Would you dare give a ride to a man you didn’t know? I was on my way to the market last April when I came across a man walking. I offered him a ride. As we went, Pak Ase, a 50-year-old farmer, and I got acquainted. As we reached the market, I shared the Gospel with him. He said he had heard it before from other Christians. Before we parted, he claimed to believe in Jesus. I met with him several times for discipleship and he was baptized a month later.
I continued to meet regularly with Pak Ase for discipleship and training. One of the stages in the training of new believers is to have them go with us and observe as we share the Gospel. When they are ready, we encourage them to take the lead and open the Gospel conversation. We help them deliver a clear salvation message. At a later stage we encourage them to approach and share the Gospel by themselves.
One day Pak Ase did not show up for our scheduled meeting. I went to his house, but he was not there. I decided to wait until our next scheduled visit, but still, he did not come. We kept praying for him and continued to pass in front of his house in case he was there.
Thank God! After several times passing his house I met with Pak Ase. I asked him why he never came anymore. He replied, “Now I want to convert!”
“What do you mean, Sir?” I asked.
He replied, “I have heard the teaching of Nababan (indigenous leader), and also you know that this area is the ‘Veranda of Mecca’, so I want to go back to Islam!” Then Pak Ase said goodbye and was gone.
I was very surprised to hear Pak Ase’s answer. On my way home I kept thinking about him. When I got home, I told my wife and some friends what happened. That night I could not sleep because I kept thinking about him. We continued to pray for Pak Ase.
The next day I visited Pak Ase’s house but he was not there. A few days later, after visiting another local man, I passed by Pak Ase’s house. Thank God! I saw him walking by the side of the road. I approached and asked where he was going. “To my friend’s house,” he answered. “May I give you a ride, Sir?” I asked kindly. “No!” he declined. I continued to offer a ride, and finally he was willing for me to drop him. While riding, I asked him how he was doing. “Fine,” he said.
Arriving at his friend’s house, it turned out he was not there. We sat on the terrace of the house while waiting for his friend. On that occasion I again encouraged Pak Ase. I affirmed that religion does not save, but faith in Jesus Christ is what saves us. Pak Ase seemed to understand my explanation and he agreed that faith in Jesus Christ alone will save him. I prayed for him then and there.
After praying, I asked Pak Ase to share the Gospel with his friend, Pak Mis, but he asked me to share it instead. Before long, Pak Mis came and we got acquainted. I directed the conversation to spiritual things and told him the Gospel story. Then we challenged Pak Mis to believe in Jesus.
I encouraged Pak Ase to disciple Pak Mis, but he was not yet ready. So, I am discipling him myself. Sometimes I disciple Pak Ase and Pak Miss together.
We are very pleased to see Pak Ase’s faith growing stronger. So far, he has shared the Gospel with five local people, though no one has believed. Really, God has been at work in our lives and in Pak Ase’s.
Please pray for Pak Ase to continue to grow and for his family to come to faith.