May 29, 2017

Chinese Adventists Strengthen Urban Communities in Indonesia

Romhelyn Gay Deles, Southern Asia Pacific Division

Chinese Adventists in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta have found a way to serve urban communities by offering a practical and sustainable jumpstart to improve the quality of life for city dwellers. Organized in 2003, this enthusiastic group, mostly composed of working professionals in various fields, started the Chinese Ministry Center (CMC).

In 2006, CMC launched a simple radio talk show. The show’s focus on health issues widely caught the attention of listeners. Information about these radio shows is also shared through social media to reach a wider audience. The hosts would then invite their listeners to a health camp where activities are centered on nutrition, spiritual and social health and physical fitness.

The founding members of CMC truly believe that every member of the Adventist church needs to be personally involved in sharing love, spreading hope and encouraging spiritual and physical healing to communities. Toward this goal, four centers of influence were first established by the CMC-Jakarta in four Jakarta suburbs.

Currently, the Adventist world church promotes centers of influence as Life Hope Centers. Any facility that connects the church to the needs of the community can serve as a Life Hope Center. And the focus of these centers in Jakarta is as varied as the Adventists who serve there.

Liong Pit Lin is involved in the Life Hope Center in Pluit. Lin believes she was miraculously healed after being diagnosed with three types of advanced cancer and now travels across Indonesia to share her testimony. She believes it is God’s way of blessing others through her story and allows her to offer awareness seminars on cancer and its prevention.

With more members becoming inspired and getting on board, these lifestyle centers are certainly bound to grow.

Dewi Tjhin is a career woman who has devoted her life to the mission of the church because she found joy in following Jesus Christ. She believes that God’s purpose in her life is to serve others. As much as she is still involved with the programs and planning of the Chinese Ministry Center-Jakarta, she presently gives more of her time as an administrative director of Sekolah Kristen Makarios, a school where she is developing a program that caters to the holistic academic experience of students. She believes that if students have a clear understanding of self-worth and personal value as God sees them, they will attain success. It is something, she says, that will help fulfill their purpose in life and encourage them to become better citizens of their country.

Liong Pit Lin and Dewi Tjhin also found time to co-host a CMC-Jakarta local radio show giving health tips and encouragement to their listeners. The show is aired on FM radio.

Adventists througout Indonesia gained inspiration from what CMC started in Jakarta and have now launched Life Hope Centers in at least half dozen Indonesian cities. Church members are getting involved, following the principles of Total Member Involvement (TMI), an initiative by the world church to get every member involved in finding a way of sharing Jesus with the community.

One of these centers is Club Sehat, a health food store in Bandung, a city southeast of Jakarta. Club Sehat not only introduces products for a healthier lifestyle but has become a venue for locals in the community. Local church members come to support the regular meetings organized for customers who have a deeper interest in how to live a quality life. This Life Hope Center provides a safe place where locals can join in light conversations or intentional discussions over specific topics which they can then apply in their lives.

Offering practical life improvement and positive messages, these are just a few ways the Adventist church in Indonesia is becoming known for its centers of life and hope. And with more members becoming inspired and getting on board, these lifestyle centers are certainly bound to grow.