A volcano in Indonesia threatened the departure of my flight from Singapore to Jakarta, but praise God, the weather was favorable and I arrived on schedule in Jakarta. I waited for our team to arrive for our 12:30am departure to Halmahera.
This trip was largely organized by “Lembah Pujian Ministry” from Jakarta. This group has a wonderful desire to reach the poor and so we took the opportunity to work together on this adventure in Jesus! They supplied the sound equipment and worship team… and the food. We came to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our combined entourage of 18 people flew all night to Ternate, Indonesia and then went by boat almost 3 hours to the island of Halmahera. Then it was another 4 hour drive to our first location, Tolisaor. This small town was very simple. No cell phone, few toilets, but wonderfully hospitable.
Daytime seminar were conducted over the course of two days. On the first day, I challenged pastors and church-workers to be active witnesses for Jesus. No matter what role you play in the church, we are all witnesses. The following day was Holy Spirit day where I taught on the Holy spirit and then prayed for those present to be filled with the Holy Spirit baptism and many received.
A fine Korean brother, Mr. Hong was along with all of us and he followed my morning sessions with a solid teaching on prayer. The participants were blessed and fully engaged with both of our sessions.
This evening meetings were reserved for evangelistic purposes. The hosting church was overflowing each night. Members of Lembah Pujian Ministry held a crusade for the children in the village before the main meeting. This was a time that was both exciting and fruitful.
The main service following had a very good response both nights as I preached the good news of Jesus Christ. Over the two night, more than 120 people responded to God’s offer of salvation and completed a decision card. The local churches were very supportive and I am sure that these new believers will be provided with excellent care and discipleship.
Immediately following the second evening, some of our team (including myself) departed at 1:00am embarking on a 4 hour drive across the island to Sahu; our next location. The possibility of rain made it necessary to leave early in the morning (1:30am) ahead of the rest of the ministry team. If it would rain in the morning, the roads would not be drivable and we would not make it to Sahu in time to conduct the seminars that day.
We arrived in Sahu at 5:15am …and began to get ready for the afternoon seminar after a few hours of rest.
Some young men attended the daytime seminars and I was able to personally challenge them as ministers of God on the island. We prayed for them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Large or small group, we still serve a big and magnificent God! At times, I think it is more beneficial to look someone in the eye and address the urgency of soul-winning and their need for their dependency upon the Holy Spirit.
The evening meeting was good for this small place. It was held in a church/pavilion in Sahu. Rain fell for hours up until the start of the meeting and so the crowd was packed tightly together under the shelter. Worship (again provided by those traveling with Lembah Pujian Ministry) was engaging and exciting. The people responded well to the message. Eight people received forgiveness of their sin that night. Jesus was glorified in them!
Saturday. The morning of the 5th day was spent traveling more than four hours to a location just outside a town called Sofifi. This was a camp of former refugees. As I was told, riots had broken out on this island ten years ago. As a result, many people had fled. The government eventually helped some of the people back to their island and made them feel welcome by providing some simple homes for them to live in. It was a unique situation for ministry, but all people need Jesus.
We held two open-air meetings with incredible energy. The people were very responsive; worshiping God with great enthusiasm. I preached the word of God and many people made a decision for Jesus on the first night. Not nearly as many on the second night, but we know that Jesus has been glorified in this small settlement.
Several notable healing miracles took place during this trip as well. One lady came in tears telling that the pain she had in her body for 5 years had disappeared completely after prayer. A man was healed of a back condition. Jesus is the Lord our Healer!
On Monday, we returned by boat to Ternate (the nearest city with an airport).
As we passed through the many islands on the way, I thought about the places we had been. The faces and lives that we had seen. Many of them have gone unnoticed, but not unnoticed to God. Jesus came and died for all people, even the unknowns. His blood removes all sin; even the unknown sins. We indeed have a great privilege to preach the good news of Jesus. The crowds on this outreach were not “large” but it was necessary that we went. Someone we do not know will now be in heaven …because we went.
…and there is so much “going” that needs to be done.
Jason is founder and evangelist for The Nations Hope and lead pastor of Life Tree Church in San Jose, California. He talks a lot.
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