K and I were invited to Jakarta Indonesia this past week to spend 4 days with my friend Mary and to visit her young but growing Christian Ministry in her country. (As this blog is public and to protect my friend’s real identity, a pseudonym of ‘Mary’ will be used to replace her real identity).
Before leaving for this trip, there were concerns from well-meaning friends who felt that it will be dangerous to visit a Christian ministry in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Especially since I will be bringing K along with me in this trip. However as I committed this trip in prayer to ask for a confirmation from the Lord, He gave me 4 personal confirmations in 3 days. Thus I knew that I had to get out of my comfort zone and it was a trip that K and I had to take.
And this experience was a real ‘eye opener’ for me.
Christianity in Indonesia
30 percent of the world’s Muslim population lives in Indonesia, while only 15 percent of Indonesia’s population are Christian (from Reuters). Indonesia is not a model for peace and tolerance, and there have been many numerous incidences of mass violence the past few years. In some instances, Islamic causes have sparked violence and there are plenty of vicious terror groups and hardline Islamists extremists which have attacked Christian churches. But, with the two largest Islamic movements that are based in Indonesia that preach tolerance and obedience to law, their volunteers from these Islamic movements have in fact defended churches from terrorist attacks during the Christmas season (from here).
There are mega-churches which have flourished in Jakarta and Surabaya, and most of these Christians from mega-churches show little or no concern to hide their Christian activities.
However, where the Christians are truly gathering, are in private gatherings.
Mary has shared with me that to date, there are more than 50,000 small Christian group gatherings in Indonesia. Most of these people who are in small groups do not belong to mega-churches.
Mary’s End Times Ministry
Mary conducts a bible study and prayer fellowship group in a private location three times a week to teach about the study of Bible prophecies. There is about 27 percent of the bible is dedicated to bible prophecies. Roughly about half of these bible prophecies, have been fulfilled through this 2000 odd years, but there are about 14 percent of the Bible prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled.
Why is so much of the bible dedicated to prophecy? Some Christians, as well as Christian leadersfrom churches have claim that Bible prophecies distract many from the true Christian mission. But it has been quite the contrary, as Bible prophecies points to Jesus Christ Himself.
Careful study of the historical events validates Bible prophecy as 100 percent accurate for those prophecies already fulfilled. And looking at the prophecies already fulfilled, Christians should trust that these other 14 percent will also accomplish fulfillment.
What does ‘end-times’ mean? End times refer to the times that are reflected in the book of Revelation right before Christ returns. The very idea of ‘End Times’ have been scoffed at for years (even amongst fellow Christians), and the thought that the world may be living out the last days often brings to mind the image of a wild eye, crazy looking man or woman standing at city street corner holding a sign saying ‘The End is Near!’.
Mary and her family are far from that.
She comes from royal lineage from a province located at the island of Java, with close to 11 million people, while her husband is an influential businessmen in Indonesia. So when it comes to credibility, I can assure you that they have plenty of that.
But why would influential people from the Indonesian society be concerned with ‘end-times’? Simply because these people have tremendous love for God. And that they understand that it is God’s will that the message of the End of the Age be shared with people so that they will come to Him before it is too late. And it is getting closer with each passing day.
Her ministry disciples numerous individuals, some who are missionaries to the other regions within Indonesia, like Papua. As well as others who lead small groups themselves or from independent Deliverance Ministries.
They are many people, mainly non-Christians in Indonesia who are involved in occultic arts / black magic and will need deliverance. Deliverance can only be done in the name of Jesus, to help the victims break the bondages of these activity in their lives . Often, it will manifest in the form of infirmities (that cannot be healed by medical treatment) and extreme or strange/insane behavior from the victims.
It’s best not to scoff in ignorance, or insult things that you know nothing about. It is only when you see a deliverance session happening right in front of your eyes, then you will realize demonic involvement in our secular realm is all real.
A Spiritual Encounter with God
The Indonesians are deeply spiritual people and many have met God on a profound level. There are so many supernatural miracles and encounters that few Singaporean Christians will be able to attest to.
One of the members in the ministry, Lena (her pseudonym), shared her testimony with me about her past as an Islamic Terrorist. She admitted that she was one of those spies that were involved in the Bali bombing in 2002. The last ‘mission’ she had with the Militant Extremist group, was spying in a church in Sulawesi, which there were planning to launch a terror attack. Lena shared that the Islamic Terrorists believed that Christian children has to be the first target in the churches, so as to prevent them from growing up into adult Christians.
Early in the morning when she entered the Sunday School room in the church, all ready to plant the bomb to carry out the terror attack. She saw a man in white, seated next to the children’s toys, who seemed to be playing with the toys in the room.
His eyes met hers and he smiled warmly at her. Then he sang her this song in Bahasa Indonesian. A song of ‘The Parable of the Lost Sheep’, that she said with tears in her eyes, which she would never forget the tune and its lyrics.
‘You are my lost one, precious to me. You are my lost one, where will I find you, where will I search for thee…My others are safe, I know I can leave them, they will come to no harm. But you are defenseless, so lost and alone. I know I must find you and bring you back home…One day I will find you and bring you safe home with me…(to hear a version of song here)
She knew for sure that she has met Jesus. Her encounter with the Lord stopped her from going on with the mission of bombing the church. As she failed in her ‘mission’ for the Islamic Militant group, she was severely punished by the leaders. After that encounter, she had to leave the group in Sulawesi, and find her way to Jakarta.
She testified that God has been taking care of her since then, as she never once went hungry or had to worry about finding a roof over her head.
Today, Lena is totally ‘on fire’ for her love for Christ. She is an active part of a small ‘Deliverance Ministry’ team, as well as part of the worship team in the small church that my friend Mary and her husband has started last week.
Not Limited by Language
This experience of meeting many Indonesian Christians sharing their passion and love for Christ, and witnessing the move of God in a neighbouring country have been immensely profound for me.
Despite joining in for fellowship meetings and worshipping in Christian songs all in Bahasa Indonesian, I could really feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in the midst of all them and feel the tremendous love that God has for the Indonesians. I worshipped, prayed and had communion with these brothers and sisters in Christ that stretched up to 5 hours on the Friday and Saturday. But it didn’t matter that I barely understood the language that was foreign to me, as language is no barrier for God.
I will not be surprised that there may be many Singaporean Christians who will think that these Indonesian Christians are fanatics. So what if they are?
It is a personal conviction for them and I believe God will be very pleased with His children in Indonesia, that He sees dancing joyfully along with the worship songs, raising their hands in reverence for Him, swaying to the rhythm of the worship songs. There were many sobbing to Him in their broken and contrite spirits, gathering together to pray together for hours for others, for their country and the world. I see so much joy and hope that each of them have looking forward to the hope that Jesus will one day come for them. Trials and challenges that they face in their lives become alot more manageable when they are able to cling onto this hope that surpasses all understanding. Even though no man knows the day or the hour, they are all prepared for the day that He will come.
Many whom I have met this trip to Indonesia have realized that this world is temporary. And they understand the urgency that every Christian should be helping to spread the message about the Lord’s return. They take warnings that are written in the bible very seriously, as God wants us to search His word as knowing them protects us from being deceived.
I have never felt this kind of anoiting of the Holy Spirit in any fellowship or church in Singapore.
God is showing me that He has chosen Asia as the epicenter for the next might move of God—[He] has heard the cries of the Indonesian Church and seen the tears and the blood of her saints poured out like a river.” -Leslie Keegel, World Prayer Assembly
What About Singapore Christians?
I wonder if Singapore will be a part of this end-times revival?
Or are we only more concerned about whether we will be able to own a nicer car, a bigger house, a better job, where we will go for our next vacation soon or about our child’s academic achievements? Is this what we are now saying to God? “Not now, I am not ready, I have so much other things in my life now to fully focus on. Can you wait and get me later when I am in my 50s and have experienced more things in my life.”
Are we showing indifference to the things that are happening in this world? Or we so caught up in the worldliness of our lives in this world, and so busy with our day to day lives, that we are not exactly hoping for the day that Jesus will eventually come.
So is the fire for God fizzling out in Singapore or are Christians here deep in slumber?
Sure, we have many mega-churches and many Christians, and I have already expressed my opinion about what are taught in these churches.
The End Times event is real and getting closer with each passing day. This world is eventually going to pass away with the arrival of Jesus Christ and people who haven’t accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour will pass away with it.
If you are a Christian, are you confident that you will be one of those that Jesus will be coming back for?