I mentioned in a previous post that attitudes in the Majority community in Indonesia have been hardening towards the gospel.
I will try to write about three contrasting and instructive stories I heard during my stay in Jogja (as people usually call Yogyakarta). Each is representative of a type of witness being undertaken by brothers and sisters with a heart for those who do not have much access to the gospel.
Firstly, the couple I mentioned here are working among hard-line reformists in one of the other large islands. They have pursued their ministry in a traditional way, despite the opposition from their Arabising neighbours, talking directly with them of Allah (as both Christians and Muslims alike call God), sin, Christ, and salvation.
“Many of the women have a full veil,” the wife told me, “but I am not afraid of them.” “They tell me, ‘You Christians are better than we are. We hide our discontentment under our veils. Inside we are angry and are always fighting with our husbands, not like you people.’”
I was humbled at their love for the Lord, their evangelistic zeal, and their evident love for the people, all far more important than strategy and methods of cross-cultural communication. It is easy for someone like me, who thinks a lot about evangelistic approaches, to miss the significance of ordinary believers taking steps of faith in difficult situations with their limited understanding.
“But,” as the Apostle Paul tells us, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Cor 1:27-29). We need to ponder that regularly.