Three Lessons from David Tjokrorahardjo, Indonesia

Each month, we introduce you to a Christian who is on the generosity path, and we ask them what God’s taught them about giving.

This month, meet David Tjokrorahardjo from Indonesia.

1. Listen to God’s Prompting. 

“My wife Julia and I had been back in Indonesia for a couple of years,” says David, “and then God started to speak to my heart about giving away one of our companies.” The company was doing a couple of million annually in revenue. “It was a time of testing for us, but something inside told us that this was from God and we wanted to be available. God said to close it down and give it away. So we did.” David and Julia found great joy in this giving. “God speaks about our generosity and we are here to be available.”

God speaks about our generosity and we are here to be available.

2. Give Beyond Your Group’s Interest.

Due to low trust, Indonesian giving happens through vertically integrated organizations. Companies launch orphanages and youth programs named for themselves. This spills over into the church: “Mega-churches have mega-philanthropic projects [tied to] their particular congregation.” The wealthiest Christian families “each have their own mission.” God used the Journey of Generosity to show David that “you need to bring giving out of the context of your own group’s interest. The giving between one believer and another is by far much more powerful than if we are doing it just through our own church.”

3. God Blesses Givers, but Beware of the Prosperity Gospel. 

For many Christians in Indonesia, David says, the biggest giving hurdle is “who am I to give it to?” “Many churches preach a prosperity Gospel,” David says. These churches teach that, if you give, God will multiply you and bless you. “While we believe God blesses us as we give,” says David, “there’s a lot of pressure on getting back something. That’s where the Journey of Generosity can help Indonesian believers.”

David loves to give to:

David expresses his faith by helping the JPCC Foundation, both with time and money. “I’m quite involved,” David says. The JPCC started as an effort to provide aid during natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods around Jakarta, but then realized that it is better to be proactive rather than merely reactive. “Today we are focusing on building people,” David says, “especially those who live in the remote areas and tend to be forgotten….This is manifested through what we are doing in Nias, Kupang, Moluccas, & Papua.” Find first-hand videos and pictures on JPCC’s site.

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