Table of Contents

Expanding from Indonesia to Asia West Pacific!

Stories of Faithful Service and Witness

January 2005, after much resistance, Nadine Hoover went to Aceh, Indonesia to offer relief after the tsunami. Aceh had been in a war for thirty years following the deadly, U.S.-orchestrated, Indonesian coup de tat in 1965. Nadine had assisted Peace Brigades International in offering protective accompaniment to Acehnese from 1999 – 2003 and therefore was in the unusual position of actually knowing some Acehnese, who had been isolated by war. When she went, she told Alfred Friends Meeting and people in her community that if she were to go, it would be a long-term commitment. These people had been abandoned many times over. It was not right to go and then leave when the money runs out. We had to make personal commitments to this work to make it humane.

Alfred Friends Meeting

For two-and-a-half years, Alfred Friends Meeting managed the discernment and funds that grew the work and relationships. In November 2007, this people-to-people exchange was taken under the care of Friends Peace Teams and is still rooted in the love, integrity and good attention of local Friends monthly meetings and communities of the spiritual companions who oversee the work from NY, ME, PA, DE, FL, TN, TX, CA, Norway, Aotearoa/NZ, Australia and Indonesia, visiting friends in Aceh, North Sumatra, Jakarta, West and Central Java and Jogjakarta. Friends Peace Teams to Indonesia maintains long-term relationships with people in places challenged by war and violence. Together we conduct Alternatives to Violence Project, Trauma Healing, Conscience and Discernment and Developmental Play workshops and encourage local production of essential supplies not generally available, such as ceramic water filters, developmental toys, children’s story books and reference materials.

Australia AVP

Nadine Hoover of Friends Peace Teams to Indonesia was invited by the Alternatives to Violence Project of Australia in January 2012, above, to facilitate the Trauma Healing AVP special topic workshop following their national gathering. They expanded their national gathering this year to be the first AVP-Asia West Pacific gathering and named a AVP-AWP Communications Working Group to help list AVP facilitators, workshops and visitation needs in the region, which will be a great service to Friends traveling in Asia and West Pacific! They are enthusiastic about visitation among facilitators in the region.


Australia YM

Valerie Joy, Secretary of Friends World Committee for Consultation-Asia West Pacific Section, personally arranged for Nadine to attend Australia Yearly Meeting this year (see above), where numerous Australia Friends expressed an interest in participating in Friends Peace Teams in Asia. John Michaelis called a clearness committee at the end of January and was clear to offer to Co-Coordinate with Nadine Hoover; and the spiritual companions working group, that oversee Friends Peace Teams to Indonesia, was clear to recommend the addition of seven Australians to their membership and the expansion of the name to Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific (AWP Initiative). The Friends Peace Teams Council concurred and, after five years, a new chapter has opened.

Peter Watson

Peter Watson, AVP facilitator, preschool teacher and woodworker from Aotearoa/NZ, continues to give his attention to Friends Peace Teams and hopes to help connect Friends in Aotearoa/NZ. He plans to return to Central Java in the first part of 2012 to conduct AVP workshops and look in on the progress of woodworkers making developmental toys for young children.

The photo below shows many of the Alternatives to Violence Project facilitators at the Peace Place in Pati, Central Java. Ririn in the back with the book on her head and Mislan cradling the baby doll in the front row are facilitators are our lead facilitators in North Sumatra, who came to Java to help facilitate a training for facilitators. Center of the back row is Dean and Sharon Hoover and Nadine Hoover on the far right back came with the Friends Peace Teams, along with Sarah Rozard hiding in the middle with the brown, cloth doll and Terese Longva behind the camera! The dolls and books were sewn and collected by members of the Alfred community. The adults, teacher and children had no idea how to play with dolls, so we showed them numerous ways to play with the dolls and how to read picture books to children.

Peace Place

Peace Place in Pati grew out of a long history among all the communities Friends Peace Teams visits. When Peace Brigades International was expelled from Aceh in May of 2003, activists fled the province for their safety. Many of their supporters in Jakarta would not even pick them up at the airport out of fear. It was a circle of primarily Mennonite friends in Central Java who took them in and later returned to Aceh to provide relief after the tsunami. We worked closely in East Aceh, where few other outsiders go as it was the “heart of the war” and still a difficult area to work in. As they have begun to return to Central Java, they persistently asked Friends Peace Teams to support them with training in nonviolence and peace. They face a great deal of violence at home stemming from the clash between militant, conservative movements of in both Christianity and Islam. Peace Place is rare as a public space that welcomes both Christians and Muslims to work and play together.

