Java Journeys
   Petrus Widjaja

‘A Tour to Take the Ravel out of Travel’
Java Journeys were organised so that Australian Christians could see and assess the work of Hope for the Children.

Tour members are introduced to the work of HFTC and provide an opportunity to meet and participate in activities with some of the children.

This tour allows you to see the REAL Indonesia; living amongst the very poor families in villages near Malang, East Java.

I first met Petrus in February 1992.  He and his wife Sri were on a short visit to Australia and came to my house with George and Ruth Ashworth for dinner.  Some friends and I had a most informative evening, looking at some of the work of Hope For The Children in Malang, Indonesia and hearing from Petrus himself.  My family and I had corresponded with him for many years through our sponsorship of a student under the Hope For The Children sponsorship plan.

Petrus is an extremely warm and sincere Indonesian Christian.  He has a wonderfully infectious smile, bright twinkling eyes and a friendly approach which radiates with the love of Jesus, to whom Petrus is completely dedicated. In his vision of Hope For The Children, as in everything, Petrus has this magnificent faith that God will provide their every need.

Far reaching are his never ending efforts to make life better for as many needy children as the sponsorship money will allow.  Following the  death of Rev. Arthur Wilkinson in October 1986, Rev. George Ashworth became the one to see that the support of Australian Christians for Hope For The Children continued.  Early in 1994, George passed this task on to me.......

His Background

Petrus was born on 2 September 1940, in Surabaya on the island of Java.  Although his parents were not Christians they sent him to a Christian school.  It was here Petrus gave his life to the Lord.  In his teen years, Petrus developed a concern for the well-being of his fellow Indonesians.  He was especially concerned for those living in poverty and in  crowded villages surrounding the city of Malang, East Java.

His Desire

What contribution could Petrus make to alleviate the problems of these people?  “What is the best way for me to share Jesus with my countymen?”  became the main thoughts of his prayer life.

Serve as a doctor

The more he prayed the more he was convinced that God wanted him to become a doctor.  In this way, as well as bringing physical healing, he could share the love of the Lord Jesus and His spiritual healing.

Imagine his disappointment to be told he would need many thousands of rupiah.......of course he or his family did not have this money.  He found employment and was able to study and become a qualified accountant.

His wife, Sri

About this time he married Sri.  They had been in Senior High School together and now they have two lovely daughters, two sons-in-law and, at this time, two grandchildren whom they adore.  Sri supports the work prayerfully and practically. 

The Sponsors’ Plan

Petrus came in contact with some other like-minded Indonesian Christians who met together to pray and seek God’s will in the matter.  They named their committee ‘Yayasan Badan Pendidekan Kristen Setia’ - in English ‘Hope For The Children’.  This was 1978.

From the very beginning their object was the evangelisation, education and economic improvement of village families living in poverty around Malang.   Soon after, Petrus began writing to Christians in Australia - one of them being the Rev. Arthur Wilkins, Baptist minister from Geelong.  Arthur encouraged Petrus and his committee in their work. 

The sponsorship plan began with the original committee, who each sponsored a needy child and now many people throughout Australia, plus several in other countries, sponsor children.

Petrus has been very involved with Christian Schools and Sunday School communities.  He is now also working with isolated, rural pastors who need much encouragement to build up their church communities.  It is through pastors and their helpers that the needs of families become known to Petrus and the continuity of our support and knowledge of the families’ welfare is conducted through them.  It means that the families can have a sense of security as far as the childrens’ wellbeing is concerned.