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Pastor Estefanus relates his story and heartache

Pastor Estefanus was not at the main church on that fateful Sunday when the bombs exploded at the Pentekosta Church Central Surabaya (GPPS), as he was preaching at another church in West Surabaya when it happened.

“I have known Martha, affectionately known as Bing Bing, for many years that we served in the ministry together. Tragically my wife died early last year of a heart attack. Bing Bing and I became close friends in the last three months, starting a relationship.” Pastor Estefanus describes Bing Bing as a dedicated and kind-hearted woman.

She had been a faithful servant of the ministry for many years, living in the dormitory with the Bible students, assisting as a mentor to them. Bing Bing had a Christian father and Muslim mother and converted to Christianity as a young adult and in 1987 became involved in the ministry.

She had never married and at 52 years of age had well given up on the idea. That was until her developing relationship with Estefanus, led to a proposal. They became engaged on Saturday 12 May but tragically, Bing Bing had her life cruelly taken from her the following morning as she was serving in the church, which was to greet the churchgoers as they arrived before the service.

Explosion in the church
Bing Bing was in the church entrance when the explosions took place and stood very little chance of surviving the magnitude of the blasts. When the first blast went off, she was wounded and reached out to help another more seriously wounded person. Minutes later, a second blast, as severe as the first, cruelly ended her life.

As her loved ones gathered to celebrate her life, it became apparent how popular and well-liked Bing Bing had been. The room was filled with friends discussing the tragedy, but they also talked of how she impacted their lives with her love for God and for others too.

Stories of her generosity towards others and her selflessness showed how her faith was demonstrated in her life.

A life with so much to offer, tragically taken away in an instant.

“I have seen this hatred for Christians before in Indonesia and it is frightening that they use their own children to wreak this havoc” Pastor Estefanus expressed.

He sits, head in hands, “I have many questions at this time, but not many answers as to where to from here for me. Even though it is tough for me, we must forgive. That is God’s way!”

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26