Who would choose to live in a slumwith the threat of eviction, fire, sickness? And how does one live there and hope to somehow contribute to a life of flourishing? Rahma's story is one of honesty, reflection, and inspiration. She does not gloss over the hard times; she tells of finding the Jesus who emptied himself to come and live among usthe same Jesus who is present with those living on the rubbish dumps of the world, who share the little they have with generosity and hospitality. Rahma's story of living for a decade in the slums of Indonesia, invites us to take seriously God's compassion for the poor, and in so doing, to find life abundant.
-Dr. Irene Alexander
Asian Theological Seminary and Honorary Research Fellow Trinity College, Queensland
Author, Practicing the Presence of Jesus and How Relationships Work
Kak Anita intentionally moved into the slums of Jakarta to unlearn much of how she thought life should be. In that unexpected context she met generous neighbors, fun loving children, concerned aunties, eager studentseach with names and stories of their own. She also met, Jesus in all his distressing disguises. Anita and her husband have found the courage and faith to continue on, together with their slum-dwelling community, in spite of demolition, fire, floods and various vermin and viruses. Beyond Our Walls is a powerful read, full of stories that inspire a deeper trust in Jesus, who lives outside the walls and invites us to follow him there.
Co-author, Expectations and Burnout: Women Surviving the Great Commission
While many of us begin well in our lives of following Jesus, very often "the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth" (Mark 4:19) distract us, and before we know it, we are no different than those around us. In Beyond our Walls, we encounter Rahma. She is a modern-day saint, not because she doesn't make mistakes, get angry, or feel disheartened (she does all of those things), but because she has attempted to live out the love of Jesus for her neighbors, day after day, for more than a decade in a place that most Westerners would only want to visit for an hour. Beyond Our Walls is Rahmas compelling, funny, beautifully written, and heartfelt story. May it inspire us to continue on the narrow path, for all its trash and brokenness. For as Rahma beautifully shows us, it is on that path, beyond the walls, that life is found.
International Coordinator, Servants to Asia's Urban Poor
Co-author, Low Carbon and Loving It
Beyond Our Walls brilliantly immerses the reader in the stark, gritty day-to-day poverty of a Jakarta slum. Here you will learn cross-cultural mission from a radical practitioner, who dares to follow Jesus across many dividing walls, receiving and embodying God's tender, transforming love. You may well be won over by the beauty and extreme challenge in these pages to venture over to the other sidewhere you risk experiencing abundant life in ways you could never imagine.
Co-founder, Tierra Nueva & The Peoples Seminary
Author, Reading the Bible with the Damned,A New Christian Manifesto, Beautiful Gate, and Guerrilla Gospel
This book is the poignant and painful story of a life lived in service to the urban poor. In these pages, you wont find simple answers or a three-step formula for reaching the world. But you will find the way of Jesussimple, humble, and present with those who are downtrodden. Read this, and you will be inspired to move out of your comfort zone and find Christ in the slums.
Founder, Alongsiders International
Author, Subversive Jesus and Subversion Mission
With the emergence of incarnational missions into the global slums in recent decades, idealism and reality need to be sisters. In this work, Rahma details multiple experiences of long years in the complexities of urban ministry. The stories are gripping, and Rahmas commitment impels one forward. Her account rings with the life of God in the chaos and tragedy of broken cities. The triumphs offer hope in what often seem to be impossible situations. Anitas story reveals an omniscient yet present God who is creating new history among the oppressed.
Founder, MATUL program
Author, Companion to the Poor, Cry of the Urban Poor and The Postmodern City
There are many reasons Christians around the world, including students and future missionaries, need to read this book. Beyond Our Walls provides a model of Christ-centered, holistic, cross-cultural mission in an extremely complex slum setting. It contains the life and stories of a gentle, strong missionary who embodies a depth of compassion, vulnerability, courage, and genuine love clearly derived from a Source greater than herself. Rahmas ability to weave together biblical insights and creative mission practices with painful personal experiences and the slum communitys deep needs and strengths makes this a "test case" in mature mission integration. Beyond Our Walls exhorts and teaches, inspires and convicts, educates and enlightens, but never resorts to either sentimentality or self-aggrandizing drama.
-Mary Thiessen Nation
Affiliate Professor, Eastern Mennonite Seminary
This book tells the story of a young American missionary who moved into an Indonesian slum and tied her well-being to the well-being of her neighbors. Ten years later, Anita and her husband Yosiah are still there. Said another way, this is a book about costly lovea love so costly, some would deem it unwise. Yet Jesus embraced such reckless love, and I hope Anitas story will inspire you to do the same. In fact, this book should be required reading for all future missionaries.
Author, Fight Like Jesus: How Jesus Waged Peace Throughout Holy Week
This book is not for an ordinary Christian who seeks comfort and success based on the American dream. This book is written to disturb our normal, lukewarm Christianity, and our false, materialistic sense of security. This book is written to call us back to our truest sense of humanity and dignity, where God, the Creator of the universe, incarnates himself in a human form and embodies the unconditional love within him. He loves us by coming as a man, who can feel, touch, and smell our deepest pain, sorrow, suffering, despair, and hopelessness. He welcomes us into a new life full of grace, love, hope, joy, peace, and freedom. Thank you, Rahma, for inviting us to follow Jesus into the slum to serve the brokenhearted, the marginalized, the neglected, and to live out the gospel of peace in everyday life. This work displays the spirituality of humility that Saint Benedict describes. Rahmas life embodies what mission is all about.
-Rev. Andios Santoso
Author, Live Simply Leave Legacy
Member, Mission Commission of the Mennonite World Conference
Beyond Our Walls is a powerful, wrenching, inspiring, and compelling book. Powerful because it is a mighty call to follow Jesus. Wrenching because it shows with painful clarity what it means to follow Jesus into the slums. Inspiring because Anita's and her husband's amazing faith shine through every page. Compelling because it draws us to live like Jesus no matter the cost. Beyond Our Walls is an amazing book that merits millions of readers. Highly recommended!
-Ronald J. Sider
Author, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theology, Holistic Ministry and Public Policy, Palmer Seminary at Eastern University
This book reveals God's love in Jesus Christ through the life journey and ministry of Rahma, her husband, Yosiah, and their two children, among people in the slum areas near the city of Jakarta. They present the love, power, and wisdom of Jesus by their deeds and the simplicity of their lives. They live as a reflection of the incarnated Son of God. The impact of their lives and total dependence on God's power is incredible. This book should be read by church leaders and students in Bible colleges and seminaries around the world.
-Binsen Samuel Sidjabat, PhD
Principal, Tiranus Bible Seminary, Bandung, Indonesia
Anita's stories have tugged at my heart for years, and I always appreciate her fresh perspective on Scripture. Beyond Our Walls details her journey of following Jesus into the slumsand letting him teach her how to stay there. Anita will make you think, and she will make you cry. Through her story, you will see Jesus more clearly.
Co-Author, Serving Well: Help for the Wannabe, Newbie, or Weary Cross-Cultural Christian Worker
Editor-in-chief, A Life Overseas (missions website)
Over the course of Rahmas decade in the slums of Jakarta, the Word becomes flesh in the lives of her, her family, and her community. Now, in this extraordinary memoir, that flesh becomes words. Imagine if Katherine Boo and the makers of Slumdog Millionaire got together with Shane Claiborne and the ghost of Dorothy Day and wrote a book together, then you will have a sense of what you are about to experience when you open these pages.
Professor of Religion and Culture, Eastern Mennonite University