COVID-19 is a solemn warning, reminding many of the brevity and uncertainty of life. Pray that many in Indonesia would be drawn back to the Bible for answers and assurance. Pray also for faithful, bold, and biblically-sound proclamation of the gospel from pastors and all Christians at such a time as this.
Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
— Isaiah 56:1
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), Indonesia is being hit hard by the impact on the tourism industry. As in many countries, Chinese tourists make up a large number, but tourists from other countries have also declined. Pray for the virus to be stopped and for those experiencing financial difficulty to reach out to God as their only firm foundation for eternal security.
Thank the Lord that to date there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia (although four Indonesians overseas are reported to be infected).
Pray for the Indonesian government’s new cabinet that has just been established to support the President and the Vice President in their new term governing and leading the nation. Pray that they may serve with integrity and discipline, upholding justice and order for peace and the good of the people.
From November 19-23, the newly formed OMF Indonesia Field Council will meet for the second time while a new field leader is in the process to be appointed. Pray for fruitful meetings and unity as the council reviews, plans and carries out the work.
Bhinneka Tunggal Ika means diversity in unity in Bahasa Indonesia – an apt description for the Indonesian archipelago, which is made up of 416 ethnic groups with 719 languages. Although Islam is the main religion and Indonesia is home to the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia is a secular nation. Religious freedom is guaranteed under the five principles known as Pancasila. Indonesia recognizes six religions: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Catholicism and Protestantism. The majority of Christians in Indonesia are Protestant. Christian communities are spread out unevenly, but most are in the eastern parts of Indonesia.
Strong investments and exports have enabled Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, to enjoy 5-6 % economic growth in the last few years. Indonesia is an attractive market for foreign investments, mainly due to policy reforms of the government. However, liberalization of trade and markets not only brings in foreign funds, but also more foreign workers and professionals that compete for jobs. Despite economic growth, more than 10% of Indonesians still live below the poverty line, and about 40% remain vulnerable of falling into poverty.
Under Jokowi, Indonesia is undergoing rapid development. Massive construction of infrastructure is everywhere. The government is fulfilling its commitment to rural developments and the development of maritime economies. Despite the strong economic growth, Indonesia is struggling to support these rapid developments.
OMF in Indonesia
OMF began its ministry in 1952 in West Borneo amongst the Chinese. In partnership with other organizations, OMF helped establish various ministries such as student, medical, literature, music and radio work, and also bible colleges in many parts of Indonesia. In 1985, the Indonesian Home Council was established. The Home Council partners with churches in sending out Indonesian workers overseas.
While the church continues to grow and cross-cultural outreach is expanding, the Indonesian Home Council has not had many new members in the last few years. Many workers are urgently needed to reach out, train and establish partnerships with churches.
- Total: 261 million
- Javanese: 40%
- Sundanese: 15%
- Malay: 4%
- Batak: 4%
- Others: 37%
- (projections based on 2010 Badan Pusat Statistik)
- Muslim: 87%
- Christian: 10%
- Hindu: 2%
- Others: 1%
Lord, thank you for building your church in Indonesia. Amidst the rapid changes taking place in this country, we pray for wisdom and understanding on how to utilize the limited resources to reach out to the churches which are so spread out geographically. Please provide more workers, specifically volunteers, to support the various mobilization ministries.