On 28 September 2018, a shallow, large earthquake struck in the neck of the Minahasa Peninsula, Indonesia, with its epicenter located in the mountainous Donggala Regency, Central Sulawesi. The magnitude 7.5 quake was located 77 km (48 mi) away from the provincial capital Palu and was felt as far away as Samarinda on East Kalimantan and also in Tawau, Malaysia. This event was preceded by a sequence of foreshocks, the largest of which was a magnitude 6.1 tremor that occurred earlier that day.
Following the main shock, a tsunami alert was issued for the nearby Makassar Strait, but was called off half an hour later. A localized tsunami struck Palu, sweeping shore-lying houses and buildings on its way. The combined effects of the earthquake and tsunami led to the deaths of at least 4,340 people. This makes it the deadliest earthquake to strike the country since the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, as well as the deadliest earthquake worldwide so far in 2018, surpassing the previous earthquake that struck Lombok a few months earlier, killing more than 600. The Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) confirmed that a tsunami had been triggered, with its height reaching an estimated maximum of 4 to 7 meters (13 to 23 ft), striking the settlements of Palu, Donggala and Mamuju along its path.
The earthquake caused major soil liquefaction in areas in and around Palu. In two locations this led to mudflows in which many buildings became submerged causing hundreds of deaths with many more missing.
We have carried out humanitarian operations in the area of emergency response, relief and medical for 4 months in the affected area. It was supported by more than 100 volunteers from several parts of Eastern Indonesia.
At the moment we are preparing activities to send new servants of God and pastors in the disaster area through the Palu Bible School This theological education will be taken within 9 months with 60% of practice in the field and 40% in theory. At present there are 25 participants who are willing to join the program and are ready to be sent to the field. This program will take place in the city of Palu, the place where the earthquake and tsunami happened a few months ago.
Some participants came from the disaster areas, namely Palu, Sigi and Donggala. They are on average between 18 years and 25 years old while the teachers are from senior church leaders in Central Sulawesi. During education the participants will be placed in a dormitory and every week for 3 days they will practice in the field.
Theological school education material includes: Biblical Value and Foundation, Evangelism, Counseling & Theology, Holistic Ministry, Christian Leadership, Servant Leadership, Church Planting and Management, Mission, Community Development, Public Health, Multi Media & Broadcasting, Information Technology, Micro business & Finance, Computer & Networks, Stock breeding, Sustainable Agriculture.