Indonesia – Overview
HeartCry has partnered with ministries in Indonesia since 2009. There are two divisions to the ministry in the archipelago: Eastern and Western. The ministries in Eastern Indonesia are all located in Papua among Melanesian ethnic groups that are predominantly animistic and nominally Christian. The ministry in Western Indonesia is more diverse, working among Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, and nominal Christians. Although the ministry in Timor Leste is not technically located in the country of Indonesia, and it is much closer geographically to Eastern Indonesia, it is grouped together with the Western Indonesia ministry because it began through one of HeartCry’s ministry partners in that area. The following is a summary and description of the ministries in these two divisions.
HeartCry partners with two families from the US who are serving in this region – Trevor
and Teresa Johnson, and Paul and Patricia Snider. The Johnsons began work among the Korowai people in 2007 and the Sniders joined them in 2012. Their ministry is in a remote region located in Papua’s interior, lowland jungle. The people to whom they minister are animistic and were formerly cannibalistic, as well. The last recorded act of cannibalism happened in 2003, four years before the Johnsons arrived. They’ve seen much progress in the last 10-12 years; their region now has approximately 20 evangelistic posts (not all were started by the Johnsons and Sniders nor people closely associated with them), and there are several churches now established in these posts. However, none of the churches are yet led by Korowai leadership, but by Dani Christians who’ve come from the highlands to serve in the region. Korowai leadership is most likely something that will happen when the emerging generation becomes more mature. Serving with the Johnsons and Sniders are three other HeartCry missionaries: Jimmy and Perin Weya, and Yus Weya. All three, as mentioned above, have come from the Dani Highlands. Jimmy is the pastor of the church in Danowage (the central village where the Johnsons and Sniders live). He and his wife Perin have also been instrumental in the past in helping to educate Korowai children. The educational aspect of their ministry, though, has been given over to an official educational foundation in 2017. However, they both are still closely involved with the children, and are planning to build and overseer a dormitory for those who come from deep in the interior to be educated in Danowage. Yus Weya, the other HeartCry missionary in the region, lives approximately two hours away at another post called Mabuwage. Jimmy Weya pioneered the ministry there, and Yus came in 2017 to continue it.
Also in Papua, HeartCry partners with two Fuau missionaries in the Mamberamo region, Yulianus Abarude and Bastian Guani. Yulianus and Bastian are both involved in translation work, working alongside Wycliffe as mother tongue translators. Additionally, Bastian pastors the GIDI church (the Evangelical Church of Indonesia) in Fuau, while Yulianus travels throughout the region preaching, evangelizing, and mentoring other pastors. He also works to form other translation teams in the Mamberamo region among the 20 or so language groups.
There are two groups that work closely together in this ministry division. The first group is centered in Jakarta at Great Commission Baptist Church, a church planted by HeartCry missionary Alah’bi Komang. This church initially grew out of a ministry to college students, most of whom have graduated and now form the church’s core. The ministry in Timor Leste also began through this church’s missionary activity. One of their church members, who lived in Indonesia for 10 years studying at the Baptist theological seminary and serving in the church, moved back to his homeland and is now working as a church planter and Bible translator for the Makasae people. Great Commission Baptist Church has also helped to plant another church in Central Java, and is working to strengthen other smaller churches both in another part of Central Java and in Sumatra. They have also sent out, together with HeartCry, a missionary to Bali who is working through media to reach out and evangelize Hindus.
The other group in Western Indonesia is located in West Java, Indonesia’s most populous province. Rahmat Kaca is a church planter and translator living in Bandung. He also frequently travels throughout Indonesia and Timor Leste strengthening churches and training pastors. Working with him are five other evangelists, each of which has their own distinct ministry. Elis lives in a village and is a bold gospel witness to the Muslims living around her. In spite of often facing persecution and ostracism, she has been very fruitful and has seen many come to faith in Christ. Another evangelist, Ucu, serves in his own local church and while gaining more theological education and being mentored, he teaches in a school and reaches out evangelistically to those in his own village. Ratih educates and evangelizes children in her area, and also does some administration tasks for HeartCry, as well as translation. Salim Hartono and his wife Riri, along with teaching and evangelizing, are involved with recording the New Testament in various different languages throughout Indonesia. This ministry has given them the opportunity to have much influence on various different churches and ministries among these language speakers.
Timothy began working for HeartCry in 2015 and assists with the work in Asia. He is married, has eight children, two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.More By Timothy Jotham