Chery is a girl who lives in Poso, Indonesia, a city with about 200,000 inhabitants. For over a decade the region has suffered from intense Christian/Muslim violence. It is estimated that 60,000- 80,000 people have fled the area. Here, Chery describes what she views as the essential qualities a Christian should have.
When I was three years old, my parents and two of my sisters and I walked through the mountains and into the woods. We slept in refugee camps overcrowded with thousands of others. We couldn’t eat every day. I was starving for days. We were displaced during the conflict in Poso and have been living in refugee camps for the past five years.
Although we were displaced, I believe that God is protecting us and that God is our savior. God is all-loving and all-merciful. God has power over us. Mom and Dad say that God is to be worshipped as God gives us life. He does not allow us to walk in darkness and will give us light to walk on the right path. We can meet with God through prayer and by helping others.
If you look at the Bible, in the book of Luke, Luke talks about the Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan is an example of what a Christian should be like: a Christian should help anyone, even a stranger. In refugee camps we helped others get food and drink. Many people are helping us live, even up to this moment. Most of the people who helped us did not know us; they just knew we were refugees. I was once given a cake by my mother who did not know that I was starving. In my opinion, if a friend lacks something, we can provide it. And we should not just help our friends but also others we don’t know. For example, if a friend of mine wants to borrow something, I would lend it to her because she’s my best friend. But if there are others who I do not know who want to borrow my stuff, and I don’t let them borrow it because they’re not my friend, that’s wrong. It should not be like that. We should help everyone, even those we don’t know. If we help someone, we are the followers of God.
God teaches us to help each other even if the other person is a stranger. That way we are doing what is commanded by God. That’s what I learned as a child, and what I believe now.
Chery Lidya is 14 years old and spent her childhood in refugee camps with her family during the conflict in Poso. She loves to sing and write plays. She dreams about becoming a doctor, so that she can help people.
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