Tanjung Balai, Indonesia Festival
God did many wonderful things for the people of Tanjung Balai in North Sumatra. There are three big tribes living there. The Malayu, the Chinese & the Batak. This festival was not only about harvesting but it felt like we were plowing the ground at the same time.
After months of preparations, the day has finally arrived. When the truck carrying the sound system entered the stadium in the morning, the stadium manager got so upset that we will destroy his grass he ordered the sound to be taken out and ordered to shut down the festival before it has even begun. Just like that we were about to loose everything. He wanted to return the money we have paid to rent the stadium and he demanded everything be removed right away. But our committee would not allow it. This made him even more mad. It was a tug of war between him and the committee for the whole day. The same night before the festival was about to start, he refused to turn on the stadium lights despite pressure from police. The organizing committee was frustrated and did not know what to do.
Hundreds of miles away in Jakarta, Mr. Pasaribu who is a member of parliament heard about the festival and he decided to fly from the capital city and drive 5 hours to come to the festival. He was also a lecturer in Ottawa University in my home town in Canada. He said he actually wanted to attend the following day but God spoke to him to come for the first day of the festival. When he arrives in the stadium, the pastors briefed him about what has been happening all day. He then decided to pick up his phone and call the top general in North Sumatra. The general gets in touch with the Mayor of Tanjung Balai. The Mayor immediately orders for the lights to be turn on and the festival to go on as scheduled. I’m sure Mr. Pasaribu, the General & the Mayor have so many other important and urgent matters to attend to than our little gospel festival! This was totally God. The second day the Mayor got a follow up call from the general and they replaced all the burnt out halogen bulbs in the stadium. It was like daylight. Extraordinary favor from the Lord! You can imagine how apologetic the stadium manager was afterwards. This incident made the local believers even more bolder for Jesus. It was the first miracle of the gospel festival.
People from different religions attended and heard the gospel being proclaimed for the three nights. Many among the crowd received Jesus as their Lord and Savior and were immediately connected with someone from a local Church. During the last night we prayed for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and people were baptized right there on the field.
Jesus did so many healing miracles for the people of Tanjung Balai. As the people witnessed the miracles, they paid more attention to every word preached. A girl who got her hearing restored perfectly was the first testimony we took up on stage. A lady who could not walk without a cane started marching down the field. Another lady that was carried into the stadium by her family was able to walk perfectly. A gentleman who hurt his had working on a ship got healed also. He said his hard was always shaking because of the nerve damage but the shaking stopped during prayer. A woman with a breathing problems was totally healed. We made run around the crowd as the people cheered her on and she came back on stage and testified that she is fully restored. A young lady who had hurt her left leg said she felt her leg shift during prayer and she got totally healed. Another lady was delivered from demonic spirits.
Currently we are in the rainy season. During the week of the festival, it rained in the mornings and afternoons but thank God there was no rain in the evenings except during the last night. It started to pour after we sang the last song and dismissed everyone. There was also a pastors and leaders seminar happening during the mornings. We had leaders from many denominations attend as we taught on the new covenant of the Spirit.
At the end of the festival, we were all convinced that this was a major breakthrough for the gospel in Tanjung Balai. But this is only the start. We are believing for wonderful things to come.