Tondamulyo

Because of the nonviolence training Pak Sunadi and Ibu Zumrotun received at Peace Place, they invited Nadine Hoover and Peter Watson of Friends Peace Teams to visit their community and local school in the Village of Tondomulyo. The village head had become a deeply conservative Muslim, but to all of our surprise, he welcomed Nadine on her latest visit in January 2012 asking for our prayers, “each according to our own faith,” as he was seriously ill. The magnitude of the transformation of their village from militant Islam to accepting and learning from one another has imprinted on Pak Sun and Ibu Zum an awareness of and gratitude for the blessing of learning the practices of peace and nonviolence. Safe haven is as basic as water, food and shelter.

Mislan’s family

Mislan and his wife Ida, sitting to his right, have become the backbone of AVP and developmental play in North Sumatra. Driven out of East Aceh during the war with 7,000 others, they lived in the mountains for over a decade and built the Village of Barak Induk, 2000-2011, without being recognized by any government–North Sumatra said they had to go back to Aceh and Aceh would not guarantee their safety. With the assistance of Friends Peace Teams, they have learned that rage, revenge and terror can be overcome with the simple, ordinary practices of peace and good attention to people of all ages. They opened Tunas Baru (New Sprouts) Preschool and have been sharing all they learn with other small schools in the mountains around them. Mislan and Ida are here with Autumn Star, far left, and Nadine Hoover in the back visit regularly, doing activities with the teachers and children. Their son Edo and daughter Vera are in the front row. Vera’s husband Gino stands behind her and son-in-law Jun and daughter Dita are in the back left.

Stabat

The Friends Peace Team arrived in Barak Induk last June, 2011, immediately following an incident on June 27, 2011 where 1,300 personnel from the Forestry Department, Police Department and several branches of the military tore down houses, ripped up rubber trees and attacked civilians, men, women and children. We had to cancel our plans to do training for the teachers as we assisted the village heads in filing a formal complaint with the U.N. and initiating an Amnesty International Campaign. So on the latest trip, February 2012, Nadine offered to conduct a training. When asked how many participants there could be, she joking said, “You know me, three to three hundred.” knowing that all our trainings are limited to 24 participants, but when we arrived there were 230 women gathered!!! We made 23 groups of ten and proceeded to conduct and AVP-style workshop inspire of the numbers and they were thrilled and grateful.

AVP Team

Friends Peace Teams also visits among friends in East Aceh. Although the Peace Accord was signed in August of 2005, and we are grateful not to worry daily about getting caught in crossfire, we were not allowed to travel without a military permit until 2010 and even then the police and military in East Aceh still wanted us to report even though immigration said we did not have to, so we don’t. Peace is not instantaneous, transition to peace takes time, and then it is something we practice and do, not something we have. Ririn, Nadine, Kamila, Dahlan and M. Dian serve as a training team in East Aceh.

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Sanusi

Ferry on the far right has served Friends Peace Teams faithfully rising to the occasion to assist in any manner needed. Pak Sanusi and Pak Ardi from the left have been supplying Nadine with Acehnese bags, sold mostly in an Alfred hair salon and at Quaker gatherings to fund her repeated trips. Jenna and Jav Morales are working to formalize the bag sales under the name Courageous Gifts to take a load of work off Nadine, while still assisting with funding our work.

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Ika/Mila

One of the greatest challenges facing Friends Peace Teams to Indonesia is the lack of English in this region and the difficulties with securing translation that doesn’t delete all new ideas while “making the language clear.” Ika, Nadine and Mila (left to right) in Jakarta are now working together to translate materials. They opened a store, Milik Toys, to disseminate the materials and ideas. We started with the CCRC and AVP manuals and also some developmental play reference books.

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IYM

Exodus Church of Friends from Indonesia Yearly Meeting in the north of Jakarta, which primarily serves refugees from the violence in Ambon working in the factories in N. Jakarta, welcomed Nadine Hoover on February 12, 2012. Pastor Yosias Kadun on the left will continue to support this church for another six months, then hopes to return home to West Papua to open a church in his home town. Pak Arbiter, center, is General Secretary of IYM and attended Australia Yearly Meeting this year, learning a great deal about Quaker faith, practice and history. Nita Tomana, center, is the wife of the lead pastor for this church and to her left is Assistant Pastor Acha Masela. They reach out to a very poor community in this area.

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SHEEP

Sarah and Nick Rozard are gathered here with the families of Pak Andreas and Pak Pri of the Society of Health, Education, Environment and Peace, that is hosting the ceramic water filter research and development effort. It has been a slow and expensive undertaking as we work to build one of the few microbiology and ceramic research labs in the country, teach the Indonesians how to conduct research and development, and develop working pre-production prototypes by May 2012. These will be put through a three month research and testing period, followed by small scale production late in the year. The Indonesians are amazed at how much there is to learn, but remain very enthusiastic about and grateful for the effort.

Thanks to all who pay good attention, pray for our work, read and share our stories, travel with us, provide funds and serve as spiritual advisors that make all this possible!