Adventist Church in Indonesia raises over $100,000 for missionaries
Members of the Adventist church in east and west Indonesia gathered in the Sentul International Convention Center on May 6 to hear Dr. Saw Samuel, president of the church’s southern Asia-pacific region (SSD) share stories of missionaries who go to challenging places like a remote island in southern Philippines and the lush mountainous region of Irian Jaya (Papua) Indonesia.
The gathering highlighted a benefit concert that was to promote mission work in the region of the church. During his message, Dr. Samuel shared stories of volunteers from the Socio-economic Uplift, Literacy, Anthropological and Developmental Services (SULADS) and the 1000 Missionary Movement with its main headquarters in the Philippines.
The church leader shared his experience from a visit when he and fellow church administrators went to the Philippine island of Tawi-Tawi meeting volunteer teachers among the Muslim communities to help alleviate their quality of living through literacy. Dr. Samuel described the living conditions these teachers experience despite the scarcity of water where they only have to depend on rain, the risky travel on a small boat to reach small communities in surrounding islands, and the possible threat to their safety.
Samuel went on to tell the story of young people who are missionaries from the 1000 Missionary Movement program. They are assigned to work in a local community in Irian Jaya, Indonesia.
“How can you [only] eat sugar cane with tapioca? But these two missionaries … have no discouragement… and regret. They were in tears. I knew that they miss their home and their friends. But they hold up their fists [and firmly say], once a missionary, always a missionary!”
Samuel adds, “With the spirit and commitment, our young people are in the field, reaching out to the people.”
The Adventist members in west Indonesia organized the concert scheduled that Saturday and gathered a crowd of over 11,000 that filled the entire venue. The event inspired the audience who pledged support to the missionaries’ ministry. As of this writing, the Adventist members have raised over $100,000 in three weeks.
“… what else could be better than worship? A twelve-hour [praise and worship] has never happened in my life. I’ve heard people at the venue tell me that this is the longest Happy Sabbath they have ever attended,” said Nelson Paulo, director for the SSD Media Ministries Services.
Dr. Samuel was in to Jakarta that week for the church’s West Indonesia Union Mission President’s Council. The meetings were also attended by several SSD administration officers and department directors. Also in Jakarta to attend the meetings were Guillermo E Biaggi, general vice president for the Adventist world church (GC) and Claude Richli, GC Secretariat Liaison to the church region in SSD among others.
The Adventist church’s West Indonesia Union Mission (WIUM) oversees more than 830 churches with a membership of 100,000. It operates other institutions like a university and a hospital in Bandung. With the WIUM headquartered in Jakarta, it is also home to the production studio of Hope Channel-Indonesia.
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In east Indonesia, the Adventist church’s East Indonesia Union Conference located in Manado takes care of at least 870 churches with 114,000 members, operates a hospital and a clinic, an aviation services in Irian Jaya and an Adventist World Radio studio. [SSD Media Ministries with additional reporting by Nelson Paulo]