“So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.” – Deuteronomy 10:19
This is the anchor verse that Indra and Esther, hold very closely to their hearts.
Showing love to foreigners in a strange land is what compels their ministry as a husband-and-wife team leading Covenant EFC’s Indonesian Fellowship.
But during this pandemic, how could this possibly come about in this time of restricted physical gatherings?
God opened the doors. In January this year, there were increasing numbers of Indonesian domestic workers being temporarily quarantined at Community Care Facilities after testing positive for COVID-19 upon arrival.
From the perspective of these domestic workers, it is certainly fearful enough to arrive in a new country not knowing what to expect. Compounded with the fear of COVID-19 and being quarantined in unfamiliar quarters, it was a very difficult time for many of them.
Through divine connections, Project Nurisa was born.
Project Nurisa, an engagement programme for these domestic workers, aims to love and give hope through befriending. This Covenant-led humanitarian initiative was done in collaboration with other churches’ Indonesian fellowship network. Aside from Indra and Esther, it is supported by 18 other volunteers.
“When these domestic workers get quarantined, they are not able to do much. We want to reach out and listen to their stories using their own language. They can share a lot more when they are able to do so in their native tongue,” Esther said.
It is held online every week and comprises several activities ranging from art therapy in stress management, basic English lessons, talks on family financial management and Right’s Protection by Indonesian Embassy, among others.
Seeing God Work
Through this humanitarian work, Indra and Esther believe that it opened another platform for them to share God’s love — whether by lending a listening ear or helping them process their personal struggles.
“It really warms and encourages the volunteers when the domestic workers are so receptive to us. In all of these, we really see how God works,” Esther shared.
She smiled as she recalled a divine encounter where one of the ladies opened up for deeper conversation. Over time, this worker was keen to understand more. This was one of the many joyous moments experienced over the past months.
Things were not all smooth-sailing. There were certainly challenges faced over the course of the project such as coming up with an engaging programme curriculum, tight resource planning, finding suitable speakers, and gathering sufficient volunteers within a stipulated time frame.
However, Indra and Esther recognised that this was not about them. It wasn’t about the fatigue or the constraints. It was ultimately about God — sharing His love and doing His Kingdom work.
Ongoing Mission of Love
With this in mind, Project Nurisa is designed to be an ongoing humanitarian outreach. Along with other volunteers, the couple continued keeping in close contact with the domestic workers through Whatsapp and Facebook groups even after their departure from the facilities.
Through this project, both Indra and Esther’s eyes were opened to the many more in need. This leaves us with a sobering reminder that missions can always start from home — and our home mission is to love people.
“We thank God for this opportunity that we can have an additional avenue to serve, love others and give hope. As we serve and show God’s love, we ourselves receive joy from the Lord,” the couple reflected.
What’s the first step we can take? “Be sensitive to the needs of others around you, and be ready to step up and help when the need arises,” said Indra.