What springs to mind when you think of Indonesia? Soaking up the sun in beautiful Bali? Enjoying spicy nasi goreng or chicken satay? Perhaps you know a lot about our large northern neighbour, or perhaps you don’t, but would love to know more.
Indonesia is an amazing place. Spread over 17,500 islands, it’s the fourth most populous country in the world. While 87 per cent of the population is Muslim, Indonesia also has some of the largest Christian churches, and they’re growing! A prayer meeting held in Jakarta’s sports stadium last year was attended by 100,000 people. At one church in Surabaya, worshippers meet in a massive 35,000-seat facility.
God is at work, but challenges remain for Christian ministry.
Many of Indonesia’s Christians face extreme poverty and are unable to attend a local school. In Sanggau district on the western side of Kalimantan, an estimated 17,000 people remain unable to read or write. The Bible Society is stepping out in faith and establishing Bible-based literacy courses in the Sanggau language to help reverse this situation. By teaching literacy through simple Bible passages, participants hear of God’s love which is made known through Christ. Every participant also receives a Bible when they complete the course.
This programme has had a positive effect in other parts of the country. Eflison, 20, attended the programme in Dongi-Dongi, Sulawesi, and tells of how it changed his life:
“When I started learning how to read for the first time, it was really hard for me. At my age now, I am supposed to be in high school or even college – but there I was, learning about letters and how to read. But it doesn’t bother me! I keep on practicing reading while in church, at home, or even in the garden. Now besides being part of the Bible Society literacy programme, I also attend the government study programme. If I get a diploma, my opportunity of finding a job is opened wider.”
You can be a part of these life-changing literacy courses. Your tax-deductible donation will allow us to provide Bibles and literacy materials to participants, and also to fund part of the transportation and living allowances of literacy teachers. Will you help us?
You can support the work of the Bible Society in Indonesia by making a tax-deductible donation today.More