Fifteen international peacemakers from different countries around the world are visiting congregations, presbyteries and colleges of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) from Sept. 21-Oct. 15.
They are sharing their stories about church-based ministries in their countries that seek peace, justice and pursue peace in the name of Jesus Christ. This year’s international peacemakers come from Colombia, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Northern Ireland, Palestine, the Philippines, Russia and Syria.
The Rev. Made (Kade) Gunaraksawati Mastra Ten Veen is pastor of the Christian Protestant Church in Bali, Indonesia, and is president of the Bali chapter of the Association of Women with Theological Education.
Made will be visiting the Presbyteries of Beaver-Butler, John Calvin, Peace River, and Cincinnati.
What is the situation in your country that you will be addressing?
“First, I will explain that I come from Indonesia, a country with many islands. It is also the country with the largest Muslim population. However, it is a different kind of Islam. Because of the plurality of other religions and ethnic groups, there are many faces of Islam in Indonesia. My subject will be human trafficking and unity within the churches and interchurch relationships.
“Human trafficking involves poor, middle and high income people. It’s a local, national and global problem. For example, some girls from Indonesia are brought to Japan and other places to work in brothels. They are confined and left to die.”
How are the faith communities addressing this situation?
“To address human trafficking, we have five denominations that are focusing on victims of domestic abuse. We also have a shelter house. I chair the Association of Women with Theological Education. We try to encourage awareness of human trafficking. We had a session to help us recognize human trafficking in own surroundings. We also encourage networking.”
What lessons from your situation are you trying to communicate to U.S. Presbyterians
“They could be alert to what is happening in their own country and try to do different things within their own capacity. First it must be based on prayer because it is not our work it is God’s work, and we need God’s help. When we encounter things that break our heart, we know that God, our Creator, is more heart broken than us.”
What is the primary message you want to communicate to U.S. Presbyterians?
“We all can be agents of transformation. We must be attentive to the calling that God gives to each one of us.”
Pat Cole is a communications specialist for the Presbyterian Mission Agency (formerly the General Assembly Mission Council) and an occasional contributor to Presbyterian News Service.