or are too scared to go back to their neighborhoods have found a safe place to sleep in our school’s gym and futsal courts. The missionary community has really come together and are providing for the flood victims needs.”

Heavy rain continues to fall for a third night, causing roads cleared just the day before to become blocked again. Relief efforts continue to help the more than 6,000 people reported to be displaced by this natural disaster.

Please join us in praying that the rains will soon stop, and for all those affected and for the community as they seek safety and support.

Story and photos by MAF.