Mission: Indonesia 2010
Building brotherhood in Indonesia
When Climbing For Christ first entered a mountainous Java village in 2007, the Indonesian pastor working in the area had a dream. “A place to come and share religion.”
Three years later, we returned to the same village and were joyfully surprised to see a “Brotherhood Center.” The dream is a reality.
The Brotherhood Center.
More than half of the families in the village were using this community center in May 2010 to come together. Most are Muslim in a part of the country where less than 1 in every 1,500 people is a Christian. But our pastor friend and a Christian family living in this area have an opportunity to talk about Jesus.
This is almost unheard of in a place where our arrival in 2007 was preceded by an Internet warning by a fanatical Muslim group. The Christians are coming, the Christians are coming.
The brand-new Brotherhood Center was built beginning in September 2009. Climbing For Christ’s Indonesian members visited the village at that time, providing some financial support and a little sweat. They helped cut down trees that were used to build the center.
The Holy Spirit is doing the rest. He is moving in the hearts of the people.
“It’s amazing to see God work,” said Julie Schiffmacher, one of the three Americans on the Mission: Indonesia 2010 team, which also included four Indonesian members. “Seeing the Brotherhood Center finished and knowing that families are using it to interact and connect with members in their community (was a highlight of the trip).”
There were other highlights from this Evangelic Expedition, which included a survey of an unreached people group in another area of the country, a volcano ascent, and time spent in worship and fellowship with Indonesian members. But returning to a place where seeds were planted and starting to see fruit being produced was a welcoming sign.
One Muslim man with whom the Gospel was shared three years ago was said to be “close” to accepting Jesus as Savior. “Maybe he accept in his heart,” one of our Indonesian members explained, “but not in his mouth. It’s very difficult to proclaim (in a Muslim community).”
A Christian brother in that village has prayed with this Muslim man, just as we did in 2007. We continue to pray for him and for others to come to the Lord.
To help them on this spiritual journey, Climbing For Christ will work on assisting their physical needs. Our pastor friend has asked for our help to:
- Build a road into the village.
- Install a system that will provide clean water to each house.
- Start an animal husbandry program to improve the village’s economy.
These are all tools to build relationships. Ways to open lines of communication. Opportunities to share Christ’s love with a people who don’t know Him — yet.
This story originally appeared in The Climbing Way (Volume 18, Summer 2010).