Our partner staff from the protestant Christian church in Bali send you their love for Christmas!
To be Balinese is to be Hindu: more than 90% of the population practise a uniquely Balinese form of the religion. For those who’ve chosen to become Christian, the decision jeopardises family relationships and land ownership. But in spite of the cost, Christianity in Bali is growing, and this Christmas the message of God born into the world feels more real than ever.
“We can’t wait to celebrate this year- Christmas to me is all about God coming to us to share our lives in human form, and I think we’ve seen that strongly through the pandemic,” says Irene, Project Officer with our partner, the Protestant Christian Church in BaIi. “Last year it was just me alone in my house watching the Christmas service on line, but this year we’re hoping to be able to return to our family villages to go to church together and visit our ancestors in the graveyard before lunch with our families.”
Bali’s vaccination rate is now higher than anywhere else in Indonesia and the province is set to re-open to tourists. The economy is on track for recovery over the new year, and this will relieve some of the strain on families who’ve found it hard to put food on their tables for much of the past two years. 60 to 80% of the local workforce have traditionally relied heavily on tourism, and since borders closed in March 2020, the number of visitors has dropped from six million down to one. As part of Bali’s recovery, our church partners have spoken out about the importance of vaccination, shared health information, provided hope and innovated barter services and links between rural and urban communities to trade essential items. The church has punched well above its weight supporting people throughout the pandemic and are looking forward to going into the new year stronger and more resilient than ever.
Thanks for praying for our friends across Indonesia and Southeast Asia this year, and from the whole team, Happy Christmas to you all!
Make God’s love for the world known this Christmas and give a gift to bring hope and beat poverty: