JAKARTA, Indonesia Response to humanitarian aid the Church has provided to this nation during the past few years has come from as high as Republic of Indonesia's First Lady Ibu Ani Yudhoyono.
In a meeting in February with local Church leaders at the presidential palace in Jakarta, she expressed gratitude to the Church for assisting in providing humanitarian aid and supplies for several projects that were coordinated by her office.
Joining Area Seventy Subandriyo, Jakarta Mission President Dean C. Jensen and his wife, Sister Jean Jensen, in the meeting were Latter-day Saint Charities country director Elder Wade Peterson and Sister Karen Peterson. From the office of the first lady were her personal secretary, Ibu Nurhayati Assegaf, and Ibu Murniati Widodo, the wife of a governmental minister.
"We continue to have a good relationship with the first lady's office and other governmental and civil leaders," President Jensen wrote in an e-mail to the Church News on May 31.
He added, "It is amazing to see the good that has come to the Church here in Indonesia as a result of the generous humanitarian support that the Church has given to the various disasters that have occurred here since the 2004 tsunami.
"Perhaps one of the most significant benefits has been the adoption ceremony of Sister Jensen and me into a royal Indonesian Batak family. (See article in Jan. 27, 2007, Church News.) This new relationship has opened up many opportunities for us to participate in events and activities with the Batak people in both Jakarta and north Sumatra, including speaking in their churches, at funerals and community ceremonies."
The Church's humanitarian projects coordinated by the first lady's office include: 50 emergency homes built in Banda Aceh for victims of the December 2004 tsunami; several hundred sewing machines provided to help Acehnese women return to work; 250 wheelchairs; 2,000 kitchen cooking sets for homeless victims of the 2006 earthquake in Yogyakarta; the construction of six rest room/wash facilities in the Yogyakarta area; and assisting with assembling and distributing 10,000 personal hygiene kits for the victims of flooding inJakarta.