Revival in Timor, Bible Camp & More
Greetings from all of us here in North Sumatra, Indonesia!
This year has been tough to schedule ministry because of a couple of covid waves that were creating havoc on traveling and ministry plans. Thankfully, the last few months have been good. I was finally able to travel to Timor, do our Bible camp and more.. Here is a brief report.
Timor Mission Trip
I was in the Timor Islands for three weeks ministering together with a local team. We visiting several villages preaching the gospel in fields, schools and Churches. Our team was from the biggest Presbyterian Church there and they helped setting up all our meetings. If you know anything about the Presbyterian Church, the services tend to be very formal and the practice of the gifts of the Spirit is not common. Well, the Holy Spirit didn’t really care so much about those norms. We witnessed so many healing miracles, people were falling under the power of God without anyone touching them, others were speaking in tongues, seeing visions and even prophesying. It was as if Pentecost has finally arrived. It was a blessing watching it all in front of our eyes.
A few of the places we visited were in the mountains and they can only be accessed using trucks. The roads were not really worthy of being called roads. At many points in the road we had to descend and ascend in and out of dry river beds. We traveled with all our sound equipment, personal belongings and out team loaded in the back of the trucks. It was rough specially when we hit a rock or a huge bump in the so called road. A lot of the places we visited did not have running water and electricity. The toilet situation should not even be discussed. At the time we visited, it was the height of the dry season so temperatures usually rose above 35 degree celsius at mid-day. We slept where there was an empty space available. Mostly on the floor with a tarp on it. I even slept in the back of an open truck. It got pretty chilly at around 4 am in the morning.
Even though it was a physically demanding and uncomfortable trip, meeting the people from Timor was worth it all for me. They had such an enthusiasm for the things of God and they always strived to serve us with their best. One time, we arrived in one of the villages several hours late because of car troubles. The meeting was supposed to start at 8pm but we arrived two hours late. I thought that everyone had gone home by then and the meeting has been canceled. But on the contrary, when our truck entered the field, people were singing and dancing and having a great time. By the time we set up the sound system, got changed, ate a quick dinner and started the service, it was midnight. Our first midnight Jesus Festival on the field. We went on till dawn. As we were doing final closing prayers, the roosters were crowing. That night we saw the most healing miracles of any other nights. Our team started out with nine people but we kept on picking up more and more team members from the villages we visited along the way. At one point we had a whole choir of young people who joined us. So you can imagines how packed the back of our truck was. They were so on fire we could not hold them back. But eventually we had to part ways with lots of tears. The young people I met on this trip were extra special.
House Fellowship Ministry
After the Muslim holidays following the fasting month of Ramadan in May, Indonesia was hit with the biggest wave of covid infections we have had so far in the pandemic. The situation was getting to be so dire at times as hospitals were filling up with patients waiting for care in parking lots. Not too long after that, we took our house fellowship meetings online and stayed that way for a couple of months. Thankfully by August, the daily cases started to crash down as fast as they went up and by September things were getting back to being manageable again.
Despite lockdowns and interruptions, our house fellowship is still going strong today. We even managed to do our annual retreat and Bible camp last month. More new people have joined house fellowship this year. Esther and I have been teaching God’s word on topics such as our identity in Christ, overcoming fear and condemnation, assurance of salvation and our union with Christ. Most of the individuals that attend are from a traditional Church background and do not have a clear understanding of salvation. At times, it can be more challenging to confront and correct wrong beliefs rooted in Christians than preaching to someone who has never heard the gospel. I can certainly understand that because I was that way once.
I wanted to share with you a short testimony about Dwi who has been attending fellowship for a couple of years now. Dwi comes from a rough background of alcoholism and gang life. Originally he avoided us constantly and did not want anything to do with us. Eventually, his family persuaded him to attend house fellowship. Later he testified that as he heard teaching on the forgiveness of God, his spiritual eyes were opened to see the work of Jesus on the cross. He has since been delivered from alcoholism, smoking and left the gang life. He is a totally different person today. God took all the anger and the hurt away from him. Dwi joined me on the mission trip to Timor. This was the first time he has ever left the island we live on. It was so wonderful seeing him minister to the young people in Timor.
Watch a short highlight video from Timor mission trip below
Finally I want to leave you with a few photos from our house fellowship Christmas celebration that took place on December 17th.
Selamat Natal or Merry Christmas from Indonesia!
Gola, Esther & Ben
Global Good News Initiative