Frans Saureh, 67, is a retired employee of the Health Department; from Halmahera in North Maluku, he lives in Denpasar.

What’s the greatest lesson life has taught you?
Use your talent wisely. It’s God’s gift and we have to use it properly.

What’s most important?

A good relationship with God; it’s a very good and strong foundation for our lives. In life we need guidance and God makes religion our guide.

What advice would you give the younger generations?

Enjoy your life and be true to yourself. I see a lot of young people today who don’t live their lives the way they should; instead they try to live glamorous lifestyles that don’t suit them. It makes me sad t see it. Young people should be able to manager their lives better and always keep God in their minds.

Are you worried about dying?

No, I am not. As a Christian, I believe God and Jesus will protect me from despair and unhappiness, before and after death.

When was the happiest time of your life?

When I feel peace in my heart with God. After many hard times, I often doubted God, but then I knew I was wrong. I felt so close to God then.

And the worst?

For a long time I lived in Java, and at that time I believed in black magic. When my children were sick I went to a dukun (witch doctor), not a doctor. I prayed to the dukun, asking for his help. But my eldest son died. When my second son became ill with the same sickness, I turned to God and now he’s still alive and has given me a lot of grandchildren.

What’s humanity all about?

Being able to adapt ourselves to our surroundings, being able to appreciate people’s good and bad sides and helping each other.

Why are there so many conflicts in the world?

Because people don’t have any strong foundation in their heart. I see that many people don’t really believe in God now, which can cause problems.

Is a peaceful world impossible?

It’s impossible. There is only one peaceful world, paradise, but in this world we can find happiness, too, in our heart, when we feel close to God.

Are you disappointed with your life or happy at what’s happened?

I’m happy.

How old do you feel?

Young, around 30 to 40. I still like to look at beautiful girls.

Is there anything you still want to do?

Yes, buy houses for each of my children.

Is one lifetime enough?


How has Bali changed since you were a child?

I first came to Bali in 1969; at that time Bali was very safe. Balinese Hindus believe in Karmapala and therefore they don’t do bad things or engage in criminal activities. But nowadays I can see that Bali is being destroyed by outside people, physically and mentally.

Is it better or worse?


Has tourism been good for Bali?

Very good. You can see it in the income and developments in Bali.

What’s the major differences between the East and West?

In terms of lifestyle, the West is freer than the East. In the West, it’s normal to wear sexy clothes or something but in East it’s not usual.

What makes you so sure of your religion?

I believe that God gives us life and breath; he is so powerful and we have to worship Him.

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