Sorrow and Joy in Ministry

We have experienced joy and sorrow as we minister during the pandemic. The number of infected people has increased in Indonesia and vaccines are not accepted by our country’s citizens. However, in the midst of this difficult situation, we continue to do outreach because we long to see lost souls return to God.

I’ll start with a sorrow we experienced. We had a new believer named Andin. He was a fairly active believer and we were preparing him to lead a house church. He was trained to be bold in sharing the Good News, and we had regular discipleship sessions with him. A month and a half passed, and when we finally visited him, we discovered he was sick. My wife and I prayed for him. The situation was not good.

I took him to the nearest clinic and the doctor suggested that he be referred to a hospital that had more adequate facilities, but Andin did not want to go there. I tried to persuade him but his decision was final. I continued to pray, wore a mask, kept my distance, and still took Andin to the clinic for treatment. He was suffering from hepatitis or a liver infection. His condition got worse. He was unable to return to work and was just lying around his house.

One day, when I went to see him, he was not there. His neighbors told me that his family had taken Andin home because he could not care for himself any longer. I tried calling him, but the number was no longer active. I kept searching for Andin’s whereabouts. I met one of Andin’s friends and asked him: “How is he, Andin? Do you know where he is?”

He told me that Andin had passed away. I was shocked to hear the news. I tried to confirm the information and got confirmation from his neighbor. I deeply felt Andin’s loss. He was a believer who had shown much promise. But we know that God has a beautiful plan behind all these events and that he is with our beloved Savior.

This next experience is more joyful. Every weekend, we do ministry accompanied by some seminary students. Together, we reach out to the lost. Praise the Lord, this ministry has started yielding results. Nando, one of the converts we are ministering to, was baptized last July. His faith is growing and he is eager to share the Good News. He also regularly comes to discipleship meetings. We continue to train and support him. We are happy that each day he gets more courageous to share the news of this salvation.

One day he met Wildan, a dumpling seller. Nando delivered the Good News to Wildan, and praise God, Wildan wanted to believe in Jesus Christ! When we were talking about baptism, we asked him: “Do you have any talismans or charms?” Wildan said that he had a talisman, a legacy from his grandmother, that he still kept in his wallet. We explained again that when we believe in Jesus, we must give up such things. However, Wildan did not want to let go of his grandmother’s talisman. But we continue to pray that one day he will let go of the talisman.

We are grateful for God’s help and presence in our ministry. We continue to walk with God through joys and sorrows. When we lose people we are discipling, God brings us people who will believe in Him. Even though there are challenges and struggles, we continue to surrender and hope in God. We believe when the time comes, we will reap if we don’t give up. While there are opportunities, let us continue to sow the Gospel and continue to do good.

Galatians 6: 9‐10: “We must not tire of doing good, for when the time comes, we will reap, if we do not become weak. Therefore, as long as there is still an opportunity for us, let us do good to everyone, but especially to our friends in the faith.“

Prayer requests:

  • Pray that Wildan will not hesitate to be rid of his talisman, and will fully believe in Jesus and be baptized
  • Pray for Nando to become more skilled in preaching the Gospel and that through his life many souls may be won
  • Pray that a house church will be formed this year and be led by the new believers
  • Pray for weekend ministry with the seminary students, that God will continue to take care of our health so that the ministry will go well

Names changed for security.

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