In 2017, we started working in Makassar on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. Together with students and a team from CMA Indonesia we have set up a coconut oil company in the area south of Makassar and we are in the process of starting an information center. These companies ensure that bridges are built between the Christian students of Jaffray University, the local church and the mainly Muslim population in the area. It is important that the companies provide added value to life in this extremely poor area. We allow the community to decide what kind of companies we start based on the needs of the people. Our purpose is only to set up the business and then allow the local people to operate the business. It is important that the local people carry out the work themselves. We can then fully focus on developing companies in other villages.
1. Work area
Our field of activity is the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. This is a large island north of Java. It is the 11th largest island in the world with about 15 million inhabitants. In the southwest of Sulawesi lies the city of Makassar (formerly Ujung Padang). Makassar is the capital of the southern province of South Celebes, our field of activity in Sulawesi. The city was used by the V.O.C. and there are still traces of this time to be found. Among other things, the beautifully restored Fort Rotterdam can be found here.
We will mainly focus on the villages south of the Sungai Tallo river. This is on the south side of Makassar. It is a poor area where most people earn their income by farming or by traveling to Makassar every day to work. The average income per capita is about 120 euros per month. This means that in the ranking of prosperity amongst all the countries in the world, Indonesia is 150th.
2. Existence right
Indonesia is a very religious country. The passport states which religion you adhere to and everyone has a religion. It is the country with the largest number of Muslims in the world. Yet Islam is not a state religion. Approximately 88% belong to the Sunni Muslims, the remaining 10% to Christianity and other religions. In general, the various religions live side by side in peace. In Makassar there is a large theological university (Sekolah Tinggi Theologica Jaffray). About 400 students live and study here. They study to work as a pastor or as a musician in a church. Jaffray University is ranked among the 25 best schools in Indonesia. This ensures a consistent rise in the number of students each year. The students come from all over Indonesia to Makassar to study here, and two-thirds of those students live on the campus of the university. In addition to their studies, they have a relatively large amount of free time.
3. Meaning for stakeholders
We have been asked by CMA Indonesia to advise on the development of businesses in the villages south of Makassar. These companies must provide added value for the local population and ensure that the difficult conditions under which people live are improved. As a result, the church will be valued more by the population and receive the right to remain in the area. Peter will mainly focus on policy development, advising the management of the university, students and leaders of local churches but will also focus on building relationships and possible fundraising for the companies to be set up. Anne-Marie will focus on improving maternal and child care before, during and after delivery. Perhaps she will also take on mentoring a number of students.
4. Standards, values and beliefs
It is important that we do not carry out the work but, instead, the Indonesian population does so. It is their country and culture and they know their needs. That is why we will mainly focus on idea development, providing the necessary knowledge and experience and training and equipping the people who will work with us. Since we are sustained by the Netherlands, we can freely go ahead without financial interests or needs. We think it is important that we are able to work well together; each person is valued regardless of origin, culture or religion. We do this without insisting or dealing with them in a Western way, but in a loving way; full of compassion and directly involved with their lives.
We want to set up a professional organization so that this can be continued by the local people after our departure. Acting with integrity and professionalism is a prerequisite. We want to show that we do not have to do it ourselves, but that we are helped by God, our Father. His Son Jesus gave everything He had for the people around Him...even His life.
We want to follow Him by showing His love to the people we meet.
5. How long will we stay?
We left early 2017 and spent all of 2017 on language and culture studies. Without a good command of the language and knowledge of the culture you can not build relationships. We started our work at the beginning of 2018. It is not a simple mission that we can complete quickly, but it will take a number of years. It is important to us that the local population can take over the helm, so that we can then focus on other places. The area south of Makassar is a very large area with a lot of poverty.
6. Your participation:
We left but we did not do so without your support. We still need your prayers, sweet messages, e-mails, phone calls, as well as financial support to make our mission come true. We will not earn a Dutch salary, but a house and food are necessary.
Do you also want to participate in our mission? The money you give is spent on our projects and immediately benefits the goal. And you can see this on our Facebook page and our website. The people here are so grateful that we want to spend a portion of our life and money on them! It brings great joy when you offer something to people. It will cost us something and it will cost you something but we know that the Indonesian people are very happy with it!