​Andi Santoso is the regional director for Asia and Middle East. Photo by David Fast.

By Mennonite Mission Network staff
Monday, October 16, 2023

Every organization has a purpose; an answer to the deceptively simple question, "Why?" At Mennonite Mission Network, that "why" is to lead, mobilize and equip the church to participate in holistic witness to Jesus Christ — across the street, all through the marketplaces and around the world.

Through this Q&A series, Mission Network asks staff members to think about the role they play in the agency and how they see their daily work joining into what God is doing around the world.

In this installment, Andi Santoso reflects on his role as regional director for Asia and Middle East.

 

What brought you to your role with Mennonite Mission Network?

I have been involved in ministry, both in pastoral roles in local churches and as a conference leader on regional and national levels, in Indonesia. I have also been involved in voluntary service with Mennonite World Conference. I came to the United States with a desire to learn more through my seminary studies; I especially wanted to learn more about God's reconciling mission, or reconciliation as mission, and experience cross cultural ministry. After finishing my studies, I prayed for what God wanted me to do next. While I was discerning whether I should go back to Indonesia or stay in the United States, I prayed to God: "I am ready to go back to Indonesia, unless you give me a reason to stay here in the U.S." Not long after that, I saw there was an opportunity to serve with Mission Network as the regional administrator for Asia and Middle East. But I wasn't sure whether to apply, until one day, one of my professors at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) emailed me, and said, "Andi, I think this position is a good fit for you, as regional director for Asia and Middle East." After praying and discerning with my family and leaders, I finally applied for this position, and here I am now. My years of service and involvement in various ministries in Indonesia gave me enough preparation to do what I am doing now. It's all about God.
 

What is your favorite part of your role with Mission Network?

My favorite part in my role is connecting with people, cultures, communities, ideas and places that are new to me. It's always good to learn from partners and workers, especially when they share about their history of involvement in the ministry of Mission Network and how they have been faithful in doing ministry with God's providence and presence.  I always try to focus on people, fostering the relationships with partners, constituencies and the global family of God   through Anabaptist-Mennonite connections and beyond.
 

How has your perspective on your role with Mission Network changed over your time with the agency?

Working at Mission Network has given me the opportunity to learn many things in new contexts that are different from my previous context in Indonesia. It's challenged me to be brave enough to try something new and to adjust to various new roles, new expectations and new ways of doing things. The key to being successful in dealing with change is being open minded, adaptive, available to try something new and, of course, leaving our comfort zones and even our past success stories. This past year of working at Mission Network has been a formative and transformative time.
 

How do you view your role with Mission Network fitting into God's mission for the church?

Back in 1996, when I was in university, I was called to be a channel of blessing through a story of bamboo. Since then, I have worked to understand what it means to be that channel of blessing for others. This question has led me to know my calling, passion and mission. After I graduated from university, I went to seminary to learn how to be prepared for God's mission — even when I didn't know what my profession, role or ministry would be. This simple obedience to follow God through ministry and service in the church has led me to where I am now. I believe that, through my work and ministry with Mission Network, I am joining in God's mission for the church and for the world: following the word, in the world, to do God's works.
 

What is something that has surprised you about your role with Mission Network?

I have found that in any context or organization, we will always deal with people, thus we need to deal with conflict. I have learned that my role at Mission Network also deals with many conflicts related to the history of mission — how to decolonize mission in various contexts, especially in Asia and Middle East — and how to deal with conflict within our own constituency. As a person who is called to be a peacemaker wherever I go, I need to embody the example of how Jesus always dealt with people. It's a journey; it's an art; it's a life-changing skill. I need to balance how to bring peace, justice, harmony and love amid all different contexts, conflicts and conversations.
 

Andi asked to share this poem that he wrote in 2002, while he was in seminary;

"Use me, for your glory.

Use my mouth to proclaim your truth and your gospel.

Use my hands to serve according to your mercy.

Use my feet to go where you want them to go.

Use my body, soul, mind and life.

For this, you died for me and called me to be your servant.

Hear my prayer O Lord.

Amen."

 

 

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https://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4995/Here-with-purpose-Andi-Santoso

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