Blessed to Be a Blessing
As the nation's 55th birthday draws near, Pastor Alana Mah Haryanto reflects as a Singaporean called to serve in Indonesia with her husband, Pastor Budi Haryanto.
Pastor Alana at Singapore's Embassy in Jakarta. All photos courtesy of Pastor Alana.
“From insignificance to significance
From poverty to prosperity
From uncertainty to stability
From rioting to harmony
From dependence to independence
From a fishing village to a metropolitan city
From an immigrant country to home truly
Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. Privileged.”
I wrote these reflections about Singapore on my Facebook page on August 9, 2015, in celebration of SG50. Five years later, I am still thankful, grateful, blessed, and privileged to be a Singaporean. But this time, I am away from home serving God’s call in Jakarta.
My husband is an Indonesian and I am a Singaporean. Before our marriage, Budi and I prayed about where God was calling us to serve Him together.
In December 2019 after our honeymoon, I packed my bags in response to God’s call to move to Jakarta. Little did we realize that the world would be hit with the COVID-19 pandemic soon after.
In late March 2020, I received messages from concerned family and friends.
“Aren’t you coming back home?”
“I am feeling torn about you staying in Jakarta."
“The borders are shutting down soon. What are your plans?”
Trinity@Jakarta's Missions Rally on Mar 15 – the last onsite service before COVID-19 restrictions
Without a doubt, I knew God has called Budi and me to remain in Jakarta even in the midst of a pandemic. This does not mean I do not want to be home with my family and friends. In fact, there were many nights my heart ached and longed to return to Singapore and be with my family (and boy, do I miss having some durians too).
But deep in my heart, I hung on to the conviction that I am called to Indonesia to be a blessing.
This meant leaving behind the comfort and security of my home nation.
This meant letting God use me to serve the people here.
This meant trusting God wholeheartedly in His plans and purposes for me in an unfamiliar land.
For many years, at every National Day, I will always take time to pray for my beloved nation. One of my constant prayers for Singapore is God’s promise for Abraham from Genesis 12:2-3 –
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you.”
There was a time when people thought that Singapore wouldn’t make it. But we did it, and miraculously we are a thriving nation today.
Surely God has blessed this small and young nation to be a first world country today so that Singapore will be a blessing to all people on earth! And as people of Singapore, we are blessed to be a blessing!
Together with Trinity’s vision of God’s passionate heartbeat for the nations, it was clear to me that God has called me to be a blessing here in Indonesia. God’s heart is for the nations to be saved, and we are to be a people consumed with a vision to touch the world for Jesus Christ.
I chose to answer God’s call to stay in Jakarta because I want to be part of Trinity’s vision and God’s answered prayer for Singapore, by letting myself be a blessing to other nations.
Pastor Alana and Pastor Budi conducting service from their Jakarta home
Budi and I are thankful that we can serve God and His people together at Trinity@Jakarta. Besides serving the church, we realize God has also blessed us to be a blessing to the people around us.
For example, when the outbreak of the pandemic first started in Jakarta, we sought to bless the people working in our apartment building with masks, hand sanitizers, and vitamin C. The funds used to purchase these things were eventually covered by the Singapore solidarity payment. God has provided us with the blessing to be a blessing to others!
Pastor Budi and Pastor Alana hand packed 150 care packs for employees in their apartment
Indonesia is also celebrating its national day in August. Budi has his thoughts about us, from different countries serving together.
"As an Indonesian, I take pride in my country. With my wife and I serving as one, we believe God has graced us with a combined anointing to see the glory of God manifest through His Church. Psalm 2:8 comes to mind – 'ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. '
Pastor Dominic prophetically declared three years ago in Indonesia that God would bring us from potential to fulfillment. We hold on to that promise while we serve together in Jakarta.
With all Trinitarians, we want to celebrate together both of our beloved birthland. May Singapore and Indonesia arise and shine in the midst of this uncertain situation, because He who gives the promises is faithful. He will bring our nations through gloriously.”
For me, I may be physically away but my heart is far from being away from my beloved nation. I continue to believe and stand firm on God's promises over Singapore, even during this pandemic.
This National Day, my prayers for Singapore are threefold.
May God continue to bless Singapore to live out her calling to be a blessing to the nations. May Singapore emerge even stronger out of this pandemic crisis.
May God enable us to become a greater blessing to people, communities, and nations around us.
As Trinitarians blessed by God, may we carry this privilege and awesome responsibility to be good stewards of the wealth and blessings that God has blessed us and use it to bless the people around us – whether in Singapore or in the nations.
Majulah Singapura! God bless Singapore!
God's amazing blessings on Singapore are parallel to His Abrahamic blessings in Genesis 12:2-3.
Reflect & Respond
In what way do you see God's grace upon your country of birth or/and country where you are placed in?
How have you been blessed too because you are born or placed in that country/those countries?
How can you be a blessing to those around you?