How lifelong relationships become real
Assembly tours have something for everyone!
- an adventurous bicycle ride across a rural rice field
- a deep dive into Indonesia's Mennonite church history as told in John D. Roth’s new book A Cloud of Witnesses
- immersion into batik-making or local village life
- a visit to historical and religious landmarks to hear the story behind them,
- a culinary journey into making Indonesian food,
- and many more!
Assembly Gathered: half-day tours sample cultural and religious diversity
Every afternoon, Assembly will offer a number of half-day tours that will take visitors to the local attractions in and around the host city, Semarang. “Participants can choose from exploring Semarang’s old city, a theme park featuring all the traditional houses of Central Java, the marina, a nearby coffee plantation, places of worship, or sampling local culinary delights,” says Sarah Yetty, Assembly’s national co-coordinator.
“The afternoon tours focus on giving participants with limited time in Indonesia a glimpse of Central Java’s rich history and diversity while enjoying the scenery,” Sarah Yetty says.
Assembly Scattered: explore church history, multireligious society and community outreach
For those extending their stay in Indonesia before or after Assembly Gathered, Indonesia 2022 offers multi-day tours from Bali, Yogyakarta, Karimunjawa Island, Solo, as well as Assembly Scattered programs hosted by more than 10 Mennonite communities in Indonesia.
“In Assembly Scattered, local GITJ, GKMI and JKI churches will host a group of 10-50 visitors each. The church members will become tour guides as their visitors explore their area and learn what it means to be an Anabaptist within the local context,” says Agus Setianto, Assembly’s national co-coordinator.
Among the many examples of the multi-religious context of living in Indonesia, the program with GITJ Jepara offers a visit to a local Islamic boarding school. Participants will share a meal with their students and teachers. Another host, GKMI Winong in Pati, is considered one compound with the next-door mosque because a canopy connects the two buildings.
Many host churches will take visitors to other places of worship, evidence of communities that are continuously learning to co-exist through dialogue with each other.
Closely connected to interfaith work is the church’s diaconal ministry to the local community. On the tour hosted by GKMI Yogyakarta, participants can view the housing built by the church following the 2006 earthquakes in the city. GKMI Anugerah Jakarta will share about its mobile clinic ministry, while JKI Salatiga will take you to visit the Bu Moi orphanage.
For those wanting to learn the Dutch mission history from colonial times, the programs offered by many GITJ churches offer an insight into the work of the Dutch missionaries and how Javanese missionaries infused biblical messages with Javanese art and customs to share the gospel to their own people.
Cultural activities, sightseeing and culinary delight are part of every tour. However, they offer more than tourism.
“Assembly Scattered is an opportunity to interact with Anabaptist Christians in their local context, worship together, share meals and start lasting relationships. Visitors learn about day-to-day life as a follower of Christ in Indonesia. The host churches are enriched by opening their homes and churches to ‘family’ they would otherwise not have known. This is how lifelong relationships become real,” says MWC chief international events officer Liesa Unger.
View the video highlights of Assembly Scattered hosts and programs here. The playlist will be updated regularly: