“The Riot” Through a Child’s Eyes

By John-Mark Burkholder

John-Mark and his dad waiting for the jet-boat

As a way to deal with the 2020 pandemic, I am remembering God’s goodness and protection and telling of his works to the next generation. The first two in the series on the Lombok riots of 2000 (#1 Up in Smoke, #2 Women and Children First) were my recollections. Here is an essay my son wrote a few years afterwards recalling the events from his point of view.

In the year 2000 in Indonesia I was having fun with my brother (surprisingly) when we somehow heard the news. I was eight years old when this happened. The Muslims were burning down Christian’s houses because they wanted to revolt. My Mom said we had to go to Holiday inn. At first I wasn’t afraid. I thought the riot would stop and everything would be okay.

I was wrong.

When we got to the Holiday Inn we checked in, found our room, and went to the pool to play with our friends, K, A, J, and J. We stayed at the inn for a few days and had a smashing time.

Then real problems arose.

The riot was getting worse. We couldn’t stay much longer. I started getting scared. I had pictures in my brain of our house engulfed in flames. That night my family and my friend’s family’s decided that we were going to Bali.

We waited for hours for the bus to arrive. When it finally did we got on and slept a little.

When we got to the port we waited longer for the boat to arrive. A lot of other people were there and the air was filled with the smell of smoke. When the ship arrived we boarded and went to sleep.

We arrived in Bali the next day. My family got on a taxi and drove to a nice hotel. We stayed there for about two weeks, while my Dad went back to Lombok for a day to get toys. Would he come back? He did.

When we finally could go back we all went back on the same boat we took to Bali. After about three weeks away from my home I was happy to get home.


Father God, thank you that you shielded my sons from witnessing violence during those uncertain weeks. Thank you that they had friends to bring a sense of adventure to the stress. Thank you for giving me wisdom to care for them during that troubling time. I pray for moms during this current crisis. Give them wisdom, strengthen them, help them to trust you so that their children will catch their faith, not their fear.

Previous posts in this series: Remember and Tell, Up in Smoke, Women and Children First

Next in Series: Y2K Provision

4 thoughts on ““The Riot” Through a Child’s Eyes

  1. Pingback: Y2K Provision | Pondered Treasures

  2. Pingback: Narrow Escape | Pondered Treasures

  3. Pingback: Rumors and Risk in the Aftermath | Pondered Treasures

  4. Pingback: Women and Children First | Pondered Treasures

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