Indonesia, a land of contrast and opportunity for sharing the Gospel
Annual Report for 2015 and proposals for 2016
Indonesia is a nation of 18.307 islands but only 6000 islands are populated. The population in 2015 is estimated at 255 million. The island of Java has approximately 150 million people.
The constitution of Indonesia guarantees freedom of religion. Even though Indonesia has the largest muslim population in the world (over 200 million) there are 7 religions registered with the Government. Each religion has a Director General and these are responsible to the Minister of Religion. The religions are Bahai, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity (Protestant), Hinduism, Islam and Roman Catholicism. All Indonesians want to go heaven after they die but most do not know about the way to heaven. So our main task is to train Indonesian young people to share the glorious Gospel that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Even though Christianity is legally registered with the Government it is extremely difficult in most places to obtain a building permit to build a church building. An example is the Yasmin Christian Church in the Bogor region. The congregation bought land for their
church and applied for a building permit. The Bogor Regent refused to issue a building permit. The congregation went through the courts all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court decided that the Yasmin Church had met all the requirements for a building permit and instructed the Bogor Regent to issue the permit. The Bogor Regent has defied the Supreme Court for several years. The congregation now meets on the street in front of the Presidential Palace for worship.
Often the muslim masses control and take charge of local politics and even the president and the Supreme Court do not dare to oppose the masses of people in their street demonstrations. This is indeed a bizarre situation where in reality there is religious freedom according to the constitution but the Muslim masses override the law.
Another place of opposition to Christians is Singkil in the Aceh province. Two churches were burned down and 20 other churches and house churches were told to be dismantled. Hundreds of Christians fled from their houses to a safer area in North Kalimantan.
How we praise and thank God for a dedicated staff of 41 members who are leading and teaching 309 young Indonesians for evangelism and future leadership in schools and churches. We have 6 BMW training centers and presently there are 309 students enrolled in the 4 year study course. The students earn a Bachelor of Theology degree with majors in Theology, Pastoral Counseling and Christian Education. Before graduation they must complete a 1 year internship program.
Every student is required to start and direct a Good News Club during his study program. There are now 238 Good News Clubs attended by 6344 children. These children come from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Roman Catholic homes. All these children come to accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior. They learn to pray, sing Christian songs, memorize Bible verses and receive a Bible story at every meeting. Right now the students are preparing Christmas parties at all the Good News Clubs.
The students also serve in local churches on Saturday and Sundays to preach and teach. There are now 137 churches which are thankful for the ministry of these BMW students. The concept of the BMW training centers is a 20-20-20 vision. 20 hours each week of Bible and related studies, 20 hours per week of mission service in the Good News Clubs and churches and 20 hours per week in work projects.
The work consists of growing vegetables in the school gardens, planting fruit trees, repairing and maintaining the campus buildings and build new buildings when necessary. There is high demand for the graduates of the BMW training centers because the graduates are able to carry on a holistic ministry. One school has 12 fishponds, another school has 700 palm nut trees for the production of cooking oil. All the schools grow a variety of vegetables for the needs of the students. Another school has cacao trees. Another school grows soft wood for the production of ply wood and ebon trees for building purpose.
We also have a BMW center at the border town of Entikong (border between Malaysia and Indonesia) Our staff of 6 is involved at Borneo BMW in evangelism with the use of motor cycles. Each cycle takes 2 evangelists to 7 locations each week. Meetings for children are conducted in the afternoons and meetings for adults in the evenings.
There are 1023 alumni who graduated the past 13 years. A total of 92% of our alumni are involved in a variety of Christian ministries such as pastors, evangelists, teaching Bible in government and private schools, serving with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), working in Christian orphanages and serving as staff at the BMW training centers. We have 2 missionaries serving in Madagascar and 2 missionaries in South Africa with Teen Missions.
GOALS FOR 2016. The training program of the Indonesian youth must continue. The government has strict regulations for schools and training programs and we must upgrade all the campus facilities such as additional classrooms, offices for the instructors, and more books for the library. The staff also must be upgraded because the government determines that those who teach in the B.Th. program must have a M.Th. or M.R.E. All this takes time and money.
The 22 property land titles are all in the name of Teen Missions Indonesia with the exception of a claim by a brother of the former owner on a plot of land of the Ambon BMW. Even for that land we own the proper title. That case is with the Supreme Court and may take a long time. It may be best to sell the land for Ambon BMW and relocate the school in another location. There is also a problem of landslides at the Ambon BMW with heavy rains.
Another project for 2016 is the raising of self-support at all the BMW centers. But all this additional work must also be done by the students. However the students are actually busy with studies, weekly missions of church and Good New Clubs and working in the school garden. So we need wisdom from the Lord in planning the self-support programs.
The Good News Clubs are an exciting ministry of all the students. Right now there are 179 students teaching at the GNC because the first year students need to be taught first how to reach and teach the children. Child Evangelism Fellowship has been training the BMW staff member and these staff teach the students. The Lord Himself taught us to pay attention to the children for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to the children (Matthew 18:3,4) Some students do not yet realize the importance of ministering to the children so during 2016 we must pray for and teach the students to be more committed to reach the children for Jesus Christ.