The Start of CMO 36: GPdI Muria Pulutan, South Pulutan Village, Pulutan District, Kepulauan Talaud Region, North Sulawesi Province, October 12, 2016
In the most northern part of our beloved country, Indonesia, lay such a beautiful cluster of islands that anyone who sets eyes upon it shall instantly fall in love with it. With a seemingly unlimited natural resources in its waters, this region is better known as the Talaud Archipelago, North Sulawesi Province. The region of the Talaud Archipelago is the most outer area of Indonesia, bordering immediately with the Philippines. Although it was originally based on a very strict tribal culture, the majority of the people here are now Christians. Christianity was brought in by the Spanish, who called this region Paradiso (Heaven), but the local residents called it Porodisa, the official nickname of Talaud Archipelago.
Because the majority of the populations are Christians, there are many church buildings in this area, from different denominations. The biggest denomination consists of ethnic churches (65%). The rest are Pentacostal churches that entered into Talaud in 1970s. Compared to other areas, this region is still behind in terms of economy and infrastructure, as it’s still very difficult to access from the capital city of the province. However, through time and much effort, since April 10, 2002, Talaud has officially become Talaud Archipelago Region.
Praise the Lord, Anugrah Ministries can reach out to this area through the Church Make Over (CMO) Program, in South Pulutan Village, GpdI Jemaat Muria Pulutan church was appointed as the 36th CMO project. This church was officially founded on the year 1983. It started from the initiative of an Unsrat Medical University student, who was a local girl from the village of Pulutan. She received a calling to serve the Lord, and started her ministry with four people. As her ministry grew, it became a church under the GPdI synod. She faced many challenges, including the threats from a number of sides who weren’t happy seeing pentacostal movement growing in the village.
Then there was even a vacancy in the leadership. Finally the Lord promoted one of the early church members, Mr. Janis Taaropetan to be the pastor, even though he had a lack of formal education (only until middle school). He wanted to become God’s instrument, having felt burdened for all the hardwork already invested. Slowly but surely, he sustained the ministry with just a congregation of three families left (eight people). God saw his obedience and sincerity, and was with him.
In 1988 he started his assignment as Pastor until he passed away on July 29, 2016, and his first son, Pastor Ariyanto Taaropetan, succeeded his place. In his lifetime, the late Pastor Janis Taaropetan has built two places of worship. The first was an emergency 5×8 meter building in the year 1988. Then entering into 2002, he started building a permanent church until now. The process of establishing a permanent church building has been going on for 14 years. Slowly, with now 50 people in their congregation, they are still trying to build the church building. Until at last, God connected Anugrah Ministries to them, through the Church Make Over Program. Hallelujah.
Monday, October 12, 2016 was a very happy and momentous day for Pastor Ariyanto Taaropetan and the whole congregation of GPdI Muria Pulutan, as it marked the day where their burdens have been lifted up regarding the building of the church. The opening ceremony of CMO 36 started with a short service. It was then proceeded with the signing of MOU between the church representative and Anugrah Ministries. The head of the village of South Pulutan was present, representing the local government that also wanted to give their regards. In the end of his speech, he also wished that with the new church building, the faith of the congregation will increase. He paid his well wishes, hopes, and gratitude, to those present, and to Anugrah Ministries, for their help to one of the churches in his jurisdiction. The tribal chief was also present and he prayed in the local dialect.
These are some of the works that Church Make Over 36 will do:
- Replacing the roof and its framework (some parts of the roof were leaking and rustic because of the church’s close vicinity to the ocean, and some parts of the wooden structure were ruined by termites).
- Installation of ceiling.
- Installation of ceramic tiles on the floor (7×15 meters).
- Making two units of public lavatory (shower, wash area, and toilet)
- Building the pastoral home (5×8 meters).
May the Lord give ease throughout the process of Church Make Over 36. Thanks to Anugrah partners for contributing in this project. May the name of the Lord be glorified, amen.