Revolving Pigs in Church

By Glenice Hartwich

Men shuffled slowly into the church and sat on one side puffing on their cigarettes, while women and children sat on the other side staring back at me with wry smiles as I sat facing them from the front of the church. Together with the pastor of the Lumban Julu congregation and Pastor Rein Justin, […]

Men shuffled slowly into the church and sat on one side puffing on their cigarettes, while women and children sat on the other side staring back at me with wry smiles as I sat facing them from the front of the church. Together with the pastor of the Lumban Julu congregation and Pastor Rein Justin, director of the Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP – the largest Lutheran church in Indonesia) Pengmas program (community development service), we had come together to give thanks to God for the blessings of the Revolving Pig project and to receive a (squealing) pig from one of the poor Sumatran farmers who had been an initial participant in the program.

The Revolving Pig project was established by Pastor Rein Justin, together with his two fellow team members in the Pengmas program to help poor famers begin to overcome the poverty cycle and learn new ways of farming. The project was a prototype for future support for the impoverished farmers of Northern Sumatra.

In 2006 the HKBP, through the Pengmas program, gave thirty pigs to farmers from the Lumban Julu HKBP village church. The Revolving Pig project works on the principle that the farmers have a ‘loan’ of the pigs for one year. During this time with all things working well, the pigs breed and each farmer is blessed with a healthy litter of pigs. Once the pigs have had offspring, each farmer gives one pig back to the church and one to another farmer who joins the program. The remaining pigs are the property of the farmer who can kill and eat them, use them to breed more pigs or sell them to generate some income to support his family. Many of the farmers now have thirty piglets!

Coupled with teaching on organic farming practice, this Revolving Pig project is giving some practical hands-on support and encouragement to poor farmers in areas where poverty and disaster are part of everyday living in rural Indonesia.


Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray

Read more stories about our partner churches in Indonesia at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/indonesia/

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About the Author : Erin Kerber


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