2020 News

The Struggle to Share the Light in Sulawesi

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

As Christians it is part of our daily walk to share the light of Jesus with others. In some places, like Indonesia, that can be a difficult thing to do.

When Ferius started his mission to the people of Sulawesi, he learned that the majority of the population was Muslim. When greeting them, the first question he was asked was “What religion do you believe?” Answering honestly about his Christian faith was met with a cold response.

But Ferius knew that he had to try and be a light to this community.

Hery Susanto, Dean of the Christian Church Theological School Indonesia (CCTSI), told us about Ferius’ walk in faith, while he was visiting Australia last year. 

Growing up in Papua, Ferius’ father was a farmer and his mother was a basket weaver. They never went to college or university, but Ferius always dreamed that he and his siblings would be able to have a higher education.

“Ferius decided to come to CCTSI because he talked to an alumni in Papua about a dream he had,” Hery explained to us. 

“He failed to climb the mountain riding his motorbike, and he prayed that God would help him. He found out that when he let go of everything, God lifted him up to the top.”

“Is it a sense of call? Yes. He never went far before, but he felt that God was calling him to go far from his tribe and find something new for his life.”

Despite his passion, Ferius faced a lot of hardships coming to Indonesia. He needed to learn a new language, and struggled to talk with new friends. His wallet was stolen, and his debit card was hacked. He fell behind in his work, because he had never used a computer before.

“He tried to give up in the first year when he reflected on the sad things that happened to him. When he thinks about his family who is far away from him, he felt lonely and almost gave up. He cries and doesn't know what to do.”

But Ferius stayed strong and in his second year, God changed his heart. 

“He came to stay at the hospital, because one of his friends got in an accident. While accompanying his friend, I came to him and started making conversation as a friend. We shared jokes, life experience, and my dream about becoming a vocational doctor that works in rural places and got paid in bananas,” Hery smiles.

“His eyes shine bright and he says, "That's my place". I didn't know what made him so excited. Since then our relationship is getting closer, and he is willing to be a good student, and keep proving that he is able to reach our dream.”

And this is the path that led Ferius to Sulawesi, where he is now wondering, “How can I be a light to the people in this community?”

Because the majority of the population is Muslim, saying you are a Christian can mean having the door closed in your face. People can be unsure of whether to trust your intentions.

Ferius was not discouraged. He decided the best way to connect with people was to work hard with a genuine heart. So he met with another CCTSI alumni, who grows coffee in Sulawesi, and started working hard, selling coffee in the community. 

“Ferius came to work, not just for religion,” Hery says. 

“Since then he starts making a connection with people, and more and more people, they love him because he is diligent and works as ‘a good servant’ for them. They didn't prejudice him anymore.”

Eventually, people started to ask him: What is the Bible like? And who is Jesus?

“He always shares his testimony about how good Jesus is, and how valuable His sacrifice for us is. He keeps telling them that Jesus has changed his life from an introvert and low self-esteem, to a new man who is always positive in life.” 

“People around him are mostly thinking about earthly values like how to be rich, how to live happy in having many things. But the opposite, Ferius is showing an example by having a heart of giving, the heart of loving, heart of sacrificing for others. And he explains that Jesus is the one that he tries to follow His pattern.”

One family offered their home to be used as a church, so Ferius could preach and share the gospel with them. It is only small, but that church in Sulawesi is growing. Ferius has shared the light of Jesus to many, and they go on to share it with their friends and family!

“The light of Jesus has changed their life,” Hery says. 

“[They’re] not free from all struggles, but [have] boldness to face struggles and keep faithful and content, grounded in faith. Some had shared a testimony that, since they study the Word of God consistently, they could have self-control and awareness of who they are and what God desires them to do.”

You can take a step in your walk with Jesus, and help people like Ferius be a light to the community around them. Without resources people like Ferius cannot study and be sent to be the light of Christ to communities – some that have never heard the gospel before.

When you give to Walk For Hope, you are giving people like him the ability to go and stay in these communities. When your church comes together and raises an offering, you help small churches, in somebody’s home, stay strong and grow larger.

Please walk together with us, and help share the light to many more people around the world.

Church Partnerships Leadership Development

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