How our Indonesian ministry shocked a supporter

There’s no doubt about it: our work in Indonesia is exciting. We’re reaching into poor communities; church planting in rural villages; equipping pastors and missionaries with our programs; and sending booklets far and wide.

Aussies seem to have a soft spot for Indonesia, perhaps because of our love for Bali as our favourite holiday destination, possibly because of the easy-going nature of the people or simply because it is our nearest northern neighbour. But SGM Lifewords’ in Australia have had a good response to the student sponsorship program (which supports poor Bible College students who are actually active in practical weekend ministry and using our programs and resources). We have also had wide interest in our work in rural villages and translating Scriptures into Supportersdifficult dialects; And certainly many have supported our Pavement Project among children at risk.

Recently, I (Dan Hardie) made an open invitation to anyone who would like to see the ministry first hand and we had 3 supporters join us. These were our Chairman Rob Reeve, one of our core supporters, Nick Cullen, and a young photographer, Matt Harwood who joined us.

What we did:

  • Within an hour of arriving at the airport, we were set to visit the church in the leprosy community. The ministry here is so grateful for our partnership and helping them with their mission.
  • We spent a day at the Bible College students at Pelita Dunia, our partner college where students volunteer with us. We were able to share from the scriptures, encourage them and hear about their individual ministry areas.
  • We were also able to join a Visible Story introductory session and meet all the Lifewords volunteers and staff. We shared prayer together and enjoyed the passionate Indonesian worship.
  • It’s not always comfortable to visit slum communities and the city poor, but we wanted to see the places where Lifewords’ volunteers do weekend outreach. Our Australian team prayed for people, shared scripture and encouraging messages with some of the widows, orphans and new church attenders. We heard some of their stories, gave some booklets and just sat with those in pain.
  • We had a visit to the new Church plant and primary school in the village area of Bumi Indah. The church planter (Pastor Jimmy) and 4 sponsored students use The Visible Story, Pavement Project and booklets, and think of it as an SGM mission project.
  • Of course, plenty of time was connecting with Gunar, Nia and the team.
  • We did eat snake, goat, Ayam, Ikan and rice. We thank God that all enjoyed a healthy tummy throughout!

At the end of the trip, I asked each visitor what they thought and how it had impacted them. Nick left me with the words,

“Dan, I gotta admit that when we went to visit that city slum, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that they could live like that, and yet, when we sat and talked with them, each one is just a normal person who has loved ones, enjoys laughter, loves Manchester United, and has just been dealt a dud hand. I love that Lifewords is right there in the mix, making a difference for them both physically and spiritually. Keep it up…”

There were plenty more reflections shared, and these might be beneficial to share at a later stage, but certainly we witnessed a small part of the New Testament instruction,

“Go into the world and preach the gospel…” 

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