Before I Believed in Christ
Before I knew Christ as my Lord and Savior, I lived a life of drunkenness. I would spend my money on alcohol and tobacco. I was not obedient to the Lord’s command to repent and believe in Jesus. I did not want to go to the church in my village or any church, even though I was born into a Christian family. I heard the gospel many times growing up in the Fuau, but the gospel quickly entered my ears and did not plant itself in my heart because my heart was hardened. My father was a faithful member and helper of the church in the Fuau village. I did not want to follow in my father’s footsteps as a leader of the church. I thought, “That is good for him, but not me!”
The Forgiveness of Sins
One day, I became deathly ill of a tropical virus, and I almost died. I thought to myself, “Why am I sick like this? Is the Lord trying to get my attention because I have continued to resist Him?” Even though I was severely sick, my heart still refused to repent and believe in Jesus. When I fully recovered from this virus, I refused to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. In May 2009, Yulianus Abaruda spoke to me about the Gospel of Jesus Christ after my sickness. Pastor Yuli said to me, “Rudy, you are still young! Do not use your youth to throw your life away in your sins. Use your life for the Lord, confessing your sins. Repent and believe in Jesus so that your life will be used for His glory. The Lord has a plan for you, Rudy.” I then asked Pastor Yulianus, “What’s His plan for me?” Pastor Yulianus responded, “I want you to be saved and serve the Lord in your tribe (the Fuau tribe) and the surrounding tribes because when I am old and unable to serve one day, what young person will hold and treasure the gospel and minister like I am doing?” At that moment, I realized what Pastor Yulianus was saying and that it was the truth. I understood the command to receive Jesus in my life. Pastor Yulianus prayed with me and I repented of my sins. Pastor Yulianus led me to Christ, and I made Him Lord of my life. This all happened in the town of Sentani just as I was finishing my agriculture studies.
After My Conversion
In 2010, I was working on a project cleaning the river in Sentani, in the Bambar district. Suddenly, while I was working, Pastor Yulianus called me and said, “Rudy, I want you to go to Bible School on the island of Java. I replied, “I do not have any money, and I do not know about Java.” Pastor Yuli said, “The money and you not knowing about Java is not a problem, but your heart must be ready to go. The Lord will open a way for you Rudy.” I replied, “Ok, Pastor Yuli, I will go to school in Java.” In June of 2010, Pastor Yuli sent me to the city of Malang in Central Java. I entered my theological studies at one of the Bible Schools for four years. I graduated in 2014.
Becoming an Evangelist
After I graduated from my theology studies, I was sent by the Bible school to Kalimantan, Indonesia to serve the Lord for six months as an evangelist. While I was ministering in this church, they offered me to become the church leader. They offered me enough money to live on. The salary they offered me was rather large. They offered me a house, a car, and a wife. I immediately called Pastor Yulianus and told him everything that was happening. Pastor Yuli quickly encouraged me by saying, “Rudy, I did not send you to Bible School to minister in Kalimantan and receive all those things. I sent you to Bible school to learn and grow in the Lord so that you can come back and serve the Fuau and the surrounding tribes in the Mamberamo. The Mamberamo people need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ through you.” I listened to Pastor Yuli and obeyed his instruction for me. In 2015, I returned to Papua. Pastor Yuli sent me to get established in the Mamararum Tribe in the Mamberamo. Mamararum is one of the tribes east of the Fuau tribe. Pastor Yuli said, “Rudy, I want to send you to preach the gospel in Mamararum so that they will repent and believe in Jesus. Rudy, do not focus on what you will receive regarding a salary, but focus on serving and working to find your own food to live.”
Life in the Tribe
I minister in the Mamararum Tribe with total dependence on the Lord. I have become sick many times. Several years ago, the tribal people had to carry me to the Mamberamo river, where I could find a ride to look for medicine. The walk was so far that I continued to get worse and could not breathe normal. Praise the Lord I had an aunt in the faith with me. She helped hold me and prayed as we walked. Suddenly, I started to become stronger and realized what was going on- they had found medicine, and I had already taken it. Praise the Lord for His power because I am alive and love serving Him. I am thankful the Lord uses me to preach the gospel in the Mamberamo region.