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Indonesia: Stenley

Indonesia: Stenley

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(page 44)

This testimony is from the book Extreme Devotion. It contains 365 days of devotions using stories of persecuted Christians from around the world.

When Stenley got off the boat on the remote Indonesian island, he felt the spiritual darkness. The people practised a combination of witchcraft and Islam.

Stenley was fresh out of Bible school and ready for the work to which God had called him, reaching these island people for Christ.

Stenley preached boldly, calling people to turn to Christ and then to burn their idols and the relics of their old life. One Muslim burned his idol, but inside it was a scroll from the Koran. When radical Muslims heard of the burning of the Koran, they reported Stenley to area officials. Stenley was immediately arrested.

Although Stenley was horribly beaten and lay comatose, his mentor from Bible school, Pastor Siwi, came to see him and witnessed tears streaming from his eyes. Soon after, Stenley died from his injuries.

But even death could not end Stenley’s ministry. When his story was told in his home village, eleven Muslims accepted Christ as Saviour. Fifty three villagers made the decision to attend Bible school, seven of whom asked to be sent as missionaries to the very village where Stenley had died.

Hoping to extinguish the Gospel fire, village officials snuffed out Stenley’s life. But even in the midst of their violence, God’s hand was at work. Today the flames of the Gospel burn brightly in that village.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden” Matthew 5:14.

“Leave the light on.” That’s what all who follow Christ should aim to do when they leave this world behind. A committed Christian leaves the light on for a world that is lost in darkness. It’s called leaving a legacy. It seems we often hear of famous people who leave behind a legacy in film, sports, or some other public arena. However, while the lives of many Christian saints are extinguished in anonymity, their faithful lights still burn brightly throughout the world. Their legacy of faith, integrity, hope, and love cannot be doused by their death. In fact, death may even accelerate the flame. For a legacy like that is often willingly imitated by those who remain.

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On the Front Line

On the Front Line

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Just recently, on 25 April, Australia commemorated ANZAC day. ANZAC day is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during the First World War.

As I was watching historical footage and documentaries on a soldier’s life in trenches and the courage and sacrifice made during that war, my thoughts flashed back to the ultimate sacrifice our Lord Jesus made for us, as well as the millions of Christians who are paying the ultimate price for following Christ. They work in church planting ministries, sowing the seeds of the Gospel in the hearts of unbelievers, as well as training the next generation of Bible college students to further advance Christ’s kingdom. They are bringing the message of hope and peace to a world that has been at war and chaos since the fall of man.

Reading back over VOM Australia’s April 2016 newsletter made me understand how important it is as a Christian to support our brothers and sisters standing on the front lines of persecution. VOM’s Front Line Ministry helps deliver resources and training to assist pastors with sharing the Gospel in hostile areas. Our prayer and support is needed.
These courageous individuals are bringing hope and change by sharing Christ’s love in these dark areas of the world. They are soldiers of Christ. Their weapons? Just their faith and their Bible.

Whenever I read about Christians like Hadi in our newsletter, who was beaten for sharing the Gospel in India, I compare them to the ANZAC soldiers who died for our freedom. These believers are the unsung heroes of Christianity. They are bringing the power of the Gospel and the freedom that comes from it to every corner of the earth. May we continue to remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers. May our faith continue to be strengthened by their testimonies and their stories.

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