PROFILE An elder who lovingly cared for the flock during a religious conflict on Ambon, which is part of the Maluku Islands.
ON January 19, 1999, growing hostility between Muslims and Christians exploded into violence about three kilometers (1.8 miles) from my home. The situation was chaotic.*
After seeing to the safety of my family, I phoned other publishers to check on their welfare. I urged them to remain calm and to avoid dangerous areas. Later, the elders visited the flock to strengthen them spiritually and to encourage them to meet for worship in small groups.
The branch office urged us to evacuate any publishers who were living in dangerous areas, and we passed that direction on to several families. One brother who refused to leave was later killed by an armed mob. But every person who heeded the direction from the branch office survived.
The conflict raged throughout the province of Maluku for more than two years and drove tens of thousands of people from their homes.