Pastor Juserdi Purba and his wife, Dr. Meiti Pragiwati, are quite a couple. In addition to pastoring a network of churches in the Bekasi (Jakarta) area, Ps. Juserdi (whose background is in chemical engineering) works full-time for a large company. And Meiti is indeed a doctor. She currently works as a doctor for a factory two days per week while devoting the majority of her time to family and ministry.
Asian Access was fortunate when God decided to cross Juserdi and Meiti’s paths with our movement. “I was at a women’s conference in [a country we will not name],” Meiti told me, “where I met Rady Chan Hour. We hit it off right away and became friends. In our conversations, she told me about her husband, Meng Aun, and his various ministries. She talked about his work as National Director for Asian Access/Cambodia, and how meaningful it was for him.”
The next God step was having Meng Aun attend a pastor’s conference in Indonesia. “When Meng Aun came for the pastor’s conference, we got together,” Juserdi continued. “Meng Aun told us about A2, and informed us that in four months, Asian Access would gather in Jakarta to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
“While we waited for Meng’s return, we did some research and learned about Asian Access—its history, its values, what it had done in other countries. What we discovered lined up with our hearts, our prayers, and what we were doing in our local church.
“We invited Meng Aun to come ahead of the Asian Access gathering so that he could preach in our church. Meng Aun then brought us to a dinner where we were introduced us to the larger A2 family.
“The more we learned about Asian Access, the more interested we were. We had attended a lot of ministry and leadership training events, but we hadn’t heard about a small group that would commit to being together for two years, with the goal of building community and experiencing life-on-life discipleship together.”
Joining the First Cohort in Indonesia
Fast forward three years: Asian Access Indonesia is three-quarters through its first two-year cohort, and Juserdi and Meiti are members of the class. Along with five other women and 11 other men, they have now met for six of the eight times they will be together. They have gotten to know one another, learned about one another’s lives, and have grown to trust one another. They have tackled challenging topics together, prayed together, played together, laughed (and cried) together, and have even grieved the loss of a member of their cohort (Ps. Daud Rajawali, who passed away just a few days before the class met for their sixth module in February).
At the conclusion of Module Six, I had the opportunity to talk with Juserdi and Meiti about the impact that Asian Access has had on their lives and ministries. What, I asked, have been the key takeaways for you both so far?
What Have You Gained from Asian Access?
“First: I now have 15 friends,” Juserdi answered. “Actually, I mean that Meiti and I have 15 friends.
“We have been blessed to have friends among our colleagues in our local ministry. But Asian Access has given us 15 special friends, in a setting that allows us to get to know one another, let our guards down, and share our lives together.”
“It is so valuable to have friends who are fellow workers, doing the same work for the Kingdom,” Meiti added. “And our group of Asian Access friends come from 15 different churches, and seven different provinces in Indonesia. It is a diverse group, representing a variety of perspectives and approaches to ministry. It ‘stretches’ us in good ways.
Meiti also shared feedback from other class members. “One said, ‘We treasure our local friends. But it can sometimes be difficult in ministry to be completely transparent. Asian Access has given us a group of friends where it is safe to share things that may not be appropriate to share with our local friends, because of the complicated relationships everyone can have in a local ministry’.
“As we have gotten to know one another in the cohort, we have begun to visit one another’s homes and churches,” Meiti continued. “We are getting to know one another’s spouses and families. It has resulted in a rich fellowship. We have been able to bear one another’s burdens, provide encouragement to one another, and do life-on-life discipleship together.”
“Yes, Asian Access is about life, not theory,” Juserdi answered. “Your faculty are very competent and qualified. But they are careful to keep things simple, make things practical, and most important, they make themselves vulnerable and share out of their life experiences, failures as well as successes. They have been a real blessing for us.”
What else have you gained from Asian Access, I asked? “Asian Access has connected us with leaders from other countries,” Juserdi answered. “Those connections have given us a broader exposure to what God is doing throughout the world, not just in Indonesia. We think about, and pray for, the world in a whole new way since joining Asian Access.”
There was actually a lot more that was said, much more than I can include here. But this piece would not be complete without Juserdi’s concluding remarks:
“Asian Access has inspired us to envision working together, unifying the Church, and collaborating for the Kingdom. We resonate with A2’s core values. Best of all, Asian Access has given us divine connections. That is something beyond price.”
Noel Becchetti has been serving as Asian Access' VP for Leader Development since 2012. Noel and his wife Kyle are currently residing in El Cajon, California though he probably spends more time traveling throughout Asia.