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April 2023 (1)
 

Victorious Day

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Once a year in Indonesia, at least 240 million muslims celebrate their religious victory day, called Eid Al-Fitr. Here locally we call it Lebaran. The first day of the Islamic month of Syawal is the culmination of the month long fasting, month of Ramadhan, through which a muslim would refrain from not only eating and drinking during morning to sunset, he would also abstain from thoughts and actions that would not be pleasing in the presence of God, and in each other. The whole month of Ramadhan is also filled with activities amongst families, business, schools, government agencies to carry out most of their social responsibilities and give alms to the less fortunate, orphans, widows and often the list goes long to include giving gifts to neighbors and buying new clothes for the little ones. On the big day they gather to feast with families and friends and just about every house is open to welcome visitors.

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The spending activities during the whole month of Ramadhan, as expected, becomes the highest for the year and is often used to gauge the economic health of the nation as a whole. Every person belonging to the workforce of the nation gets 13th month basic salary and it is protected by the law. Every employee receives the sum regardless of their religious affiliation. Any company not participating in giving must be in violation, unless they’re declared to be in financial emergency.

This Saturday is the first day of Syawal and this week we have witnessed at least 130 million people making travels across the country. Either homecoming or simply on vacation, everyone is spending time with their loved ones. Over the period of one week leading up to the big day, the traffic in the cities has gradually slowed down as everyone is expected to be in their destination for the last day of fasting. Car traffic goes to practically zero on the morning of Lebaran because the whole nation seems to be in the mosque, praying and giving thanks that they have overcome the fasting month with faith.

HCBN Indonesia also participates in sharing the blessings. We have several workers from the village where we are situated. For years they have been like a family to us, despite of religious difference. We have extended what is required by the law and share with them what God has given us. In form of parcels we package basic needs like Rice, sugar, oil and noodles. We also include cookies and drinks. It may not be much individually but when the gifts are extended to not only workers but the whole village, they may see that we care for them collectively. We may not even know in person who they are individually but as we have maintained this tradition over they years, they acknowledge us being Christians who enjoy sharing.

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This past few years we team up in the effort with our good friend, Kaka the lead singer of nation’s famous band, Slank. Him and his wife, Natasha are never absent when it comes to sharing what they have with this village and beyond, and we always enjoy their presence every time we share God’s blessings here.

This Sabbath, the 23rd day of April, muslims’s 1st of day Syawal, is not only the victory to our muslim brethren, but it is also to us! Sabbath is a commemoration of God’s creation. And the purpose of His creation is to show His love, and that love must be made manifest in our lives in form of good deeds. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. Let’s make the Sabbath to be not only the day of worship, but the culmination of our weekly struggle being placed in the world to become God’s beacon of light. As we have overcome in Christ, we have reasons to celebrate with joy and thanksgiving. God’s identity shall be placed upon us when we are well rested in His love, surrendering fully to His plans, and not on our own.

Account Name: 

Yayasan Misi Sukarela Indonesia

 

 

BNI (Bank Negara Indonesia)

Account Number: 0367196686

Swift Code: BNINIDJA

 

Thank You

God Bless

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