With the call to prayer from a muezzin at a nearby mosque awaking us from sleep before sunrise, we had an early breakfast around 6 am and then the opportunity to go around Medan on a becak (a cycle rickshaw). Although becaks are banned by law in Jakarta, they are quite popular in Medan (and in the slums of Jakarta). Riding through Medan on a becak is a great way to experience Medan, see the sites, and smell the city.


Darin Storkson, Regional Director of the South Asia Region, negotiates with the becak driver for transport around Medan.


Medan has few places that would be called tourist attractions. Most of the buildings of colonial Dutch architecture have either fallen into disrepair or have been torn down to make room for modern buildings such as parking garages or malls. One of the most impressive buildings architecturally is the Great Mosque, which was our first stop.


Outside the gates of the Great Mosque, which was built in 1906. The domes are supposed to symbolize the vaults of heaven.


The minaret is the tallest part of the mosque. Historically, the minaret developed in the 7th century to put mosques on pair with the bell towers of Christian churches.


Collver stands outside the mosque in Medan. Nearby the mosque is a cemetery, which is not a common occurrence. After visiting the mosque, we stopped at the St. Mary Cathedral.


Medan was established as an Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in 1961.


The side of the cathedral in Medan.


A statue of the Virgin Mary above the entryway to the cathedral.


The sanctuary adorned for Lent.


The crucifixion of Jesus portrayed in the sanctuary.


Inside the hymnal of the Medan archdiocese is Lutheran pastor, Paul Gerhardt’s hymn, “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunded,” (“O Sacred Head Now Wounded”) in Indonesian. The title in Indonesian reads, “O Bloody Head.” A small Lutheran influence on the Roman Catholic church.

Tomorrow, we will look at the Lutheran church in North Sumatra (Medan).

Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations

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Location:Jalan Sisingamangaraja,Medan,Indonesia