29 Oct MEET OUR CoMP – Ria, Urban Poor Outreach; Jakarta
AsiaCMS’ MEET OUR CoMP is a series of profile articles that aim to give our readers a more personal insight into our Co-mission Partners, who are out in the mission field. We’d like you to know – not just the work they do for the Kingdom of God, but also who they are and what motivates them. We hope these articles allow you to know our CoMPs a little better and help you pray for them in a more personal way…
Here are a few fun facts about Ria: the colour blue makes her feel cheerful and joyful; spicy Padang cuisine is her favourite and it makes her smile; she was an athlete in her younger days and enjoys watching sports just as much as a refreshing dip in a pool; she enjoys reading and travelling; and from her days in high school, she has lived by the motto: “I just want to do what God wants me to do” and Ria has done just that from the moment she heard God’s call!
Working with the urban poor, alongside a highly skilled and capable team, Ria has many tasks to accomplish; her least favourite is anything involving money, such as accounting. Her days are long and she commutes a far distance from the office to her home. Still, her “job” and ministry, as well as her team members, instil passion in her and over the years, Ria has faithfully nurtured the call of God upon her life.
Each morning, Ria meets with her small mentoring group for daily devotionals. She says that obedience, learning to experience God in deeper ways, and how to build deeper relationships with others are some of the best lessons she has learned on her walk of faith.
Daily encouragement is an important part of Ria’s life. The work she does is not without constant opposition, especially from other religious sources within her country. Urban Poor Outreach Programs have restrictions placed upon them, which means she has learnt to share the hope and love of Jesus in a more obtuse manner.
“We do integrated mission, loving more, tangible ministry, intercessory prayer [and] fasting,” says Ria. She believes religion has a major impact on poverty and can greatly uplift or hinder those trying to move from poverty to a better life.
Aside from working with the urban poor, Ria also works closely with churches; mobilizing through preaching, teaching on Integrated Mission (with an emphasis on removing dualism), and bringing church members to observe and learn from her organization’s projects.
She believes community development – empowering others by training them in sustainable services – is a powerful tool in combating poverty. She and her team continually develop these sustainable services side by side with poor communities and through that, form relationships which they hope displays the love of Jesus.
The church is not perfect and Ria often has to show congregations that focusing solely on spiritual ministry during an outreach or training program detracts from the effectiveness of their message. Other times, she must point out the need for programs to be contextual to the community or even show that there are poor people within the community that the church can reach.
Despite this need for illumination, Ria has seen the countless transformation in the lives of poor people, which is why support from the church and community is even more needed and valued!
Ria is our Co-Mission Partner based in Jakarta, working within the area of Urban Poor Outreach & Development. For more info on Ria and her ministry, please visit her profile: https://www.asiacms.net/connect/