Discipleship Ministry, Return to Riau Islands & more
Warmest Greetings from Indonesia! We hope and pray you are in good health. This past year has been difficult on all of us but we thank God for His help through it all. Our small town here in North Sumatra is still fairing well compared to other parts of Indonesia. Thank God we still have some freedom to live and minister locally. We even managed to make a few short ministry trips these past months. Here is a brief report on what has been happening.
House Fellowship Discipleship Ministry
After a short break during the Christmas season, our weekly meetings started up again in mid-January with a dinner celebration for our 7th year anniversary of house fellowship meetings. For the past four years we have been renting a building to this ministry and we just extended the rent for another two years. The ministry van that has been frequently breaking down has been sold. We are believing to upgrade to a Toyota van. This will cost an extra $7000. So for now we are without a vehicle and have to borough or rent a car to pick up and drop off people during house fellowship. Please pray and believe with us for the extra funds.
Out of Town Ministry
Holding big gospel events is still not possible at this time because of the pandemic. So we have been visiting Churches in cities where we have done gospel events in the past. Just a couple of weeks ago we were in Sibolga which was the place for our first gospel festival in North Sumatra back in 2012. Another city we visited was Kisaran where we had another gospel festival back in 2014. We thank God we were able to borough a vehicle for both trips. On the way back from another trip, we had a flat tire while climbing a hill and it was almost midnight at the time. To make things worse there was no car jack in the car. So we were stuck there for a while until a kind passerby lent us his car jack so we can switch tires. It is so important to have a reliable vehicle here on our Island because of the bad road conditions and the mountainous terrain. We plan to visit more places here in North Sumatra and other Islands as the Lord leads. Having a ministry vehicle will be a great help.
Riau Islands Ministry
Back in November 2020, I visited the Riau Islands with a team to minister to the Laut tribe there. They are what some refer to as a least reached people group. And about a month ago, Pak Elia who was one of our team members on that mission trip did a follow up visit to one of the Islands. We were able to help out with his travel costs. There was an issue with a Christian elementary school that needed to be resolved immediately. This school was running out of funds because of a decrease in donation during the past year and was about to shut down or be handed over to the government. If the government takes over, they will bring a stronger Muslim influence to this island and we obviously did not want that. It would so sad if we loose the school because it is also a base for gospel advancement in the area. The school is required to have four teachers and most of the budget for the school is to pay for their wages. Last we heard they have reduced the number of teachers but this means they will loose their accreditation with the board of education. It would be very sad to see the school shut down because of a lack of funds.
GGNI Board Changes
There have been a few changes to our ministry board. As you well know, GGNI was registered as a charity in Canada in 2014. Last year we had Peter Hartgerink join the board as our new chairman. Bryan Pare who has been serving on the board faithfully since the beginning had to step down because of more responsibilities at his Church. This year we brought on two more new board members. They are Martha Sanipe who will be our new secretary and Pastor Rob McKee of Vanier Community Church in Ottawa. Hiwot Abebe remains as our treasurer. Esther and I are blessed to have such a dedicated team backing us up from home. We thank God for each of one of them.
What’s Coming Up
Other than our weekly meeting here in our town, there are a couple of things in the works right now. We are planning a three days Bible Camp with our house fellowship members for May and a mission trip to Sumba Island located in east Indonesia in June or July. We live on the Western end. This trip was postponed from April because of a new covid outbreak in the area.
Thank you Ministry Partners
Finally we want to show our deep appreciation to our ministry partners who have been so faithful to support us even through this pandemic. Thank you so much for investing in gospel advancement in Indonesia. We keep going forward because of God’s grace being demonstrated through you. God bless you and reward you for your faithfulness.
Blessings from Indonesia,
Gola, Esther & Ben
Global Good News Initiative