WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, with a total of more than 225 million Muslims, or about 13% of the world’s Muslim population. While most Indonesian Muslims practise an animistic and superstitious version of Islam known as ‘folk’ Islam, proponents of Islamic extremism have encouraged and engaged in violence against Christians. The wickedness of these attacks has led many Muslims to question their faith and to be more open to the Gospel. Bold evangelists are taking advantage of this opportunity to share the Gospel and lead many Muslims to faith in Christ.
Pentekosta Church Central Surabaya May 2018
VICTIMS OF TERRORISM REMAIN STEADFAST
More than three years after suicide bombers killed innocent victims at three Indonesian churches, the survivors continue to hold fast to their faith.
On 13 May 2018, 15 people were killed, dozens wounded, and the Pentekosta Church Central Surabaya was heavily damaged, in targeted church bombing attacks in Surabaya, Indonesia. ISIS claimed responsibility.
Fenny Suryawati was standing at the bottom of a staircase near the main entrance to the church when a black minivan rammed the church’s gate, striking two parking attendants. Five bombs inside the vehicle erupted into a ball of fire, igniting the petrol tanks of five cars and thirty motorcycles parked nearby.
As a result of the bombing, Fenny suffered burns to 85% of her body. She recounted to Voice of the Martyrs the horrific details of the event when her body was alight and how she scurried to find a tap to douse the flames. Her daughter, Clarissa, also sustained injuries, although relatively minor.
The generosity of many believers made it possible for VOM to respond to Fenny’s immediate medical needs, which included several skin grafts and medications.
Today, Fenny’s recovery continues and she has yet more surgeries to endure. The surgery to remove some large keloidal scars around both ears has had to be delayed because of the pandemic.
While the journey to recovery has been a long and challenging process, Fenny wants God to use her story and pain for the advancement of His kingdom. When sensing people staring at her scars, she prayerfully asks Him, “How can I be used in this situation?” In response to their enquiries, she eagerly tells them about Christ. Clarissa, who also has a heart for others, hopes to be a doctor one day so she can help those who suffer physically, as in the case of her own mother, whom she prays for daily.
A MUCH-LOVED BROTHER CONTINUES TO BE MISSED
Daniel, 14, attended church faithfully every week. Following car parking duty for the first service, he would then head off to the youth service. As part of the music team, he played the drums and taught other young people to play as well. He loved being a part of the team.
As the black van tried to force its way into the car park, Daniel commanded the driver to stop. The van continued to the front entrance of the church where it exploded with such force that force that the entrance awning disappeared; the whole building rocked violently, sending churchgoers everywhere with the impact. Daniel’s life was cruelly and instantly taken away that day.
Daniel’s sister, Novi, still struggles with the loss of her beloved brother. Every week she visits her brother’s grave with flowers. She no longer attends Pentekosta Church Central Surabaya as the memories remain too painful. John 3:16 is an ongoing comfort to Novi as it helps her to express her heart’s desire to be reunited with her brother. She knows how much Daniel loved the Lord Jesus and takes heart that she will see him again. Novi now attends another church near her home, where she is one of the worship leaders.