Indonesia is attempting a massive feat in the next couple of years – shifting its political capital near the western edge of the nation to an entirely different island in a city that hasn’t even been built yet. The present capital city of Jakarta on the island of Java has many problems such as garbage and pollution, a population which is more than three times the size of what the city was designed for, and perpetual traffic congestion. To add to the urgent need for action is the fact that Jakarta is sinking into the Indian Ocean at a rate of nearly 10 inches (25.4 cm) per year.
The new capital now under construction will receive the name “Nusantara” which means “archipelago”. The shift to the eastern side of the island of Kalimantan (popularly called Borneo in the United States) will put the new capital in a more central location to Indonesian citizens. While the city could be ready by the end of 2024, many people from across the thousands of inhabited islands are already relocating to the vicinity, hoping to better represent the needs of their own islands in the government.
Pastor Yandi, director of FMI’s church planting partnerships on Kalimantan, sees new mosques being built in the area that will become Nusantara; evangelical Christians need to likewise prepare to evangelize and disciple in the area. “We need to [support new] church planters there now. [Nusantara] is a rural area, soon to become an urban area” Presently, FMI supports 14 church planters on Kalimantan, but none are near the region where Nusantara is being built. In the coming year, we are trysting the Lord to add three new church planters focused on Nusantara… and more in the coming years.
Your prayers empower pastors like Yandi in Indonesia and other countries to stand ready to share the hope found only in Jesus Christ so that multitudes will find not just a spiritual facelift but a radical transformation.