Indonesians have a rich heritage of performing arts, which plays an important role in their daily lives. Over the years, Indonesian Church Growth Network (ICGN) has learned that what has been rejected by Indonesians is not the truth of the Gospel, but rather the Western style of Christianity that they associate with colonization.
Therefore, we seek to contextualize the Gospel message and worship through our Cultural Arts Center. We create, record and perform Indonesian art forms (music, drama, dance and comedy) for television. Through our media, we also provide training in simple contextualized worship for house churches.
The Power of Christian Media
We recently received an encouraging testimony involving the younger brother of the man who was our lead actor for years in the “Father’s Home Village” movie series. Our actor, Didik* (who played the role of Father), had been totally rejected by his younger brother, Ardy*, who is an Islamic teacher. For 50 some years (since Didik had become a Christian), Ardy had always strongly opposed Didik, even to the point of rejecting him as his older brother.
Several years ago, on a trip to our city, while staying at a relative’s house, Ardy was watching TV alone when our “Calling to Life” talk show came on. The discussion in that episode made such an impression on him that he determined to return to our city the following week just so he could watch the show again (at that time our broadcast could not reach his town yet)! He again found the discussion very valuable, so this set the pattern for him to come to our city as often as he could and secretly watch our talk show. He also at some point wound up watching some of our movies that his brother Didik was in.
Finally, after several years of watching and struggling, Ardy came to Didik to ask for forgiveness and to tell him that he had been watching! He also told Didik that he has been taking notes of all the talks and has been using much of the material when he travels around teaching at numerous mosques!
Although he doesn’t yet understand fully the salvation truths being presented, Ardy does recognize that it is indeed Truth. He also doesn’t understand yet that he is being used by Almighty God to prepare his students’ hearts for even more revelation of salvation Truth yet to come.
Every time Ardy had to miss the talk show, he would call Didik or visit him to find out what the discussion had been about. This continued on until our dear friend, Didik, passed away last year at age 81. Didik’s daughter works at our arts center and recently shared with us that her uncle Ardy continues to keep in touch with them.
On the daughter’s last visit to Ardy’s place, after the Islamic Idul Adha holiday (using animal sacrifices), Ardy told her he had been teaching about the “genuine sacrifice” that brings forgiveness. He also teaches about how we will not be forgiven if we do not also forgive others. These were lessons he had gleaned from watching the talk show! Relatives shared with her how Ardy used to be known for being harsh and unforgiving, but now he has become kind and wise.
Please pray for Ardy to continue growing in his understanding of the Gospel message and to make a clear decision to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation. Pray that he will then receive wisdom from the Lord as to how he should use his role as an itinerate Islamic teacher to share that Truth with his students from all over.
Just as Ardy had watched the show faithfully for several years before even contacting his brother, we often have Muslims text us to say that they have been watching faithfully for years. Pray that the Lord will convince these seekers once and for all of His salvation Truth, and that they will have the courage to share with others around them!
*Names changed for security