New satellite church in Tumbang Liting (November 2018)
Perth, 14 January 2019.
First and foremost, Happy New Year 2019 and I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ with your loved ones.
For this first newsletter of the New Year, the Holy Spirit impressed on me to share His Word based on Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from your Law”. Interestingly enough, I also recalled reading an eighteenth century saying in the foreword of a book: “Just as the hand, held before the eye, can hide the tallest mountain, so the routine of everyday life can keep us from seeing the vast radiance and the secret wonders that fill the world”.
King David, in the scripture, asked God to open his eyes so that he could see the wondrous things of God around Him. I believe the word of encouragement for us in this season is to remember to pause and ask God, just as King David did, to let us see the wondrous work of His Hands. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily routine and busyness of our life that we forget about His Presence, His work and His grace and mercy. We need to behold the Presence of God in our life so that we may remain strong and steady in our faith even though at times, our personal circumstances or work situations or business environments, tell us otherwise.
As a servant of God, I get the opportunities to meet a wide spectrum of people from all walks of life. I was so encouraged to hear testimonies and good news of how God has intervened in some of the most challenging situations to deliver miraculous victories, divine business opportunities, healing, restoration of relationships, salvation and many other situations that touched on the cold face of daily living as a believer of Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord, that the God we worship and serve is also truly, Emmanuel the God who is with us.
For me who serve in the interior region of Katingan in Central Kalimantan, I am reporting good news. By the grace and mercy of God, I can see the “wondrous things from His Law”. I had just completed my three month round of mission trip, which included attending the regular church services as well as the Christmas celebrations in all of our 12 churches. In all of the churches, year 2018 was by far, the best year where we recorded the highest number of salvations and attendance in the Christmas services. Glory to God.
The Children Outreach Ministry, which is run by a team of our Bible College students, also ran back to back Christmas services in the villages. These too, reported record level attendance of children from as young as 4 years old. A majority of these young children and their parents are the “unsaved” who have not yet received salvation and this ministry team is working hard to win souls, one by one, for our Lord Jesus.
This outreach activity is an ongoing ministry which is funded from the Bible College. The team of students ran evangelistic activities every quarter of the year and in between the months, they carry out follow-up activities with the children. One of the follow-up activities include our students helping the children in their secular school works or any other extra-curricular activities. Our students are involved in helping the communities in many other ways and this approach opens the door to friendship and fellowship with the villagers. Our students who are predominantly local Dayaks blend well with the local communities and this has proven to be one of the most effective ways of successful evangelism.
Evangelism and winning souls are the core business of Dehes Ministries and we are thrilled with joy and delight that our churches, workers and students are stepping up to harvest souls for Jesus. We sense the momentum and upbeat of the wind of Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of the lost and we must not miss this golden opportunity to win souls for God.
In our church planting project, we planted a new satellite church in Tumbang Liting in November 2018. We started the construction work in June 2018 and hopefully this church will be completed the building in April 2019. The church was officially opened and dedicated to God in November 2018. The pioneering pastor of this church is Tripena, who is one of our Bible School graduates. Praise the Lord that our plan of educating and training our own human resources to anchor any churches that we build are bearing fruit. Tripena came to us in 2014 when we first started the Bible College. She has the enthusiasm, passion and heart to serve God but has no financial means at all to put herself through any formal Bible school education. We sponsored her 100% and in her own words, we gave her the once in a lifetime opportunity to transform her life as well as to fulfil the calling of God in her life too. Tripena applied herself whole-heartedly to her studies and training and so far, she has demonstrated that she is capable of growing the small church to which she is entrusted. This is one of the success stories of our achievements from the Bible College.
For 2019, we have earmarked two other locations (villages) at Tangkiling and Mirah. Two of our Bible College students who are in their final year of studies have started evangelistic activities in these two villages for the past 18 months. If the outcomes continue to be promising this year, by the grace of God, we plan to build a new satellite church in one of these villages this year.
For our campsite project in Kereng Humbang, we are at the end stage of the project where we are working to complete the outdoor amenities such as toilets and tents and constructing the stage (platform). We are praying for God’s provision to complete this work as soon as possible so that we can start the open air evangelism (outreach) activities by the end of this year or earlier.
For our Bible College, there is a pressing need to obtain the mandatory accreditation stipulated by the Ministry of Education Indonesia. One of the stated requirements to obtain the accreditation is that our College must have at least 6 staff members (lecturers) who hold Master’s degree qualification to teach in the College. We have identified 8 candidates from our pool of current staff members, pastors and students who are suitable and eligible to pursue their studies at the Master’s level. We have estimated that the total costs for these 8 candidates to complete their studies, as well as pay for all other essential costs to complete the whole accreditation process, would be approximately $45,000. We have prayed long and hard about this matter and came to the conclusion that the accreditation is a necessity for us to continue to run the Bible College as well as to comply with the new guidelines set by the Indonesian Government. We are praying for God’s provision so that this work can proceed in January/February 2019.
There is no doubt in my mind that we, as a ministry, are touching lives and winning souls for Jesus. We are not only impacting the lives of the lost by giving them the opportunity to receive salvation but we are also touching the lives of the pastors, workers and Bible College students who are currently serving with us in the ministry. Most, if not all of them, come from very poor background but today, they stand tall and proud of what they have achieved in their ministry and life.
I am so humbled and grateful to all the faithful and generous supporters of this ministry because without your continued support and care, we would not be able to do any of the work which we have been doing for the past 18 years. Your contribution is selfless and what you have sown have touched and impacted the lives of so many people in so many amazing ways. God knows all that you have done for Him and I believe He is the rewarder of your faithfulness, obedience and love for Him.
As we set and march forward into year 2019, I pray that our Lord will bless you and keep you, our Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:25). May you and your loved ones live in the blessings and divine favour of our Almighty God always.