John Wilson, Executive Director of Voice of the Martyrs, recently travelled to Indonesia to meet with persecuted Christians. We caught up with him recently to find out more about his trip and give you an exclusive insight into what life is like as a Christian in Indonesia.
Q: Tell us about the situation for Christians in Indonesia?
Indonesia is the most populous Islamic nation in the world. Despite constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion, Christians in some regions face many problems from Muslim communities. There are reports of church services being stopped, church construction disallowed and church buildings demolished! Have these challenges stopped their passion to proclaim Christ? Never!
Indonesian evangelists are active in sharing the Gospel. Despite the opposition of Islamic leaders, many Muslims are coming to know Christ.
Please pray for these courageous evangelists who face significant opposition to the Gospel.
Q: Was there one believer who particularly encouraged your faith during your recent trip to Indonesia?
In January, I met one courageous believer who really touched my heart.
Mr Pindongo was a Christian bus driver in Indonesia. One day, he found a small parcel left on one of the bus seats. He had no idea it was a bomb. When he picked it up it exploded in his hands.
He lost both his hands, injured his right knee badly and suffered injuries to his lower body. The road of rehabilitation was long and difficult, but with assistance from our VOMedical program, Mr Pindongo has recovered from his injuries and adjusted to the loss of his hands.
His faith in Christ has helped him overcome the many obstacles he has had to face. I was so encouraged by his determination to battle through these difficulties.
Today, Mr Pindongo is active in VOM’s evangelism programs in Indonesia. He recently returned from distributing Bibles to a remote Christian village with a team of VOM workers. He travelled for more than 7 hours on the back of a motorbike to reach a village desperate for God’s Word.
As I saw photos and videos of this Bible distribution, it was clear he enjoyed every moment of his adventure. He said to me, ‘I feel fulfilled in myself to serve God despite the setback I have encountered in my life.’
Q: How can we pray for persecuted Christians in Indonesia?
If there is one thing Australian Christians can do, it’s to begin to pray regularly for Indonesian believers.
Every day there are many Christians persecuted for their faith, but they stand strong united in Christ despite the challenges. When their churches are closed, they continue to meet to worship God in their homes. The book of Acts has certainly come alive to the many believers in Indonesia who are forced to find these new places of worship. Please join with me in prayer for them.