Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Portrait of Lt. Matthew Beatty

UPDATED 3/1: N.D. officer deployed to Indonesia

Added on Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Story by Craig Dirkes, Writer/Photographer for The Salvation Army Northern Division. Photos by Lt. Matthew Beatty, co-leader of the Grand Forks Salvation Army.

church in waterLt. Matthew Beatty of The Salvation Army in Grand Forks, N.D. is currently in Palu, Indonesia serving survivors of the 2,000 natural disasters that killed thousands and displaced millions throughout the island country in 2018.

He arrived two weeks ago. So far, he has witnessed unimaginable destruction, incredible compassion, and the Indonesian people’s unshakeable resolve.

Providing medical supplies in Indonesia“The Indonesians are amazing,” Beatty said. “They dust themselves off and get right back up.”

Beatty has spent much of his time accompanying Salvation Army response teams that provide medical supplies and trauma counseling to people living in remote villages (pictured).

“Many people lost everything and haven’t had access to their monthly medications and other important medical services – our mobile clinics bring these things to them,” Beatty said. “Lots of these kids need trauma care. Some of them lost classmates to the disasters, and some lost family members.”

Traveling to some of the villages has been a harrowing experience.

A mobile clinic in Indonesia“One time we were driving on what had to be the world’s deadliest road,” Beatty said. “The cliff below it had to have been 2,000 feet down. And there are still earthquakes happening – yesterday we counted five in the areas we had just visited.”

Beatty is amazed at how large The Salvation Army’s presence is in the region of Indonesia at which he is serving – Central Sulawesi.

“It’s insane how big The Salvation Army is here in Sulawesi – it is everywhere,” he said. “It is the town center in many of the villages.”

The Salvation Army of Indonesia operates hundreds of churches and other facilities, including hospitals, clinics, children’s homes, student hostels, and nursing homes. It also operates more than 100 schools.

Beatty’s deployment will last another six weeks. He is one of The Salvation Army Northern Division’s most experienced international disaster workers, having previously served survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines (2013) and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico (2017).

Lt. Matthew Beatty high-fives Indonesian kidsBeatty is proud to be serving in Indonesia.

“It is so inspiring,” he said. “One Salvation Army officer had her entire (church) swept away in a landslide, and yet she had her hands in the air, singing praises to the Lord. I couldn’t be more humbled to be here.”

Read the latest update from the International Salvation Army about our work in Indonesia.

The Salvation Army Northern Division pledges to do the most good with your gifts of time and money, with 81 cents of every dollar going directly to services. Join us by volunteering or making a donation to support your local community. Stay current on how The Salvation Army is changing lives in Minnesota and North Dakota by signing up for our e-Newsletters.