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Asia Regional Assembly on Nias island

Opening service at the Asia Regional Assembly in Gunungsitoli, capital of Nias island in western Indonesia. (Photos: UEM/Asia)

The UEM Asia Regional Assembly (AsRA) 2019 was held in Gunungsitoli, Nias from 08 to 14 February hosted by the UEM member church in Nias – BNKP, through the leadership of Dr. Tuhoni Telaumbanua and in cooperation with the government agencies in Nias headed by the mayor of Nias, Drs. Sōkhiatulō Laoli, M.M.

One of the many meaningful activities during the AsRA was the opening worship led by the team from BNKP. There were at least 1,000 people who attended the event, including 49 delegates, many guests from Nias, Indonesia and a few from overseas as well as 8 stewards from BNKP. Churches nearby came to witness the event. The celebration was made open to all the people in the community, both Christians, Muslims and other faiths.

The opening worship started with a song, “Da Mȯi Ita Wolau Fasumangeta Khȯ Zo’aya” (Let us come in the presence of God to worship Him) with the traditional Niassan instuments used like Gondra (giant drums), Aramba (brass gongs) and Doli-Doli (wooden xylophones). Followed by a creative dance to welcome guests by their hosts. The liturgy was very participative as liturgist and congregation interact with each other.

The new executive secretary of the Asia region, Dr. Dyah Ayu Krismawati from GKJW, was installed to office by Rev. Volker Martin Dally, UEM General Secretary.

At the end of the worship service, the BNKP congregation invited the guests to join the traditional dance called “Maena Tome”.

Rev. Homar Distajo, Program Officer UEM Asia

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