The first time we met Pak Usma*, he was taking his sick father to our friend who is an acupuncturist. We church planters regularly visit our friend’s acupuncture practice looking for opportunities to share the Good News with the sick or with their family who brought them. The place is about 1.5 hours from our town.
Pak Usma lives in our town and works as a government employee. On our first meeting at the acupuncturists, he was open and interested to hear the Good News, but not yet willing to believe. We agreed to meet in a safe place in our city.
At our fourth meeting, we met in a quiet coffee shop. We sat at the very back so that others would not hear our conversation. On that occasion I continued the story of giving sacrifices at the time of the prophets. After I told him about the sacrificial offerings of Cain and Abel and connected the story with Jesus Christ who was the perfect and God-pleasing sacrifice, Pak Usma said that he also gives sacrifice on feast days, but that the offering he makes seems to be the same as the sacrifices offered by Cain, not pleasing to God. When I ask him, Pak Usma confessed to believe in Jesus as his Savior and Lord.
“Local people must find this way to have their sins forgiven!” said Pak Usma after we prayed. I was very pleased with his confession and told him that it is his duty to tell others.
Next I told him about baptism. “Give me time to prepare myself,” he said when I asked him if he was ready to be baptized. Then we ended the meeting and agreed to meet again in a safer place.
A few days later Pak Usma called me and asked if he could be baptized that very day. I was happy to say I could do baptism that day. Then I asked where to meet him. He said, “Just come to the hut on the beach!”
I promised to come to the place at the appointed hour, but in my heart, I wondered if he really wanted to be baptized or whether he wanted to trap me. That had happened another time when local people asked to be baptized but apparently only so that the Christians would come and be interrogated by the community.
With confidence in God’s help, I went to the place we had agreed upon. Thank God Pak Usma really wanted to be baptized! Because the beach was very crowded, we looked for a quieter beach. Thanks be to God, we found a safe place to do the baptism.
Before we entered the sea, I again asked Pak Usma, “Will you still believe in Jesus even if you are persecuted?”
“Whatever happens to me because of my new faith, I am ready to bear it,” Pak Usma replied firmly.
So we went into the sea and baptized Pak Usma.
Then Pak Usma invited me to get lunch together near his workplace. In that place some people who are in the same job with Pak Usma were eating. He introduced me to his friends. “He’s my brother!” said Pak Usma pointing his hand at me.
At the next meeting I emphasized to Pak Usma that he should tell the Jesus story to his family and friends. A few days after that meeting, he called me and said that he had told his father about Jesus and his father wanted to believe. We praise God that he has already begun sharing the Gospel with others. We made plans to train him to follow up with believers and to disciple his father.
Seeing the growth of Pak Usma in his new faith, we hope he will be the ‘key man’, the one who will reach out to his own people group and form a local church. Our part is to disciple and train him rightly; it is God who chooses those who are pleasing to Him to be His witnesses.
*Name changed for security reasons.