For Torajans who do not understand history, the tomb in Karassik is certainly not much different from other cemeteries. There was a tombstone and buried underneath the bodies of those who had rested and turned to dust, and maybe their names were completely forgotten.
But history is an eternal reminder. History certainly can not be erased just like that although the maker of history has become dust. This tomb is a tomb occupied by those who have contributed to changing Toraja. Most of them are on average young, but are willing to leave comfort in their country and choose to cross the sea to a country that is very isolated in the mountains. They are zendeling or missionaries on duty in Toraja and its surroundings.
The funeral of the Zendeling and his family is in Karassik, Rantepao. For nearly one hundred years, this historic tomb is guarded and maintained by residents and members of the Karassik Congregation.
There were 11 people (10 Dutch and 1 Toraja) with 9 gravestones accompanied by their names engraved on the gravestones. They are :
- Antonie Aris van de Loosdrecht. Born on March 21, 1885 and died on July 26, 1917 in Bori’, North Toraja. He was an envoy from GZB (Gereformeerde Zendingsbond) who departed from the Netherlands on September 5, 1913 and arrived at Rantepao on November 10, 1913. Became the first pioneer to arrive in Toraja for missionary work. He was destined to be a martyr in Toraja at a young age, 32 years.
- Johannes Belksma (58 years old). Born October 19, 1884 and died on March 4, 1942. Has 7 children, 3 of them in this place. He was the founder of Noormaalcursus and the Gospel Teacher School in Barana’ in 1917.
- Abraham Belksma (36 years old) with his wife Maria Johanna Belksma Bronsveld (64 years old). Abraham was born on February 15, 1909 and died on July 24, 1945. Maria was born on August 13, 1909 and died on February 11, 1973. Abraham Belksma was the eldest son of Johannes Belksma and was the elder brother of Lieuwe and Cornelia Belksma. In 1934-1937 he acted as Schoolbeheerder (school superintendent) of Christian schools established by the Dutch in Makale.
- The two brothers Lieuwe Belksma (8 years old) and Cornelia Belksma (3 years old), are sons of the couple Johannes Belksma and Hiltje Lieuwes Greidanus. Liuwe was born on September 14, 1910 and died on May 1, 1918. Cornelia was born on March 3, 1915 and died on April 26, 1918. They were both victims of the Spanish flu epidemic (Toraja: ra’ba biang).
- Jouke Goslinga (1 year old). Born on September 7, 1943 and died on November 2, 1944 due to a disease outbreak. He is the youngest son of Dr. JJ Goslinga, a Dutch missionary doctor who served in Toraja and its surroundings, has contributed a lot to help deal with health problems in Toraja in the past, including the establishment of special care for people affected by leprosy in Batulelleng, Rantepao.
- Andrlas Edgar van der Veen (22 years old). Born on May 11, 1923 in Rantepao and died on February 8, 1945. Edgar is the son of Henrik van der Veen, a linguist, translator of the Bible into Toraja and a compiler of the Toraja-Indonesian dictionary.
- Cornelis Balke (31 years old), born on December 8, 1926 and died on December 27, 1957. He was a Dutch missionary who served in Toraja and became a Bible school teacher and mission representative of Geredja Toradja in 1956 – 1957. He died at a young age while exercising in his office.
- Anna Maria van Weerden (32 years old), born February 16, 1902 and died on October 22, 1934. She is the wife of Harm Jan van Werdeen, a first missionary in the land of Rongkong, Luwu.
- M. Sirupa (54 years old), was born on August 13, 1906 and died on October 17, 1960. He was the only Toraja person whose tomb was in this cemetery. He was the pastor of the Toraja Church of the Sriti Congregation, one of the pioneers who opened the village of Sriti (Seriti) in Lamasi during the DI / TII (Darul Islam/ Indonesian Islamic Army) rebellion.
This sacred tomb is a religious and historical destination for ethnic Torajans who embrace Christianity. Imagine, the fruit that we enjoy today is a tree that they painstakingly planted more than 100 years ago at the expense of their blood and soul.
“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” (Michael Crichton).