Social entrepreneurs, community workers and pastoral workers revive their passion for the poor at the recent Global Conference on Care in Indonesia.
From March 16 to 18, a delegation comprising businessmen, community service leaders and pastoral workers from various organizations in Singapore attended the inaugural Global Conference on Care organized by GBI Gatot Subroto in Indonesia. Hosted by honorary chairman of GCC, Niko Njotorahardjo, the conference was held in the new 11,000-seat auditorium of the Sentul International Convention Center, in Sentul City, Indonesia.
In Njotorahardjo’s words, the conference was “more than an event.” It served to initiate a “movement of benevolence and care ministries” all over Indonesia.
GBI Gatot Subroto partnered with the Division of Care, Church of God from the United States in this conference, and many speakers came from the US within the Church of God network. The Singapore delegation, which included workers from City Harvest Community Services Association and CityCare Limited, learned firsthand from an organization with extensive community outreach in Indonesia and worldwide. Eileen Toh, pastor of CHC’s children’s church, noted that “it takes more than just a desire to care. One needs practical skills in order to be effective and prevent burn-out.”
Aside from the main conference sessions, there were also sessions which imparted practical instructions for different areas, such as “Releasing a Passion for the Poor”, “Preventing Compassion Fatigue and Self Care for Caregivers”, “Caring for the Fatherless” and more. Also included were clinics on how to set up disaster response teams as well as strategies to reach the community in urban areas. These were conducted by leaders of non-profit groups with years of experience working in impoverished areas, such as Operation Compassion’s president, David Lorency and Lazarus Foundation’s executive director, Richard Baker.
Having seen and heard all that the different groups are doing all over the world, many of the delegates were inspired to do more. Wendy Lim, senior executive of CityCare, said, “Attending the Global Care Conference makes me realize that there is still much to do for the poor. It’s heartening to see all these organizations steeply involved in caring for the underprivileged globally.”
|PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNETH SIM|
Delegates also witnessed the official opening and dedication of the 11-storey prayer tower in Sentul City on the first day of the conference. The prayer tower was built with the vision of inter-denominational unity. The delegation of visitors were given a guided tour around Sentul City by Roy Tirtadji, president of Lippo Group, also one of the pioneers of the Sentul City project.
Kenneth Sim, field director for CityCare, summed up the team’s experience, “We show care because Jesus first cared for us and did not want to leave us the same way He found us. Likewise, in caring for others, we bring transformation into their world, and when their world is changed, our world is changed too.”
The inaugural Global Conference on Care achieved its objective in opening up new paradigms in the minds of those who have a heart for the poor and needy in the world.