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Beyond Our Walls

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Table of Contents

A Blessing for You 

Foreword by Jim Wallis 

Foreword by Scott Bessenecker 

Prologue: Wake Up 


Introduction: Breaking Down Walls 

Chapter 1: The Art of Unlearning 

Chapter 2: A New Name 

Chapter 3: Taste and See 

Chapter 4: Evil Tidings, Raging Fires 

Chapter 5: The Miracle House 

Chapter 6: Out of the Rubble 

Chapter 7: Finding Treasures in Trash 

Chapter 8: Sighs too Deep for Words 

Chapter 9: No More Tears 

Chapter 10: Mothering in the Slums 

Chapter 11: Outside the Christian Bubble 

Chapter 12: The Word that Shall not Return Empty 

Chapter 13: Things as They Aren’t 

Chapter 14: Where Floods and Vermin do not Destroy 

Chapter 15: The Cross and the ER 

Chapter 16: A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up 

Chapter 17: When Breath Departs 

Chapter 18: Not Perfect, but Beautiful 

Chapter 19: According to What One Has 

Chapter 20: My Daily Walk… Home 


Appendix: Poems 


Suggestions for Further Reading 

Organizations Serving in Slum Communities 

Beyond Our Walls
Finding Jesus in the Slums of Jakarta
Anita Rahma

Finding True Worth in the Slums

With over one billion people living in urban slums today, these communities are arguably one of the largest unreached demographics in the world. The challenge is great, as are the sacrifices of living there, yet the Lord can do much with a willing follower. So, what if choosing to live in a slum is a way to become closer to Jesus?

Beyond Our Walls provides a unique window into what ministry in an urban slum setting can look like. The author shares the amazing story of God’s faithfulness in her life, as she follows Jesus into the slums of Jakarta, Indonesia, and still lives there twelve years later with her husband and two young sons. Not only have her Muslim neighbors had an opportunity to get to know a follower of Jesus, but the author herself has been forever changed by her experiences.

Readers will be moved and challenged by this book. It provides an intriguing testimony that will appeal to those interested in Muslim/Christian relations. And women already on the mission field will find it especially encouraging as the author reflects on the difficult aspects of mothering on the field and the faithfulness of Jesus through the hard years of parenting small children. While life in the slums is often hard, the joys are many as well.


  • Who would choose to live in a slum—with 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 us—the 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 students—each 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.
    Robynn Bliss 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 Rahma’s 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.
    Mark Delaney 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 side—where you risk experiencing abundant life in ways you could never imagine.
    Bob Ekblad Co-founder, Tierra Nueva & The People’s 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 won’t find simple answers or a three-step formula for reaching the world. But you will find the way of Jesus—simple, 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.
    Craig Greenfield 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 Rahma’s 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. Anita’s story reveals an omniscient yet present God who is creating new history among the oppressed.
    Viv Grigg 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. Rahma’s ability to weave together biblical insights and creative mission practices with painful personal experiences and the slum community’s 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 love—a love so costly, some would deem it unwise. Yet Jesus embraced such reckless love, and I hope Anita’s story will inspire you to do the same. In fact, this book should be required reading for all future missionaries.
    Jason PorterfieldAuthor, 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. Rahma’s life embodies what mission is all about.
    Rev. Andios Santoso Author, Live Simply Leave Legacy Member, Mission Commission of the Mennonite World Conference

Additional Details

  • Pages: 142
  • Publisher: William Carey Publishing
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publish Year: 2022
  • ISBN: 9781645084488
  • Vendor: William Carey Publishing