Local Indonesians pray, gather donations for homeland following earthquake

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Local Indonesians pray, gather donations for homeland following earthquake as reported by Christie Ileto during Action news at 10 on October 4, 2018.

As rescue crews assess the damage from a deadly 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia, those with loved ones in the earthquake-ravaged country are pulling together in Philadelphia.

Thursday night Action News spoke with a small South Philadelphia congregation about their efforts to help families halfway around the world.

Member Sinta Storms lives in Norristown but has family in Sulawesi.

"My uncle's house... only the front is standing and the back of it is gone," she said.

It took two days for Storms to make contact with her family, who live on the large, now earthquake-ravaged Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

The dramatic images her family has sent have left her speechless.

"To see something like this, especially in the area that I'm from, it's just really hard," said Sinta. "And then you hear the horror stories from family members. We have a distant relative whose daughter just drown in the mud. He couldn't save his daughter and grandson."

The earthquake, coupled with a tsunami left more than 1200 dead and has displaced about 61,000 people.

Trying to make sense of the disaster, the Nation's Worship Center, a small congregation in South Philadelphia, sprung into prayer for those living in the hardest hit areas.

"I know we're far away from Indonesia, we cannot go there, but at least we can pray," said Pastor Beny Krispianto.

The group sent a donation Thursday to the ravaged island and plan to send another along with donated clothing and necessities in the coming weeks.

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