- 4th most populous nation in the world
- Most populous Muslim nation in the world
- Archipelago spans 3000 miles east to west, same as continental USA
- Relatively peaceful despite periods of strife over communism, democracy & Christian-Muslim conflict
MINISTRY UPDATE FROM MAKASSAR
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; (I Timothy 1:12)
By Maruli (Agus) & Yokhe Marpaung
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! First of all, we want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior for all His grace and blessings. God has enabled us until now to survive and enjoy the ministry entrusted to us. Second, we want to thank each of you who have prayed for and supported us in this ministry. My wife, Yokhe, and I have been in Makassar city (South Sulawesi) for 2.5 years. By God's grace many things have been accomplished in the ministry. Before we arrived in Makassar, we made it our commitment to give our very best effort in the first two years to recover the ministry from some difficulty so that the members would be encouraged to arise and continue to be a blessing to the entire area of South Sulawesi. We planned and organized four evangelistic crusades in Makassar and Mamasa, sponsored retreats to the beach, and developed children's programs. Through these kinds of ministries we followed up with Bible studies. The result has been an increase in attendance during Sunday services from 35 adults and young people to 60, excluding children. Most of the new members are young people. Yokhe is committed to the ministry of children. Through prayer and the commitment of the members in the Makassar church, we now have a Sunday School room for children. Before, the children studied in a small area in front of the church without an outside wall. This picture shows the newest renovations of our church building in Makassar. We are now able to have weekly Sunday services, thanksgiving services, evangelistic crusades, weddings, and other ministries. We also plan to offer to those living in Makassar, an extension class from Anderson Bible School. Please pray for this ministry opportunity so that through this extension class we may equip more people to come to God's ministry around South Sulawesi. (October 2012 is the first class). I recently finished my second master's degree. In 2006, I graduated from Evangelical Theological seminary in Yogyakarta with a Master of Theology, majoring in Missiology. And, last September 15, 2012, by God's grace, I graduated from Jaffray School of Theology with a Master of Christian Education. I thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity and enabling me to accomplish this program. God has challenged me to put my education to work and to do more in the Lord's work. I pray that what I have learned will be useful in the ministry, because I want everything in my life to be for God's glory. Since February 2012, I have been teaching in Anderson Bible School at their main campus. Every semester I travel to Lembean to teach. In September 2012, I taught Homiletics, Church Management and Systematic Theology. I am excited to share with you a new ministry in Pomalaa, Southeast Sulawesi. Brother Aris Tandi, a new graduate from Anderson Bible School, is ready to go to the mission field. He stayed with us in Makassar for two months preparing for this new assignment. Our young people held a special prayer meeting for Brother Tandi and the ministry in Pomalaa. Please pray with us that he may proclaim the gospel and many people will come to the Lord and accept Jesus as their personal Savior. These are the ministry updates from Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Please continue to pray for us. We can't do these things without support and prayer from believers. The next ministry that we plan is publishing a daily devotional book, entitled, PEACE. First, we will print 100 books and distribute them to all our contacts in south, west and southeast Sulawesi and Maluku Province. We need $100 monthly for six months. After this time, we are sure that there will be committed people to support this project. Finally, I want to thank you for your attention. If you want to see the ministry updates of Grace Bible Church of Makassar, please visit the website: www.gbcmakassar.blogspot.com.
May God bless each of us and be glorified through this report.
Ministry Trip to Indonesia
When we arrived in Medan on Dec. 9, we were met by several pastors as well as our guide on this new journey, Bro. Panjaitan and his wife Shirley. We got lunch and then were off on a 5.5 hour drive up to the largest lake in Indonesia – Toba Lake.
That night as people arrived, those there sang for several hours, then a devotional from me on unity; all was a real blessing. Then it was off to bed by midnight or so. Being so high in the mountains, it was very cold for SEA but refreshing for us. I spoke several times on Sat. and then once on Sunday. The subject matter was unity. This retreat involved people from Medan and some of the hill people. Several churches were represented and the desire was to bring them under the ministry of Gereja Alkitab Anugerah (TCM – Indonesia).
From the lake we drove another 5 plus hours to where Pst. Panjaitan grew up and met his sister and another pastor who is one of his relatives. I was able to pray for him and his ministry, then we left for another 5 hour drive thru very heavy rain, on narrow mountain roads, in the dark, until we reached the home of Dr. Sinaga, a new contact given by the pastor we had just met. This doctor is a wonderful Christian man and was very helpful for me, as I became sick that afternoon.
Here in Siantar, Pst. Panjaitan is praying for land on which to build a school. After looking at the land, we drove on into Medan and stayed with the doctor’s son, Michael, who is also a doctor. Pst. Panjaitan took us to another building owned by his brother also, to see if that would be a possible location for a school or church. There is a clear desire to get a Bible school established in the north area of Sumatra.
We flew down to Jakarta on Thursday evening and stayed with Lexie and Laura Gerung and their daughter, which was a real blessing. Friday night we were invited to go to a Bible study they have thru Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), where 5 couples and several singles meet weekly. After a delicious meal, Lexie asked if I would speak on Christmas and by the way, he said, “Danni is here for the first time and she is a Muslim.” After a quick prayer, I taught from Gen. 1:1 and John 1:1, leading into the Romans Road. After I was done I asked if there were any questions and Danni had several, which I answered. Then I asked her if she would like to receive Christ as her Savior and Lord. She said, “Yes, God has been leading me and drawing me to Himself. I want to receive Him now.” So we went thru some verses and she acknowledged that she believed what these verses taught and was saved. For almost ¾ of an hour she bubbled over with joy in telling the group all that God had been doing to draw her to Himself. What a thrill to see God work in this specific way.
