Black and white squares and a guide to faith

Pokémon GO was yesterday, today it is Pakeiman GO. It means “applying one’s faith” in Indonesian. Following is a report on a Day of the Youth at which modern technology was used to transport a timeless message.

They were everywhere—these black and white pixelated symbols. They helped to maintain order but also made sure that everyone had fun at the Day of the Youth of the districts Jakarta East and Java West in Indonesia. About 250 young people met in Lembang on the island of Java at the end of October.

Faith instead of tiny monsters

The black and white squares are QR Codes, the two-dimensional version of the well-known barcode. By now, concert tickets or parcels are practically unthinkable without them. QR Codes were already used when the youth went to register at the guesthouse. Scanned with their smartphone’s camera, useful bits of information or links to websites were encoded.

When it came to the game Pakeiman GO—a game inspired by Pokémon GO—QR technology was the key to participating. The idea here was not to actually chase virtual monsters, as is the case with Pokémon GO, but to solve different tasks and puzzles related to Christian life station by station. After all, Pakeiman in Bahasa-Indonesia, the official language of Indonesia, translates to something like living or applying one’s faith.

On the trail of great teachers

In two additional games, the QR Codes brought the youth on the trail of Yohanes Surya, a well-known Indonesian physicist. He is the coach of the Indonesian team for the Physics Olympiad. He is also well-known for his physics training programme, he has written books and a comic, and he is the founder of a private university.

And finally the QR Codes helped the young men and women in choosing this year’s prince and princess of the Youth Day.

Love is very concrete

Living and applying one’s faith—this was the central message in the divine service celebrated by Apostle Edy Isnugroho. He reminded the youth about the Confirmation vow and their promise to live their faith: “… and surrender myself to You, O triune God …”

What this looks like in practice the Apostle explained by referring to the Bible passage Matthew 25: 40: feeding the hungry and giving the thirsty to drink, clothing the naked, taking in the stranger, visiting the sick and those in prison. His conclusion: “Love that has its source in faith must be expressed in deeds.”

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