On Sunday, members of Mawar Sharon church in Surabaya Indonesia were subdued when they attended Sunday services in the city’s second largest church. The 2,000 members were mourning the loss of life in the crash of AirAsia flight QZ8501, a loss that hit far too close to home. Thirteen families from their church were on the flight that crashed in the Java Sea.
Church members are grieving with surviving family members, one parishioner told reporters. As reported by Channel News Asia, a member of the church identified as Yudiarto, described how sad he and the others were over this tragedy.
“In my heart, I’m crying. I grieve as God has taken them from us early. However, we pray that the families left behind are given strength. We may not truly understand God’s plans for us.”
The church has held special prayer services for not only grieving family members, but they went to the East Java Police Headquarters to pray with all of the family members who lost loved ones in the crash. It didn’t matter if they were members of the Mawar Sharon church or not. However, the pastor of the church, Lianggono Tejo Bunarto, did say that members of his church would be given first consideration as the church is assigning a pastor to each family to help with whatever they need.
Along with the families that were killed in the crash, which included children, there were 10 other people onboard that were related to some of the church members, said another pastor of the church, Caleb Natanielliem. As NBC News reported, these church members were not heading to a conference or necessarily traveling together. It appears to be a coincidence that 41 members of the church were aboard the doomed flight, according to Natanielliem.
“Some of these families I know, they’ve been saving up money just to go on their family holiday to celebrate new year in Singapore.”
The church will keep offering special counseling for family members of the deceased even after all of the bodies have been recovered. However, that recovery is being hampered by bad weather, causing delays in the search for bodies. According to the Inquisitr, at least 40 bodies were recovered on the coast of Borneo.
Due to the bad weather, divers are also having a hard time recovering the plane’s black boxes as well, which could give more information about what caused the tragic crash. However, reports are coming out that ice may have stalled the plane’s engines, which resulted in the crash.