Thursday, July 5
220th General Assembly (2012)
Women were central in the work of Jesus. When Martha and Mary tried to be close to Jesus, Martha complained that Mary had left her to do all the work. Jesus did not enter the conflict, but he reminded Martha that Mary had made a choice. ``Mary had chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her'' (Luke 10:42b). The word ``choose'' had a deep meaning for both Mary and Martha. Women have to make their own choice about freedom and love.
Indonesian women choose to participate in building their communities. Recently, Indonesian Muslim women chose PC(USA) mission co-worker Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta to be the head of the Indonesian Women's Coalition (KPI) for the Province of Yogyakarta.
Through this national organization, Farsijana serves women around the province in their struggle with poverty, health care, education, and natural disasters. Farmworkers don't have regular incomes but depend on harvests. Many rely on loan sharks who charge exorbitant interest. A village woman shared that she goes to four different money lenders in a single month to help support her family. Like many, she gets one loan in order to pay for another. Many landless women work as part-time farm laborers. For six hours' work, they receive a wage of only about one dollar and fifty cents.
Through KPI, women cooperate with the local government to channel their participation in activities at the village, provincial, and national levels. KPI trains women to understand the causes of problems around them and to write proposals to their local government. Through monthly meetings, the women are trained to overcome problems such as domestic violence, to begin small businesses, and to effectively serve their families and the broader society.
KPI has initiated a microcredit program in Indonesia with low-interest loans that breaks the cycle of dependency on loan sharks. This program has been supported by such PC(USA) churches as First Presbyterian of Champaign, Illinois.
- Drs. Bernard and Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta, PC(USA) mission co-workers
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
Duta Wacana Christian University: Dr. Bernard Adeney-Risakotta, professor of ethics, Dr. Farsijana Adeney-Risakotta, senior researcher, * Charlotte Blackburn, English teacher and teacher trainer, Duta Wacana Christian University, Communion of Churches in Indonesia * Rev. Dr. Rebecca Young, instructor of systematic theology, Jakarta Theological Seminary/PDA
Let us pray
Loving God, you call us to reach out to the most vulnerable among us. Open our ears to hear their cries, and give us wisdom as we seek to serve. Amen.