Seventh-day Adventists in Indonesia raised more than $100,000 in three weeks to help missionary ministries in the church’s Southern Asia-Pacific region (SSD). Adventist members in west Indonesia organized a benefit concert to promote mission work and gathered a crowd of over 11,000 and filled the entire venue.
“… what else could be better than worship? A twelve-hour praise and worship has never happened in my life,” said Nelson Paulo, director for the SSD media ministries services. “I’ve heard people at the venue tell me that this is the longest Happy Sabbath they have ever attended.”
Members of the Adventist Church in east and west Indonesia gathered in the Sentul International Convention Center on May 6 to hear Saw Samuel, president of the church’s southern Asia-pacific region 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.
During his message, Samuel shared stories of volunteers from the Socio-economic Uplift, Literacy, Anthropological and Developmental Services (SULADS) and the 1000 Missionary Movement who’s headquarters in the Philippines.
Samuel shared his experience from a visit when he and fellow church administrators went to the Philippine island of Tawi-Tawi to meet volunteer teachers who work among the Muslim communities. They’re goal is to help alleviate quality of life through literacy. Samuel described the living conditions the teachers experience—including water scarcity, risky travel on a small boat to reach communities on surrounding islands, and the possible threat to safety.
Samuel also told stories 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 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.”
Samuel was in to Jakarta for the church’s West Indonesia Union Mission President’s Council. The meetings were also attended by several administration officers and department directors. Also in Jakarta were Guillermo E Biaggi, general vice president for the Adventist world church and Claude Richli, associate secretary for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and liaison to the Adventist church in the Southern Asia pacific region.
The Adventist church’s West Indonesia Union Mission (WIUM) oversees more than 830 churches with a membership of 100,000. It operates other institutions including a university and hospital in Bandung. With the WIUM headquartered in Jakarta, it is also home to the production studio Hope Channel-Indonesia.
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 clinic, as well as aviation services in Irian Jaya and an Adventist World Radio studio.