Indonesia: National Tour 2016 – Building Harmonies Families
By UPF Indonesia
UPF Indonesia successfully completed the 3rd leg of the National Tour covering the Eastern most provinces of the country.
Ternate, North Maluku (October 23, 2016)
The fifth program of the UPF Indonesia National Tour 2016 on the theme “Building Harmonious Families-Our Shared Responsibility” was held at Bethel Tabernacle Church in Ternate, North Maluka, the home town of the Indonesian National Leader Mr. Alfred Forno. Pastor Lisar Kumendong, pastor of the church and Mr. Alfred’s old friend, invited UPF to deliver its message on “Building Harmonious Families-Our Shared Responsibility” to his congregation during all 3 Sunday Services held at his church on Oct. 23, 2016. In the evening service, which was attended mostly by young people, we concluded our presentation with the Pure Love Pledge. The pastor was so inspired by the UPF teaching of Pure Love and Family Values and the vision of celebrating Marriage and Family even in the Olympic Stadium, he invited us to arrange a blessing ceremony for 600 participants once the construction of his new church is complete by the end of this year.
Ambon, Maluku (October 25, 2016)
The next three programs were coordinated by Mr. Immawan Wilson Sanheinizh, member of the Central Board of the Muhammadiyah Student League in charge of international relations. The vocational high school SMK Muhammadiyah Ambon felt very honored to have been chosen for the event in their province. It was the first international seminar ever held at their school and therefore the principal, teachers and students put in their whole heart and efforts into the preparation of the program. The school auditorium was packed with 200 participants; many students even had to stand at the back of the room throughout the program since no one wanted to miss this special occasion. The teachers and students were so curious to learn more about the UPF vision for peace and True Love that the Q & A session led by the school principal was extended to allow for more questions from the audience. Surprisingly, many of the students were able to ask their question in English proving the excellent standard of the school. After the UPF presentations, the principal and all participants wholehearted repeated the Pledge of Purity after Mr. Alfred Forno. At the end, the students eagerly posed with the UPF members for photos and selfies as this was the first time for a foreigner to visit their school.
Sorong, West Papua (October 26, 2016)
The largest event was held with 300 participants at the Al-Akbar Convention Center in Sorong organized by the Regional Board of the Muhammadiyah Student League of West Papua Province. Again, it was their very first international seminar and the first time for them to have a foreign speaker. So the organizing committee prepared the event exceptionally well. Two university rectors, Dr. H. Hermanto Suaib, M.M. of the Muhammadiyah University Sorong (UMS) and Drs. H. Rustamadji of the Teachers Training and Education College (STKIP) Sorong, opened the conference with their Special Remarks and encouraged the students to listen with an open mind. Drs. H. Rustamadji told the students as this is an international conference they will have to listen with an international mindset. UPF honored these two rectors with the prestigious ambassador for peace award and promised to conduct further programs together. A special feature of this program was the Papuan dance performed by students during the intermission expressing their hope for peace and unity within the society and nation. The local newspaper ‘Teropongnews’ reported on this UPF program the following day.
Jayapura, Papua (October 27, 2016)
The final program of the Eastern leg of the National Tour was conducted in Jayapura, capital city of Papua, about 50 km from the border to Papua New Guinea. 120 teachers and students gathered in the conference room of the Muhammadiyah College for Communication Science Jayapura. Though the management of the college is Muslim, the student body is comprised of 80% native Papuans from Christian background and 20% Muslims originating from other parts of the country. We could sense certain tensions between the management and student body at times and therefore the topic of peace and building harmonious relations was all the more appropriate for this province. The students listened very carefully to the UPF presentations and asked many relevant questions. We concluded the program with the presentation of AFP awards to two vice rectors of the college and a token of appreciation from the college. I sincerely hope we can do more to serve the people in Papua as they often feel neglected by the Indonesian government.