Jakarta

Complexities Living in a Digital Generation

Grace Liu

It is more complicated to live as a Christian in this generation. The life stages and challenges we face as humans are the same but the context has changed.

This generation is bombarded with so much information. Gen Z and Millenials will mature (in terms of knowledge) a lot faster than Baby Boomers, due to the rapid advancing of technology and the amount of information that is readily available.

There is a shift away from the importance of understanding who you are and spiritual maturity; there a shift towards accomplishments, financial independence, individualism and finding purpose within yourself (your personal passions). The Bible teaches us that purpose is found when we look outwards (upwards towards our Creator) and realize that we are part of something bigger; we are created to do more than satisfying our personal ambitions. Millennials are very experiential, self-aware and in-tune with their feelings. This is a good thing, however there is a tendency for millennials to be driven by their emotions; thus, causing them to float from company to company to find a place that will “keep them happy”. This heart attitude will influence their commitments to ministry, marriages, friendships, goals and other aspects of life.

Surveys comparing Millenials and Gen Z (from Barna)

Millenials and Gen Z have a rapid absorption rate towards knowledge, and it has created skepticism toward authority and structure. They are taught to speak up and develop their own thoughts, which raises more questions toward just ‘accepting faith’. This makes it challenging to build up resilient disciples of Christ within the young emerging generation. A position of authority is no longer good enough to “make them listen”; they value realness and authenticity in a leader in order to follow respect and follow after an authority figure.

Millennials want to belong before they believe. Millenials are experiential and want to be engaged, accepted and involved. They want to take an active role in experiencing how faith can play out into their everyday life (work, social life, ministry).

As spiritual leaders, we need to develop cultural discernment in how God is moving and shaping this generation of young adults. We need to stop complaining about what is wrong about this generation (entitled, flakey, emotional), instead let us figure out how to empower, support and build up this generation to navigate through this digital culture.

Grace Liu is our Jakarta City Director and has a heart for building community and empowering the next generation of leaders.

Familiar and Unfamiliar Territory

By Michelle Tan

I was part of the second Resource Global Chicago Cohort (2017-2018). And recently, I had the opportunity to participate as a speaker in one of the workshops at the LEAD conference in Jakarta. The vision for the LEAD Conference is creating better companies, lead to better cities, and ultimately a better world. This was an initiative that the Jakarta Cohort Alumni had proposed to help their own employees in Jakarta.

IMG-20190813-WA0000.jpg

Therefore, I had the privilege to talk about how to improve finance processes with technology. Preparing for the presentation was challenging because I realized that although I identify myself as an Indonesian, I have never worked in Indonesia and have limited knowledge about what the marketplace in Jakarta is like. 

Fast forward to the day of my workshop. My presentation went smoothly, but I quickly became aware that the business environment in Indonesia is so different. My audience consisted of mainly mid-management workers and below. And not till after my workshop did I realize that most of them only really used Microsoft Excel as their main technology tool and even some others who worked in family owned businesses still just used paper documentation. 

Although my main goal of participating in the conference was to give back to the people in Indonesia, I felt like I was the one who gained valuable perspectives. I started to understand what work life is like outside of the United States and learned about the roadblocks that are preventing businesses in Indonesia from advancing, ranging from financial to cultural reasons. Last but not least, I gained an appreciation for the values that we so often take for granted in the States, whether that be values of equality, fair pay or even general business ethics. 

In contrast, during the conference, I was also able to meet some of my amazing peer presenters who were working for corporations in Indonesia. These were young leaders (all from previous Jakarta cohorts) who were just a couple of years older than me, but many were leading billion dollar companies and affecting the lives of thousands of employees. I am amazed at the things that God is doing through these young leaders, and amazed to see their heart for the city of Jakarta. They were a real life example of Jeremiah 29:7 where God asked us to seek the prosperity of the city where we are sent exile, for its welfare will determine our welfare. Not to mention their incredible humility, courage and faith while taking up such challenging roles in a difficult business environment and climate. 

I am coming back to the US with an encouraged and excited heart; knowing that God has given me the strength to make a change that God has given my peers in Indonesia. My battlefield and challenges here may look different, but my heart for the people of the city where I live in remains the same. I am blessed to have been able to participate in the LEAD conference, my physical body is exhausted but my heart is so full!


