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In this issue, we are revisiting some of the people whose stories we have shared previously, to provide updates on them and their ministries.

DAVID’S SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH LEADS TO A FRUITFUL MINISTRY

David’s father was the local village Imam and held a strict Muslim regime in the family’s home. Like many young Muslim boys, when David turned 10, his father sent him to the local Islamic school where he was carefully instructed in the Koran and Islamic rituals. He studied at the school until he was 16.

One of David’s friends, a former classmate, had become a Christian. David’s curiosity about his friend’s faith encouraged David to start asking questions. David’s friend introduced him to an evangelist who explained the Gospel to him. At first, David refused to believe, as it went against everything his Muslim faith represented, but over time the persistent prayers of his sincere and kind friend paid off and David came to know Jesus for himself.

David was courageous enough to tell his father about his new faith; his father became very angry.

Taking a large walking stick, he angrily chased David out of their home and down the street, screaming as he attempted to strike him.

Neighbours were alarmed by the commotion: the Imam’s son had deserted his Islamic faith! David was now known as an apostate.

Though greatly hurt by his family’s treatment, David remained steadfast.

He started studying at an underground Bible training school. He quickly joined an evangelism team, using the powerful Jesus film as they travelled to share the Gospel.

Eventually, David returned to his family. He apologised to his father for hurting him but in spite of his father’s entreaties, he refused to renounce his faith. David went on to explain the Gospel to his parents; his mother heard with interest and she later became a Christian before her death in 2012. His father refused to be persuaded.

David continues in ministry; he works as a tour guide in a strictly Muslim area but he bravely uses his platform as a ministry opportunity. He has gone on to baptise many people and has started five Bible study groups in the area.

David did not give up on his father and prayed for him earnestly for 10 years. Praise God, David’s father finally received Christ and David’s new stepmother followed.

During the pandemic, David’s work as a tour guide has diminished, but he is not discouraged and he continues in his ministry work. VOM is helping to financially support this courageous frontline worker.

BOMB ATTACK BRING DELFIANA BACK TO GOD

Delfiana was the victim of a Muslim bomb attack upon her church in September 2011 in the central Java town of Solo. Many were injured in the attack.

Delfiana reluctantly attended church to keep her mother happy but deep down she truly wasn’t born-again. Instead of listening to the message from the pulpit, she would often play games on her mobile phone.

When the attack occurred, she was playing games on her phone less than two metres away from the bomb. Delfiana suffered head injuries and had to undergo an operation to repair her wounds.

Delfiana says the bomb blast changed her.

“When I look back to that day when the bomb went off, I can see how this incident has changed my life. I believe God gave me a second chance to return to Him.”

Since the attack she willingly and faithfully attends church. She has suffered no emotional trauma returning to the site of the attack; on the contrary, it is a continual reminder of God’s grace towards her.

Soon after, Delfiana became a worship leader in the church. “I long to serve Jesus and I thank Him for His redeeming love that He shone on my life. I have a desire to repay Him and one way I believe I can do this is by serving Him all my days.”

Today, Delfiana continues to live a life full of gratitude. Delfiana’s happiness has further been increased since she met Erik, a faithful Christian man, two years ago. They married in August.

Delfiana has asked for our prayers for her and her new husband, that the Lord would bless their marriage. She has also asked for prayers for the people of Indonesia

Delfiana, left, in 2014
Delfiana, second from the left

 

STANDING FIRM AMIDST THE STRUGGLES

Agus’s life has been one of constant rejection. He never met his father, and his mother did not want him. When he was still a baby, he was sent to his grandparents to be cared for. They fed and clothed him but showed no real love. In his adolescent years, Agus was bullied by locals for being a rejected son and consequently had few friends.

While Agus was growing up, although he hated it, his grandmother forced him to study the Koran. His rebellion grew against her. At times, when he refused to study, his grandmother would beat him in anger.

When he was 14, Agus was given the opportunity to make some money selling illegal alcohol. Eventually, he became immersed in the local drug culture. Three years later, a Christian cousin, who was worried about him, invited Agus to stay. While at his cousin’s home, Agus noticed a Bible amongst his cousin’s many books and felt inexplicably drawn to it. The cousin, a strong believer, readily granted Agus’s request to keep the Bible.

Agus read his newly acquired Bible eagerly and was filled with questions which led to many thoughtful and provocative discussions with his Christian cousin. Reading the Bible gave Agus a sense of peace as it lifted his burdens. Agus’s cousin took him to visit a VOM worker, who further explained to him what it means to be a Christian. He also explained the importance of leaving his old life behind. The VOM worker prayed for Agus.

Lying in bed that night, Agus felt a strange presence and beheld a dark shadowy figure; he was frightened but felt powerless to move or scream. The figure; he whispered to him, “I have been in you a long time, and now you want me to leave you?” Agus cried out, “Jesus help me!” Suddenly light filled the room and the shadowy form left him.

Only then was Agus able to move again and he felt a tremendous peace like nothing he had ever felt before. Since that remarkable night, Agus’s life has been transformed.

VOM worker prays for Agus in 2016
Agus and Jonathan


Agus started to attend a VOM-sponsored Bible school. He became interested in evangelism and became a strong witness for Christ.

In 2017, Agus married a Christian girl named Veronica. God blessed them with a baby boy in 2019 whom they named Jonathan. Tragically, Veronica died early this year. Agus now works as a labourer and his priority is caring for his son.

Agus stays in close contact with his grandmother who is determined to teach Jonathan the ways of Islam. Agus’s extended family and Muslim friends have also been trying to persuade him to return to Islam but Agus remains firm in his Christian faith, convinced that salvation can only come through Christ.

Agus has asked for prayer as he struggles with being a primary carer as well as a provider. Please pray for him and for Jonathan. Pray too for his grandmother.