HeartCry is thankful for the laborers and labors of faithful missionaries in Indonesia who proclaim the gospel and care for the souls of men, women, and children. Below are updates from different missionaries from several areas in Indonesia. May God be glorified among the islands of the majority Muslim population!
Rahmat K.: Java, Indonesia
Some of you may remember that we started a training program in the month of July. There are several pastors and evangelists who are involved in the program. Since July, we met two more times to study together and encourage one another in the program, once in Jakarta and another time in Bandung. One faithful brother traveled 6-8 hours each time to take part in the program. The first module that’s being studied is the Apostle’s Creed. The module is really a mini-systematic theology, covering such topics as the doctrine of God, the doctrine of Christ, the doctrine of the Spirit, the doctrine of the church, and the doctrine of salvation. Those taking part in the program also have quite a bit of reading to do - all of James Boice’s Foundations of the Christian Faith, J.I. Packer’s The Apostle’s Creed, and several different creeds and confessions that are foundational for Calvinism. Next year we’re also planning to begin this training program in two other places in the Indonesian archipelago.
I recently traveled again to Timor Leste, along with some others from a Baptist church in New Orleans, Louisiana. We held a two-day seminar discussing the Bible as divine revelation, how to understand its big picture, how to see Christ in its pages, how to interpret it according to genre, and how to read and teach it.
While in Dili, the capital city, we also had the chance to meet with the Bible translation team that we’re forming for the Makasae Bible. This was our first meeting and we made plans for translation training and discussed other logistical issues. Lord willing, we will hold a translation workshop in March 2019 to better equip these men and women for the task of translation. One brother on the team, who was not able to speak Bahasa Indonesia, has been a gospel minister since the 1970s, before Timor Leste gained its independence from Portugal. He lived and ministered through the Indonesian occupation, and he now continues to faithfully serve his Makasae people. When I asked if he thought there was a need for a Makasae Bible and if he had a burden for it, he responded by saying, “Oh, we’ve been praying for years that God would give us his word in Makasae; we feel like he’s beginning to answer that prayer.”
Elis Pramono: Indonesia
Elis us a HeartCry evangelist working in Indonesia. Elis has been working with HeartCry for nine years, and she is a very fruitful evangelist to the Muslim people in her own ethnic group. The ethnic group as whole is almost one hundred percent Muslim, and missionaries have been working among them for more than 150 years. However, very few ministries have been fruitful at reaching them with gospel. Elis’ ministry then is exceptional, and it demonstrates the blessing of God on her life and in her gospel witness. It also demonstrates the power of prayer and the power of a holy life set apart for God’s service. While some missionaries’ reports are filled with details about training programs and projects, Elis' reports are filled with details about people. Every time I meet with Elis, I’m always humbled by her stories. She constantly tells new stories of how God faithfully leads her and how his grace breaks through into people’s lives.
In August, after I returned home from our weekly worship service, there was a man from my village who met me at the door of my house. He said that he wanted to be a Christian if I’m was willing to do what he asked. I shared God’s truth with this man and explained further about God’s character and holiness. I shared that so that those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus must keep His commands and also live in holiness. I reminded him that to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, he must be willing to follow after him no matter what and live a holy life before God. This man actually had often insulted me before, and he had told me that everyone in the village hated me so much. But through the goodness of God’s grace, this man confessed all his sins and wrongdoings before me. I am grateful for God's perfect protection and I desire more to stand firmly on the promises of God's Word. If God alone gives the gift of salvation to the greatest sinners, then no one can prevent this man from believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Later in August, once again after returning from our weekly worship service, I received another guest at my house. The guest was a friend who I had not seen for ten years. She is fifty years old and she is sick with a very thin body, weighing only about 60 lbs. Her family was only willing to help her with treatment if she would return to her former Muslim faith. She strongly refused and decided to come to me for help. She’s now living with me. My neighbors don't seem to like it that she lives with me because they are afraid that if she dies as a Christian in our majority Moslems area, it will cause more problems. I reminded them that they don’t need to be anxious about anything but in everything fully rely on God because the Lord Jesus Christ alone knows everything we need and He is our only peace. Other fellow believers from my fellowship visited and prayed for her health. At the end of August, we held a worship service at my home. Praise the Lord Jesus, this dear woman is now cured and her weight has increased to almost 80 lbs. The most important thing at this time is that she is willing to open a fellowship service in her own house, and even though there are currently only two house church congregations, she still has zeal to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and become a great blessing to others.
Yulianus and Bastian: Papua, Indonesia
Yulianus and Bastian serve in Papua, Indonesia. They come from the Fuau tribe, one of many ethnic groups located in the Mamberamo River basin. They each have their own distinct ministries, but both are a part of the Bible translation team working to translate Bible stories and the scriptures into their own native language, Abawiri. Yulianus serves those from the Mamberamo who’ve come out of the interior in order to be educated on the coast. He writes, “I am deeply grateful to the Lord because He continues to help and bless the Lord’s ministry entrusted to me. I am standing on the promises of God's enduring word as I do so.”
While on the coast, Yuli regularly engages in evangelism among his own Mamberamo peoples. He writes, “I have a vision to win souls for the Lord.” Many come to the coast for education, and even though they come from tribes who’ve heard the gospel for a couple generations, they are mostly nominal in their faith. They little understand the precious truths of the scriptures, and have no personal knowledge of Christ. Once they come out to the coast, they then face a multitude of temptations that they had never faced before in the interior jungle.
Bastian, on the other hand, spends all his time in the interior in Fuau. Although it is difficult to communicate via mobile phone, email, etc., he’s still able to use SSB radio to speak to Yulianus. Bastian primarily labors as a local pastor in Fuau; he preaches each Sunday, as well as leads weekly and family worship services on Tuesday and Friday. He also regularly teaches the storytelling groups the Bible stories that have been translated into Abawiri. He, along with Yuli, are in the process of recording these stories so that they can be heard over and over again by their people.
Bastian stated that he faces many challenges in the interior. He writes, “I face a lot of challenges, such as people who do not desire or are too lazy to come to worship services because they are constantly busy hunting in the jungle; they also leave for months to make money by selling crocodile skins.”
Trevor Johnson: Papua, Indonesia
I would like to request prayer for myself: I've suffered pretty much a total physical collapse. My liver and my spleen are both enlarged. I have "chronic malaria.” This week I have slept at least 12 hours each day (some days 16 hours) and I am still exhausted and too pained to stand up straight or walk. We are recovering in Bali, which is 3.5 hours from Papua. I have also fallen into severe depression due to all the illness as well (being sick and without strength and out of the game and on the sidelines). We feel heartsick and want to get back to the village because there is much to do.