Kartidaya, First Alliance Organization in Indonesia, Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Kartidaya personnel praise and thank God for the completed Scriptures in Indonesia. Photo by Ling Lam

Shimmering gold and vibrant shades of red filled the room. The sounds of laughter rose and fell as joyful music played in the background. As guests arrived, they were greeted with warm smiles and bags of souvenirs, and were swept up in the festive colours and joyous ambience of the celebration.

Students from a supporting school sang “Here I am Lord” at the celebration.

It was the thirtieth anniversary of Kartidaya, the first Wycliffe Global Alliance organization in Indonesia. About 200 Kartidaya staff members and guests from throughout Indonesia and around the world gathered together to share this joy on 28 November, 2019 in Jakarta.

To celebrate this milestone, Kartidaya prepared the evening with diverse and heartfelt programs including worship, song and dance, testimonies, prayer and sermons that were all threaded together by four key themes – calling, challenges, motivation and miracles.

Rev. Dr. Bambang Widjaja (board member of Wycliffe Global Alliance) shared a message on “Why Bible translation is so important”.  Photo by Ling Lam

Most Impressive Moments

It is hard to single out any one part of the celebration was most impressive, but many would find two moments especially touching. Dressed in their respective traditional costumes, and holding up various completed translations and Scripture materials of different language groups in Indonesia, Kartidaya personnel marched up to the stage, region by region, to praise and give thanks to God for his grace and guidance over the last thirty years. From Papua, Maluku, Sulawesi, North Kalimantan and West Kalimantan, to Central Java and Sumatra, they represented the language groups across Indonesia expressing their gratitude for obtaining the translated Word of God with the help of Kartidaya’s services.

Kartidaya’s birthday cake, the “first-cake”.

Another unforgettable moment was the “first-cake” ceremony which symbolized showing respect and affirmation to those milestone persons of Kartidaya. As Nitya Travis, a co-founder and the first executive director of Kartidaya, cut the birthday cake into smaller pieces, important individuals and partners were invited to share a slice of the “first-cake”. Those invited included Kartidaya board members, funders, leaders of synods, and representatives from supporting churches and key partners such as the Indonesian Bible Society and SIL International.

In appreciation and affirmation, Simon Wan (right, Wycliffe Global Alliance Asia-Pacific director) presented a commemorative plaque to Kusumantoro Tedja (Kartidaya board chair).

Not about publishing the Bible, but changing lives

Founded in 1989, Kartidaya is the oldest among the fourteen Wycliffe Global Alliance organizations in Indonesia. Kartidaya sees itself as an extension of the Church in the mission of God. Through strong partnerships with the churches and other organizations in and beyond Indonesia, Kartidaya serves in Bible translation and related ministries such as oral Bible stories translation, “JESUS” Film translation, ethno-arts and Scripture use in the country.

To Kartidaya, Bible translation is not about publishing the Bible, but changing lives by making the Word of God available in the languages of various language groups in Indonesia.

Marnix and Lenny Riupassa. Marnix had been faithfully serving as the executive director of Kartidaya for eleven years (2009-2019). New Executive Director Karyadi Antonius started his term on 1 Jan 2020.

Among the 719 language groups in Indonesia, 295 still do not have access to the Word of God in their heart languages. As of 2020, Kartidaya has forty-five staff members and is involved in language work serving twenty-five languages (three clusters and seven individual projects).  Over the last three decades, Kartidaya has helped to complete the New Testament in four languages and Scripture portions in about fifty-seven languages.

By Ling Lam | Photos by Gary McMaster unless otherwise noted.

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