Overseas Ministry Conference (OMC)-XIX
Temuwicara Pelayanan Mancanegara (TPM)-XIX
Opportunities to Transform Rural Area and Farming in indonesia
August 31 - September 3, 2012
Chicago, IL USA
This year mark the 19th annual gathering of Overseas Mission Conference or OMC. During the OMC, we strive to understand God’s calling for Indonesian Christians in United States by studying God’s word, the history and current events in Indonesia. This year the OMC will be held in Chicago, IL from 8/31 to 9/3/2012. This year TPM will focus on exploring the opportunities to serve and eventually transform the rural areas in Indonesia. Since majority of the rural population is tied to farming, we will highlight this sector of the rural area. Community building and transformation will be the focus of our case study; for it is the biblical and the most successful way to transform society.
Background on the Theme
More than half of Indonesian people live in the rural areas and most of them live below the poverty line. We know that poverty often breeds corruption, gambling, prostitution, terrorism, drugs, human trafficking, domestic violence, child abuse, alcoholism, sickness, disease, and dysfunctional families. Yet, Jesus said “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor” (Luke 4:18-19). How should we, the church, the people of God, responded to the misery and suffering of the Indonesian people? In last year’s OMC, Dr. Bob Moffitt argues that God intention is broader than evangelism, wider than church planting. It is deeper than spiritual discipleship. It is larger than addressing social injustices and feeding the hungry. God’s intention is to restore all things back to the original purpose and order.
The church represents a community of believers that has power to transform her society. With all her weaknesses, God still chooses His church, not individuals, as a mean to transform a society. In the church, broken people are redeemed and formed a community bonded by the blood of Christ. We are nurtured, trained, and equipped each other in the church before being sent to be the salt and light.
Similar to God’s blue print for transforming His people, a culture is transformed per a community. God’s people are tasked to transform our community when we are dispersing outside the church walls. We are equipped by God in community transformation through our involvement in local church and fellowship. This skill is essential especially in developing rural area because the main hurdle for growth and prosperity is the lack of empowerment of the people in these areas . The most efficient way to empower a person occurs in a community setting . With this consideration, we will continue last year case study theme to focus on skills to transform communities.
Since the majority of the poor in rural area are farmers, to transform the rural area in Indonesia, the church must focus its effort in transforming the farming communities. Majority of the poor in rural area are farmers. It is a noble vocation. The first occupation on earth was farmer when God planted a garden in Eden. Overtime, this vocation belongs more and more to the lowly. 2 Kings 25:12 shows these conflicting views between man and God’s on farming. Nebuzaradan, the Chaldeans captain, took the noblemen to exile and left the poorest of the land to be plowmen and vinedresser. It was Nebuzaradan intent to keep oppressing the poor by ordered them to be the farmer. He trusted them with the land because these poor would not stir rebellion instead work hard to provide incomes to his king.
God’s view is different. These poor became free and rich. They were free from the oppression because they were willing to work rather than oppress others. These poor became rich because they were willing to be stewards of God’s creation rather than master and abuser of God’s creation.
To conclude, the objectives of OMC 19 are as follows:
Three major sessions will be held in TPM to address the objectives above. The sessions are: