Muslim-Christian Peacemaking in Padang, Indonesia
by Thomas Davis
Last month I had the great privilege of traveling to to the Indonesian city of Padang, West Sumatra for two weeks of speaking, learning, and relationship-building.
I was graciously hosted by precious Muslim friends, including several community leaders who are Muslim peacemakers and the family that Carrie and I describe as our "Indonesian family."
It is noteworthy that in my first week in Padang I only encountered one other foreigner, a German man that I met in passing, and was not, to my knowledge, in the presence of a single other Christian. Thus, for much of my journey, I was the lone white American Christian in a context where every single person around me was both Indonesian and Muslim.
Knowing this, some of my Christian friends back in the United States worried aloud for my safety. I admonished them not to worry and explained that I would be on the receiving end of extreme hospitality. Thus, when it happened as I expected, I was not at all surprised and nonetheless completely blessed by the overwhelming kindness and sacrificial love of my Indonesian Muslim hosts.
It was an incredibly wonderful time, and I want to give you a glimpse into it through a few photos!
My wife Carrie and I love this family! On my birthday, they had a family celebration in my honor!
Speaking at a major Islamic university. I offer much gratitude for the invitation to my friend and fellow peacemaker, Dr. Shofwan Karim, an Indonesian Muslim leader who is founder and director of the Religious Community for Humanity and Peace.
I had the amazing privilege of spending a morning with and delivering a message to these beautiful friends, the teachers and administrators of an elite K-12 school with a massive focus on promoting peace and love and respect for all people. I am so thankful to my friend and soul brother, Budi Albarqy, for inviting me!!
My great friend, Pak Budi, saying a few words after my talk.
I had the opportunity to tag along with Pak Budi and his team of heroes as they serve food and distribute clothing to the poor. They do this all day four or five days a week. I was deeply inspired! Above, children are waiting in line to receive their hot, nutritious meal.
Clothes for needy families.
Debriefing the day's work. Pak Budi and his team care for orphans and serve the poor. I told them they are doing exactly what Jesus said we ought to do!
The celebratory meal. After feeding everyone else, the team gathers around for an end-of-day feast.