October 2008: Partners in Christ’s Service

October 2008: Partners in Christ’s Service

October 2008 Bulletin Insert Format
Octubre 2008 en español

“In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5)

Last year, Gede Suarna was one of about 30 community leaders from Asia and Africa who participated in a 10 month program in organic agriculture and community organizing through the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in Japan.  Since graduating, Gede has returned to his home in far west Bali, Indonesia.  He works with his wife at Maha Boga Marga (MBM), the outreach arm of The Protestant Christian Church in Bali (GKPB).  MBM helps to put into action Jesus’ commandments to feed the poor, heal the sick, and take care of the needy.

The MBM office houses a bank that makes small loans, most under $100, to family businesses. A small loan may be granted for something as simple as a sewing machine so that a mother may begin a small business from her own home.  MBM gives group training and helps monitor the success of each person. Currently some 1,000 are being served this way, regardless of their faith.

Gede is also a Veterinarian, and after MBM office hours he grabs his bag of tools and makes visits to the patients who need him.  At one village farm he treated a sick cow.  At the same time, he showed the farmer how to produce organic fertilizer by mixing the cow manure with coconut shells and rice husks, sharing some of the agricultural practices he learned at the Asian Rural Institute.

Gede is also leading a group of farmers on a project to build a pit for pig manure.  Many kitchens use kerosene or propane for cooking.  However, the world demand for oil has caused these fuels to become much more expensive.  Pig manure is a practical alternative, close under foot, and a simple answer for the family’s cooking needs.

As workers and farmers face new challenges, the church must also change and respond.  Partnerships between churches and other organizations equip people like Gede Suarna for ministry, and remind us that we do not engage in ministry alone, but as one Body of Christ that reaches around the world.

The Protestant Christian Church in Bali (GKPB) and the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in Japan are just two of the many partners of Global Ministries.