Indonesia is the world's 14th largest country in terms of land area and the 7th largest in terms of combined sea and land area. With over 261 million people, it’s the world's 4th most populous country. It’s the world's largest island country, with more than 17,000 islands.
We had the privilege of spending a week in Jakarta, seeing the thriving business community. But also heard the frequently mentioned challenges:
- Marginal air quality
- The crazy heavy traffic
- Poverty, (the large gap between the “haves” and the “have nots)
- Corruption: (Young people leave country because of corruption.)
- The resulting hopelessness
Because of the poor air quality and the heavy traffic, life for many professionals is lived in the many stunning, impressive, shiny shopping malls. The most luxurious department stores, excellent restaurants and varied specialty shops abound in the malls. We spent a lot of time in the malls, even did some serious shopping.
I was in Jakarta as a guest of Resource Global. Resource Global led by CEO Tommy Lee seeks to develop young leaders for Christ’s Kingdom from among the leading young marketplace entrepreneurs. The purpose of our meeting was to identify, encourage, recruit and mentor young marketplace leaders as a bridge to serving the church and Christ’s Kingdom.
Many of these young marketplace leaders in their 20’s and 30’s have studied at some of the best universities in the U.S. They returned to Jakarta to run family businesses, do business turn-arounds, or engage in starting, building and selling new businesses.. Many were already using their business as a means to enhance the life in their communities and to demonstrate the love of Christ to the culture
For example: Julia stepped aside from a rapidly rising career in New York City to return to Indonesia to work with her father in a family shipping business. Very soon she saw a need for healthcare among the underprivileged in the thousands of islands across the country. And she saw an opportunity to use shipping vessels as a floating medical clinic to reach the underserved people on the islands. In addition to money from her company, she raised $1 Million locally to fund equipping of the boat.
A young pastor and his wife (Andrew and Nikki Jun) see their church as a base for business entrepreneurship. They recognize the business platform as an effective way to reach local unreached people groups. They are identifying local leaders and sending business entrepreneurs for outreach to other areas of the country.
George Enratta runs an amazing 45-50 companies, for which he has provided venture capital for a start-up or a turn-around; i.e an online travel agency, a coffee/tea business and banking along the lines of PayPal.
David Dtjokknor: dynamic CEO of Soverience Capital. His business mission is to strategically invest in start-ups. His model:
- See the need
- Build the company
- Sell the company
To date, David has 87 investors, creating such businesses as Uber Asia and a full-service Brides/Wedding on-line consulting. The wedding business in Indonesia is huge with guests running in the thousands. The wedding service is run by Christians. Weddings are streamed on FaceBook Live. Christian model for marriage is presented. Excess wedding banquet food is distributed to the poor.
His advice for westerners:
- Listen to those you seek to influence.
- Provide mentor ship to those who seek help.
- Honor and respect the culture.
- Take a back seat.
Over tea with the SE Asia representative of a well-known Foundation stated: We are transitioning from the old ways of western non-profit missions to supporting local entrepreneurs. This is a different global mission mindset. Funding for ministry in Indonesia is increasingly coming from businesses in-country.
The ICON Conference all day Saturday was a call to action:
- We are to be students of the city. God has a plan for us to redeem the city. -What is one tangible thing we can do?
- Christians must get involved
I was impacted by plenary speaker, former HUD Secretary under the Bush administration, Steve Preston, who stated:
“Gods vision for loving the city is loving its people. “
“The role of government for the city is to advance the welfare of individuals in the city. In areas of poverty, education, jobs, healthcare, environment.”
“In order to transform society God has to transform us.”
Sunday morning we attended a large, alive evangelical church on the 8th floor of a large building in downtown Jakarta. The worship was alive, loud and vibrant. Most of the music was . The pastor was dynamic, biblical and practical as he shared the great truth that God is present ALWAYS, with us, in us, before us. We were thrilled and inspired to see this large, passionate group of young believers worshiping and learning in a country where they are so outnumbered, but rapidly growing.
Wayne Pederson, Friend of Resource Global