Saturday afternoon we moved our things to Pst. Panjaitan’s church where we would stay for the duration of our time and Judy spoke at a women’s meeting and I spoke at a youth meeting. The next day was Sunday and I shared again on Unity and the need to forgive others to keep out of Satan’s trap. Then early Monday morning we headed back to PJ to get ready to leave the next day for Chiang Mai.
Seventy-four Grace churches are now established in Indonesia from Nias Island in the west to Jayapura, Papua in the east. These churches are joined together through a registered, national organization: Gereja Alkitab Anugerah (Grace Bible Church). The larger and more established churches are located in the cities of Manado in Sulawesi (Celebes), Jakarta and Surabaya in Java, and Balikpapan in Kalimantan (Borneo). Since 1979 when GAA became officially recognized, 17 provinces of Indonesia have opened and plans are always underway to expand into new areas.\
The Director of GAA churches in Indonesia is Pastor Mangaranap Panjaitan elected March 5, 2011. Dr. Frans Tamarol, the first director, now resides in USA. Pastor Ruddy Akay, GAA Director 2000-2008 was a manager of an international corporation for many years but resigned to serve full-time and now pastors a Jakarta congregation. Pastor Marthen Kambey was director from 2008-2011.
Anderson Seminary Manado (STTAM)
The first Bible training schools are now joined together as STTAM and focused in Lembean, near Manado, A large donation of land is being developed with additional classroom and dormitories under construction. Pastor Audy Ngantung has been named Director of STTAM and he works with a full roster of teachers. The seminary presents a curriculum of three years with an added period for internship training for dedicated men and women who plan to further the evangelism and church planting outreach.
- Peace in Indonesia and courage to continue advancing the ministry
- Students, present and future, in training at Lembean seminary
- Follow up for new areas and provinces
- Wise leadership for Director Marthen Kambey and those working with him
Bible teaching literature being translated into Bahasa Indonesia
- Open opportunity for a teacher from abroad to help in developing the seminary
- Southeast Asia Grace Conference planned for 2012 on the island of Bali
Missionaries Vernon & Darlene Anderson left the Philippines in 1973 to begin a new ministry for TCM in Indonesia. They were quickly contacted by Freddy Siwi, medical student at Sam Ratulangi University in Manado. Siwi led a group of college students who had recently been saved via the gospel ship, M.V. Logos, and they were hungry for sound, Bible-based teaching. These students constantly shared their faith with others who then joined the fellowship under the teaching of the Andersons. Because of the boldness of this band of committed youth, they were persecuted by both religious and civil leaders. In 1975 the group organized as YIA (Grace Gospel Foundation).
In July 1979 the Andersons were forced to leave the country, but they left behind a core of competent leaders able to continue the work and guide the group to further expansion and development. As these college students finished their schooling, they found employment throughout Indonesia and their enthusiasm for evangelism and the truth of God's Word followed them. In this same year TCM sent Mario Indino, a Filipino pastor, back to Manado where he married Ella, one of the active YIA members, and they worked with Pastor Kambey and others to start a Bible institute to prepare pastors to fill the openings for leaders in the upcoming congregations. Indinos were forced to leave in 1983.
Thus strong, maturing Indonesian believers were once again left to carry on the ministry. Thanks to able leadership by Dr. Frans Tamarol and others, as well as newly-trained grads of the Bible Institute, the work flourished, utilizing literature and regular Bible study materials published in the official language, Bahasa Indonesia. The Bible Institute and GAA office were transferred to Jakarta in 1987 to the rented house of Dr. Tamarol.
In 1986 Luz Gaddi, Bible Woman from the Philippines, entered Indonesia as a tentmaker missionary, teaching English Literature in universities in Surabaya and Jakarta. During open time she taught Sunday School seminars and classes for the Bible School. Luz assisted as proofreader for the Translation Committee on projects of Dispensational Theology and Bible Truth, by Chas. Baker and other recently published doctrinal books in Bahasa Indonesia.
Joel and Darcy Molina also joined the Jakarta teaching ministry in 1991, but they were forced to leave in 1993 because of visa problems.
In 2009 GAA celebrated their 30th Anniversary with visitors from Philippines, Malaysia and Executive Director Ben Anderson from USA. During that ceremony in Jakarta, Johan Pandelaki, Head of the Translation Committee, presented the completed Dispensational Theology.
In May 2010 Ben & Joyce Anderson along with leaders from TCM Philippines attended RAKERNAS II in Balikpapan. Eighty pastors joined this planning workshop. Joyce was asked to cut the ribbon on a beautiful new church building in Tarakan, East Kalimantan, one of the first places reached by the original teams who went out for evangelism in Manado.
2012 SouthEast Asia Grace Conference
TCM will hold the Southeast Asia Grace Conference in May 2012 on the island of Bali, well known for its Hindu-Bali culture and international tourism.