There is a lot of concern in Indonesia and the international community about the impact that deforestation is having here. When I read a news article or see someone showing their concern, I most often see concern about the habitat of Orangutans. Indeed, it is a good concern to have. Since coming here to Indonesia I have also learned that deforestation is having a detrimental impact on people as well.
The video below was produced for the 2019 Synodical Convention in Tampa, Florida. In the first two and a half minutes GKLI pastor A.B.G Hutagalung describes his congregation’s work with the Sanak people whose way of life must change due to the deforestation caused by the Palm Oil Industry. Since this video was produced 19 of the Sanak people have been baptized and brought into the Kingdom of Heaven! Read more and see pictures here.
The second half of the video describes the LCMS work in Cambodia. Rev. Sima says, “What makes me so excited about the ministry in Cambodia is that we have a young church body with well trained leaders who are passionate about reaching out to their own communities with the Gospel. We are not coming in to set up LCMS offices and run LCMS projects, but rather we are coming at the direction and at the pace of the Cambodian Lutheran Church. They set the agenda and we serve along side of them.” This is also what excites me about our work in Indonesia. The GKLI—one their own—is passionate about their work with the Sanak people. We are working and serving with them to bring the Gospel to their neighbors. Kali and I look forward to being part of that work for years to come!