Beautiful Testimonies of God’s Grace
Indonesia needs your prayer right now. As the delta variant is ripping through the nation, we are experiencing the biggest surge we have seen so far. Here in our small town, we are also experiencing an increase in cases. As a result all public gatherings have been stopped by the local government. Our weekly meetings have moved online and all ministry trips have been postponed for the moment. With the lockdowns, some families are also facing financial hardships. Most families here own a small business to provide for themselves. Unfortunately there is no good safety net system from the government for such families so we are doing what we can to help out. Currently the number of national daily infection cases have started to come down slightly but the numbers here locally are still quiet high.
Before we went into lockdown, we were able to make short ministry trips within our province mainly ministering in Churches. Our weekly prayer and Bible study meetings were going strong. We had been doing these meetings outdoors in parks and cafes as well. One the right are a few photos from those meetings. Currently we are also developing a youth focused ministry with the help of the young people in our fellowship. They have got some really exciting ideas they are working on. We were supposed to be doing our Bible camp this past week but it obviously has also been postponed. Please keep us all in your prayers.
Update from Riau Islands
The mission trip to the Riau Islands in November 2020 continues to bear fruit. Diman who is our contact in the islands was able to do a second trip to Lingga Island a couple of months ago. It’s one of the islands we visited back in November. This is also the same place where I met Yanto (pictured below) thirteen years ago. Yanto was only twelve years old then. His family is from the Laut tribe and at that time most of the people in his village have not heard the gospel yet. When I went back last November, there was already a Church and an elementary school that has been planted there. Yanto was adopted by my friend Diman who taught him to read and write. With his new skill, Yanto was able to translate the New Testament Bible into the local language. Yanto returned back to Lingga Island and we lost contact with him for a long time after that until Diman’s trip a couple of months ago. We were sad to learn that Yanto has drifted away from the Lord and married a non-believer. That was heartbreaking for all of us. But the Lord is not done with Yanto.
While we were in Lingga back in November, we prayed for many who were sick. One of the people we prayer for was a young man (sitting in the middle) who had suffered a stroke and was not able to walk. This is a big setback for a family who support themselves mainly from fishing. As we were leaving that village, we were asked to visit him and pray for him. Nothing happened after prayer but we just gave the situation into the Lord’s hands and we got on our boat and left for the next island. Diman met the young man during his recent trip. He is walking now! God had done a miracle for him. While visiting the young man Diman (pictured far left) met Yanto (middle) as well. We had no idea the young man who was healed (now standing far right) and Yanto are brothers. So after so many years, Diman was able to meet and minister to Yanto. We are praying that the seeds that have been sawn into Yanto’s life will come to fruition again. He has a big calling on his life to reach his people. I have a great desire to visit Riau Islands again. But nothing is for sure until this wave of covid subsides.
During my last update, I mentioned that we were planning to sell the old ministry van that has been breaking down frequently and buy a better one. By God’s grace we were able to sell the old van with a reasonable price and buy a used Toyota van (pictured right) that is still in great condition. The new van has been a great blessing to us as we are now able to travel and minister in different parts of our Island with no major problems so far. The old van broke down so much we had little confidence taking it on long distance trips. Of coarse this also meant we had to spend more to get the Toyota. Therefore our ministry funds are a bit depleted at the moment but we believe the Lord will fill it again. Amen!
As the covid situation starts getting better, we are making plans to travel longer distances again. I was putting together a two weeks trips to Sumba Island last month but it was obviously postponed. I hope to go there before the end of this year. Our friends in Riau Islands are also expecting a visit this year. We are still hoping to have our Bible camp here in Sumatra later this year as well. In the meantime, Esther and I continue to minister and pray for the sick through social media, zoom meetings and one-on-one phone calls. One of the young ladies we have been ministering to is Arny. She is a convert from another faith. Arny had actually experienced a miracle during one of our gospel campaigns years ago. She had a growth in her nostrils that disappeared suddenly. Recently Arny came down with covid and was hospitalized for many days. We just got the news that she has tested negative and will be going back home tomorrow. Praise the Lord. She is also believing for her husband to come to the Lord. Please pray for Arny and her family.
On a personal note, all three of us here are healthy and doing well. This will be my 16th year here in Indonesia. To celebrate my 43rd birthday, we had a short two days family vacation by the lake. It was great because we had the hotel to ourselves most of the time. Our son Benjamin will start second grade homeschool next week. Pray for us. Ha-ha.. We are using a curriculum from a Christian school out of Florida and we are seeing great results with it.
Thank You Ministry Partners
Finally, we want to say a big thank you and a God bless you to our dear ministry partners. Your faithful support even through these tough times is unbelievable. We are so honored to have you together with us on this great journey. Lives are being impacted by the gospel because of your generosity. We pray for you and your families. Let me leave you with a video highlight from one of our past gospel campaigns we just uploaded to our youtube channel. We long for the days we can do these again.
Salam from Indonesia!
Gola, Esther & Ben
Global Good News Initiative