“Rise Up, O Church of God”
The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, no. 615
Superintendent or Sabbath School teacher
“Lead Them to Jesus”
“Lead Them, My God, to Thee”
The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, no. 653
Narrator 1: The Southern Asia-Pacific Division is made up of 13 countries and several island federations. While some of these countries are open to the gospel and membership is strong, other countries present difficult challenges to the church. Today our focus lies on two countries, Indonesia and Myanmar, or Burma.
Narrator 2: Indonesia is a country made up of thousands of islands that stretch along the equator between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. These islands gave rise to hundreds of different cultures, each with its own history and religious practices.
Colonialism united most of the islands into the nation of Indonesia, and Islam became the dominant religion. Today more than 80 percent of the people in Indonesia are Muslim. But others are Christians or follow traditional religions such as animism. This religious diversity creates challenges to reaching the people of Indonesia with the message of Christ.
The Adventist Church has 217,000 members in Indonesia, or one member for about every 1,100 people. One of the most effective ways to reach people in Indonesia is through medical facilities.
This quarter two Adventist hospitals in Indonesia will receive help to expand their services to their communities and beyond so that more people can come for medical care and receive spiritual care as well.
Narrator 1: The first of these hospitals is on the westernmost large island of Indonesia, Sumatra. [Point to Sumatra on the map.] The hospital began as a clinic in the city of Medan about 50 years ago and has grown into a hospital that serves people from the city and the surrounding region. One woman tells how the hospital’s ministry changed her life.
Storyteller: Ida is a Christian, but she had never heard about Adventists until her husband, John, became seriously ill with liver failure. “I was really impressed with the staff,” Ida said. “Dr. Supit [SOO-pit] came every day to pray for John.” But John’s liver was too damaged from alcohol to recover, and he died a few days later. Ida returned home alone and a widow.
Dr. Supit continued visiting Ida and encouraging her. Dr. Supit invited Ida to attend evangelistic meetings with him, and there she learned what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist. As a result she asked to become an Adventist. “I thank God for sending Dr. Supit and the staff of the Adventist hospital into my life,” Ida says.
Today Ida spends her days working as a volunteer at the Adventist hospital, where she has found a new family and a joyful ministry.
Narrator 2: Medan Adventist Hospital works hard for the people of northern Sumatra. But the hospital lacks needed medical equipment. Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering today will help provide medical equipment to help this hospital expand its ministry.
Narrator 1: On the eastern side of Indonesia lies the large city of Manado. [Locate Manado on the map.] The Adventist hospital here has been operating for only four years and is making a big impact on people’s lives. But besides treating patients who come to the hospital, volunteers go out to towns and villages to provide medical care for people who otherwise wouldn’t get it.
Narrator 2: Last year more than 400 people gave their hearts to God through the work of the staffs of these two Adventist hospitals. Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help expand and improve facilities at these hospitals so that even more people can experience God’s healing touch and learn of His love.
Narrator 1: Myanmar (also called Burma) is the second-largest country in Southeast Asia. Nearly nine out of 10 people living in Burma is a Buddhist.
In 1976 a small Adventist school opened in the capital city as a seminary. It was designed to hold about 100 students, but today 450 students are enrolled. Every class is crowded, but parents still want to enroll their children in this school where teachers are kind and students learn to help one another. The children learn to love God and make Jesus their best friend. One of the parents tells us what the Adventist seminary means to her family.
Storyteller: I have two children, ages 8 and 10. They were not happy in school and sensed that their teachers treated children unfairly.
One day I met a neighbor who told me that her daughter studies at Yangon Adventist Seminary, a kindergarten-to-twelfth-grade school. She told me that the teachers treat the children with respect and strive to teach well so that children don’t need additional tutoring outside of class.
I learned that the school is operated by Adventists, who once operated a hospital in the city. I’m a nurse and remembered working with a team from Loma Linda University Medical Center who came to perform heart surgeries for those in need. I decided that if this school was operated by the same church that operated such a fine hospital, I wanted my children to study there.
Because we’re Christians, I was glad to find a school that glorified God. I visited the school and decided to enroll my children there. We immediately noticed that our children were happier and at peace. They are more interested in their lessons, and they’re no longer shy and afraid to speak in front of people.
I am impressed at how the teachers discipline children with love, and the children respond with willing obedience.
I like to see my children studying several courses in English. I know that when they complete their high school education, they will qualify to study at a wide range of schools. I’m so glad that we found Yangon Adventist Seminary. It’s made a world of difference for our children.
Narrator 2: Yangon Adventist Seminary needs to make room for its growing enrollment. But parents cannot afford to pay higher tuition in order to enlarge the school. Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering today will help Yangon Adventist Seminary build additional classrooms so that up to 700 children who want to study there can get a good Christian education.
Narrator 1: You’ve heard the challenges in Southern Asia-Pacific Division. Ask God what He would have you do to help our brothers and sisters there advance the gospel of Christ.