The Five Giants of Jakarta

Below is an interview with Suparno Adijato who is the Chair of our Jakarta Board and Tommy Lee, our President.



I am an Indonesian, who has been living in Jakarta for thirty years. We have a family plantation and mining business. My wife and I are educators for preschoolers to adults. But my passion is in ministry, building up and discipling young adults so they can contribute to their cities.


The number one word that comes to mind when I think of Jakarta is vibrant. Jakarta is full of life, even traffic jams represent the city’s vibrance. Jakarta, with a population of 30 million people, is the second biggest megalopolitan in the world, just short of Tokyo. Another word for Jakarta is improving. Indonesia used to be at the bottom of Transparency International. In 1998, we had one of the worst economic crisis, along with a change of government. But amidst the skepticism by many people, things are improving in the country. Many people thought Indonesia would go down the drain, but people have been praying for the country. There is a national prayer network that has millions of people covering Indonesia with prayers.


Corruption is a big problem. It breeds inefficiency. By being inefficient, you get more money. Corruption also breeds uncertainties and risks. Foreign investors will not invest if the risk is too high due to corruption. With corruption, people can be bought. There is no security when you don’t know who you can trust. People don’t need to have integrity where there is corruption. So I believe that if our society can overcome corruption, then we would be on the right path.


The second giant is inequality. Not only are there minorities in terms of race and religion, Indonesia has one of the greatest unequal distributions of wealth amongst its people. There are three classes of people:

  • the few, who have a lot of wealth,

  • the small amount, which is considered is middle class,

  • and then the class majority of Indonesians fall into, those who are near poverty.


The third giant is vulnerability. A society works well if the law works to protect the people. The law is not perfect, but so is the implementation of the law in Indonesia. There are inefficiencies in the way the law is drafted. Due to that fact, a lot of times people feel that the law is against them. As a result, the people are wary and do not know who they can trust. There should be some form of social justice.


The fourth giant is poverty. Unemployment is a huge issue. The government has made improvements, but there is still a lot of unemployed people. For example, people who work on a farm work for about six months and only about five hours a day. So if they get sick, there is no money. People here run into a lot of problems because of debt.


The final giant is hopelessness. There is an overarching sense of hopelessness and oppression. But Jesus has come to help those that are oppressed; God has given us hope through Jesus and hope for the future. There is hope. I believe our society can and will continue to improve going forward.


The Bible talks about David being the giant slayer. In our lives, we have Davids, but also men and women who can be Davids and support Davids. God can use everybody. Although we may not be a David, we can still help to bring back the kingdom. All of us can do something to slay giants.

Thanksgiving, Hospitality, and Opportunity

By Felicia Hanito

Thanksgiving became one of my favorite holidays back when I was a student in the States: not only is it an occasion to share delicious food and quality moments with loved ones, but it helps us take a step back from our busy everyday routines in order to remember and cherish the simple gifts of life—including the people around us. 

This year, I had the privilege to spend one of my best Thanksgiving dinners yet with a group of new friends from three West Jakarta universities. Our belated celebration, held on Friday, November 30th, was co-sponsored by Resource Global and hosted by a small community of Christ-following working adults who share a common vision of investing holistically in university students through our platform of “Next Generation Professionals”.  

Over the past few months, we had met and befriended students of myriad backgrounds and faiths through hosting a series of free professional development workshops and English conversation classes in partnership with their English Clubs. Through our Thanksgiving dinner gathering, we hoped to connect on a deeper, more personal level with our new friends and demonstrate our continued commitment to love, serve, and equip them and their campuses.


In total, we were blessed with twenty-one attendees who pretty much filled up every corner of my co-leader’s apartment! The menu comprised of a unique fusion of Indonesian-American Thanksgiving offerings: roast chicken and mashed potatoes paired with chocolate pudding, es buah (Indonesian iced fruit cocktail), and martabak (Indonesian sweet pancakes). As excited as our guests were about the food, the true highlight of the night was the camaraderie built through laughter-inducing games and personal sharing about the things we were most grateful for that year. Several students expressed their gratitude for the new, genuine friends they had made through English Club and the “Next Generation Professionals” community—especially for those who had just moved to a new city and/or were going through hard times.


Following this dinner, my community co-leaders and I look forward to continue engaging these and their campuses in workshops and hangouts and are also considering the option of offering a tailored personal mentorship program for a smaller, committed group of students. Our dream is that we can eventually know these students not just as our dear friends but also spiritual brothers and sisters, and co-laborers in the God’s mission to catalyze gospel transformation in all nations.

Felecia Hanito is the Education Program Manager at the Djarum Foundation and has a heart to reach college students across cultures and faith journeys. She was in Resource Global’s 2nd year cohort and we are excited to see what God is doing in her and through her.

Lifeʼs Little Detours

What do you when things donʼt go your way? Do you often grumble, do you often resist, and try to push forward? There are time when weʼre called to simply brave it through, to push through. But there are also the other times where detours are necessary.

How often do you get thrown off guard when things donʼt seem to go as you had planned it to be?

Thatʼs me most of the time. And as I took time to ponder upon the question: Why is it so hard for me to simply let things be? And I came to realize:

Resistance often comes when what we want (what we plan) isnʼt what He wills.

And ever since I come to realize that, I feel an immeasurable surge of peace and I choose to yield into His leading. Iʼm simply gonna let things flow, learning to flow in His grace. And to not let little things that doesnʼt seem to go our way throw us off.

With every detour thereʼs a blessing, or an opportunity to serve.

Therefore we must instead pay closer attention to what Heʼs doing, instead of getting irritated. Easier done when our will is no longer ours.

I would have not been here if it were not some of these detours. And I praise God for the little detours in my life. For it is part of His way, to drive me a little out of my “seemingly straight path”, a little further, a little off-the-road experiences, whereby the view is better, or where an unexpected encounter and experience occurs.

God is working in all things, including the detours.

So the next time, something doesnʼt go your way, consider that a “pause” sign from God. To ponder, and to come to Him, ask Him to open up your eyes, so you may be attentive to what Heʼs doing. Because our God is purposeful and intentional in every way. Therefore, with every detour, it could be a pause sign to ponder and pray; it could serve as a warning; it could be a way to get your full attention to what Heʼs doing; it could be His way to redirect you. It could be a million things. Therefore it is wise to simply consider and pause, rather than simply push through. Otherwise youʼd be going through life just zooming through it, managing it, and missing the whole point of life itself.

Lifeʼs little detours calls for us to learn to flow in His grace.
Lifeʼs little detours calls for us to learn to surf with the waves.

And I pray today that I may be able to understand this everyday and every time something unplanned comes my way. Iʼll pray the same for you too.

Sonia Wirya, Jakarta Cohort