April 12, 2021, 05.38 PM

KOMPAS.com - United Nations (UN) peacekeepers in Central Africa made a special request to an Indonesian pastor from Java island to lead the Easter Sunday service last week.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the request was possible. Thanks to a live-streamed church services.      

Secretary of the Javanese Christian Churches (GKJ), Pastor Sundoyo, was appointed to give his Easter sermon to the Garuda Contingent or the Indonesian peacekeeping contingent in Bangui, Central African Republic. Amid the pandemic and far from home, the online worship continued reverently.

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Some technical preparations, including providing a stable internet connection and adjusting to a six-hour time difference, were done two hours before the event started. 

"It's 9 am in Africa, but 3 pm in Indonesia. So, I misspoke between good morning and good afternoon," said Sundoyo on Thursday, April 8.

Sundoyo said the service was held as the Indonesian peacekeeping troops were longing to get together to celebrate Easter while away from home.

In his sermon, Sundoyo encouraged the Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers to understand the real meaning of Easter.

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He said that the Garuda contingent should not only bring peace to others but also share love with others. He hoped that the peacekeeping force understands that their duties are blessings from God.  This should be reflected in their attitudes as they represent Indonesia and the world. 

"The risen God is always with us. Therefore, each of our achievements comes from His blessing. God has entrusted us to perform our duties," he said. 

"There is a pride for an individual who serves as a peacekeeper. It is an achievement that one should be grateful for and should not forget that it is a blessing from God."

(Writer: Bernadette Aderi Puspaningrum | Editor: Bernadette Aderi Puspaningrum)

Source: https://www.kompas.com/global/read/2021/04/11/211734270/pendeta-asal-tanah-jawa-pimpin-ibadah-pasukan-pbb-di-afrika-tengah?page=all#page3.

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