Adventist Women in East Indonesia Embrace the 'Back to the Altar' Initiative

Southern Asia-Pacific Division

Adventist Women in East Indonesia Embrace the 'Back to the Altar' Initiative

After more than 18 years, this gathering drew more than 1,700 women from 13 missions and conferences in East Indonesia.

Ministries | Indonesia | Southern Asia-Pacific Women's Ministries Department, with ANN Staff

The Adventist Church in East Indonesia (EIUC) recently held the Women’s Ministries Convention at the church of Universitas Klabat (UNKLAB) in Manado from April 3–7, 2024. After more than 18 years, this gathering drew more than 1,700 sisters in faith from 13 missions and conferences of the EIUC. Themed “The Way Back to the Altar,” the event was organized in response to the worldwide church initiative "Back to the Altar," which invites church members to hold “a daily place for God in the heart and home.”

"Back to the Altar," also called BTTA, is a worldwide campaign that advocates daily personal and family worship in the lives of every Seventh-day Adventist. Emphasizing the significance of reconnecting with spiritual practices often overlooked in today's busy and media-driven world, the initiative underscores a deeper communion with God.

Pastor Samuel Bindosano, president of the EIUC, gave the opening remarks at the event's midweek opening. He emphasized the need for the practical results of communion with God through prayer, Bible study, and family worship. Virgie Baloyo, the director of the Women’s Ministries Department for the Southern Asia-Pacific region of the Adventist Church, shared the importance of limiting our digital media engagements to make room for the most important spiritual disciplines. During the Divine Service message, she emphasized the mothers’ role in their family’s spiritual resiliency.

“Every parent/mother is a pastor, and the home is her mission field,” Baloyo emphasized.

Mrs. Baloyo encouraged everyone to be decisive and intentional about their families’ spirituality in her sermon “A Tale of Two Women,” which is a comparison and contrast of the mission-driven family of Mrs. Noah, and that of Mrs. Lot, who escaped the fire of Sodom but was lost because of her indecisiveness.

In pursuit of the convention's objectives, the delegates, in prayer, dedicated to the Lord their digital devices and internet time. On Friday afternoon, the delegates in their pink BTTA shirts reached out to residents surrounding Universitas Klabat, witnessing for Christ and distributing the Bahasa Indonesia translations of The Great Controversy.

During the commitment service, they pledged their devotion to loving God and their fellowmen, to remain steadfast at the altar of faith, and to actively prepare others for the imminent return of the Lord. The resounding call was for all to emulate the spirit of Elijah, beckoning families to unite in worship and closeness to one another. This message was to be delivered with courage and urgency akin to the swift wings of the Three Angels of Revelation 14:6–12.

Nimfa Bindosano, the Women’s Ministry director of the East Indonesia Union Conference (EIUC), spearheaded the convention in response to the imperative of empowering women to play an active role in strengthening homes and communities throughout the region.

"In every home, a woman serves as its nurturing heart. In times when the husband is absent, the mother takes the lead in family worship, imparting to her children the significance of daily communion with God, studying His Word, and fostering a deep love for Him as our Creator, Redeemer, and Friend," remarked Bindosano.

Despite the occasional rains that disturbed the camping-style accommodation, the women remained enthusiastic, even those that came from Papua and the Northern Islands and journeyed nearly three days to reach Manado. The significant turnout of delegates underscores the importance of creating fellowship events that create a unique space for women to learn together and share faith experiences as they go to reach their world for the Lord.

The original article was published on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division website.