Last Updated: 19/01/2021

A surge of COVID-19 infections led to nearly 110,000 active cases and 22,000 total fatalities in Indonesia as of Dec. 31 – the highest death toll in Southeast Asia. New cases are rapidly rising in the country’s four most populous provinces. Schools remain closed; however, public transit and access to essential services are widely available. Social distancing and face masks are mandatory in public places. Restrictions on large-scale gatherings and nonessential travel vary in each province, city and regency.

The status of Compassion church partners ranges widely. While a few are open for normal program activities, many are able only to meet in small groups for limited activities, and most are ministering only through home visits. Mentors and tutors are bringing food supplies to children’s homes weekly and are helping some families plant gardens at their homes. Since the beginning of the pandemic, staff members have distributed over 1 million food packs and 758,000 hygiene kits and provided medical support to 77,000 individuals.

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Indonesia?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Indonesia, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Some centers have reopened with small group meetings for children and youth but many remain closed. Staff members continue to make home visits and phone calls to provide assistance to children and caregivers. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, staff members have been able to distribute over 1 million food packs and 758,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

The majority of letters are delayed in Indonesia, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Indonesia, although they are currently delayed. In some communities, staff have needed to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

After losing his job in 2018, Jonson worked sporadically as a day laborer. His income was inconsistent, and every week the family carefully counted out Jonson’s wages, hoping there would be enough to buy groceries for their family of five.

But when the COVID-19 outbreak reached Indonesia, there was no work for Jonson at all. He and his wife, Marlina, had no savings, no safety net and no way of feeding their three sons.

“I was worried about how my parents could provide food for me and my siblings,” says Dhandy, the couple’s middle child. But because Dhandy attended a Compassion center in their community, the family did not have to figure out how to survive alone. Staff from the center distributed groceries to the family, as well as vegetable seeds, so they can grow their own food and have a source of income.

“We don’t know when this pandemic will be over. It will more sustain [them] if each family is empowered to grow their own vegetables at home," said center director Junio. Marlina and Jonson have planted their seeds and expect their first harvest in the next month.

“The support from Compassion's project is beneficial,” says Dhandy, “not only for my brother and me but also for my parents too. I can see them smiling and busy in the garden, which makes me happy.”

How can I pray for Indonesia?

Pray for rain and God’s provision for the farmers who were affected by the recent drought in Indonesia.

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