Michelle Tan was part of our Chicago Cohort in 2017-2018. She is originally from Indonesia, but currently resides in Chicago with her husband Sean. She currently works for an consulting firm specifically in the finance and accounting area.

100% Jesus, 0% Me - Interview with Abraham Viktor

Screen+Shot+2019-03-28+at+10.53.22+AM.jpg

During Tommy Lee’s last visit to Jakarta, in January 2019, he was able to meet with several Resource Global (RG) cohort alumni, including Bram. The two caught up after connect group, and shared the latest updates across Bram’s life (both professionally and personally) since his time with RG.  

Bram grew up in Jakarta, and received his accounting degree from University of Indonesia (UI). He always had an enterprising spirit so before his final year in school, he attempted to launch his first startup with a few friends: a Kaya jam company. They had a great formula, but struggled to find the right factory for production. Eventually, he had to make the difficult decision to move on. The experience would be the first of a couple of “professional failures,” through which Bram learned much about the world, faith, himself, and God.

After graduating, Bram found himself on his second startup - this time in the construction industry working on lightweight building blocks. However, after much time, and significant monetary investment, a series of unfortunate events lead to the closure of that startup too. This second failure was much harder on Bram. He found himself low on cash, and felt like the weak link in a group of friends who had gone into banking or consulting, were rising the ranks, and making good money.

Looking back, he recalls how this devastation was partially influenced by his own family’s financial crisis when he was younger. That experience had taught him to be driven by monetary gain in his own decisions. Desirous of more stability, he took a step back and decided to pursue work in investment banking and consulting. He went first for an internship with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), before eventually moving into investment banking. He remembers fondly that first paycheck, and the feeling of security it came with. However, he also remembers the disappointment he felt shortly into his tenure as he began to feel restless, thinking: What am I doing here?

Throughout his early career struggles, Bram recalls feeling God convicting him to rely not on his own desires and ego, rather on God’s plan and design. He also recalls how he always pushed those convictions aside, deceived by his own pride. However, the more restless he felt at work, the more he reflected on his failed startups, and the more he found himself turning to God.

In an act of faith, Bram asked God to purify his heart. In reconciling his desires to those of God’s for him, he found renewed clarity. Suddenly, he felt God impressing upon him that he should be working in financial inclusion. He took a leap of faith, and left his cushy investment banking job. That very day, he stepped into creating his next venture: Taralite.

Through much faith and hard work, Taralite is now a key mover for financial inclusion in Indonesia, providing micro loans and and micro funding to underserved people. They also lease their algorithm to banks for more efficient processing and greater financial inclusion across the country. Most recently, Taralite has been acquired by OVO - a large mobile payments player in Indonesia. Bram sees the move as synergic, allowing the team to work with mentors with more experience, as well as expanding Taralite’s own market share and impact on Indonesia as a whole.

Around the time Bram was working on Taralite, building it up into what it is today, he had experienced several other milestones as well. These milestones informed many of his decisions, and continue to shape his career and faith journey today.

First, he got married - to a woman he says is greater than his equal. “She humbles me,” he says - describing how his pride and self-righteousness often causes him to lack grace, whereas her own deep desire and honor for truth make her the opposite: humble, kind, gentle.

Second, he participated in Resource Global’s first cohort - an opportunity he credits for giving him clear and encouraging mentorship. The Christian guidance and focus on bringing the gospel into the business sphere helped him in many a decision, especially in the Taralite’s early days.

Third, he had a clear epiphany about finances. Whereas his upbringing and “the Old Bram” led him to focus on simply gaining wealth, the Bram of today who remains stayed on the Lord realized that money is a blessing from God. This blessing, he believes, is one that must be shared, and enjoyed. Ultimately, he says “my life and even my finances don’t belong to me. [They] all belong to God alone.”

And last of all, via redemption through, and trust in, Christ, Bram has received 2 priceless gifts from his turbulent professional experiences to date: humility, and trust in God’s sovereignty. Humility because, whilst he continues to struggle with pride, he remembers that he has never succeeded when he has insisted on doing things by his own strength. And trust in God’s sovereignty, because when he looks back at the last few years (his career trajectory, his marriage, his time with Resource Global, and his failures), he sees how God’s providence was upon him through it all.

“When I failed the second time, it felt like the lowest point in my life, it felt like I’d never get close to where my friends were. But somehow God just cared for me, equipped me, strengthened me. And it’s all God’s work. When I look back, it was 0% Bram, and 100% Jesus.”