Dancing on the Edge of the Earth: 1980-1987 in Batu Ampar

 

Dancing in Sanggau, 1978

Dancing in Biang & Menjaya, 1979

Dancing in Batu Ampar, 1980-1987

Download our book Dancing on the edge of the Earth

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In 1980, sent by Pastor Bob Mahaffy and First Christian Assembly in Plainfield, New Jersey, we returned to Indonesia for a second time following our initial year of mission work there during 1978-1979. We wanted 
to take on a greater challenge from the Lord. “Nothing is impossible for God.” Could He this time use us to proclaim the kingdom of God in an unreached area known for great spiritual darkness and to make disciples there?

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Indonesia – where there are more followers of the Prophet than any other country on earth, in addition to much idolatry and witchcraft

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We were led to an international harbor known as Batu Ampar where ships came to load sawn timber from the ten busy sawmills scattered throughout the area.

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The economy of Batu Ampar was largely dependent upon the ten area sawmills.

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The Kalimantan Sari sawmill based in the town of Batu Ampar itself

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Above & below: Downtown Batu Ampar ca. 1980-81

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The house we purchased from which we would live and reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Townspeople came to the meetings we held in the little anteroom of our house

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Bible study in our home with early disciples

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We send them inland to share the gospel…mission posts were established there

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The inland village of Kemuning

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Home meeting in Kemuning led by disciples Asiu & Akong (below)
 

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Above & below: We tear down and rebuild our house with a large room in front for meetings, ca. 1983-84

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1983: Back to America for a break

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The Lord raises up fruitful disciples like A Lanyi who can minister with great power and effectiveness

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Asiu – a most faithful and fruitful disciple

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Above & below: the congregation continues to grow in our renovated home, ca. 1985

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Our children 

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Trained disciples take the gospel to an unreached neighboring town called Padangtikar

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The eventual church in Padangtikar

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The Lord provides a small speedboat for outreaches

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Our faithful long boat Immanuel bringing believers to church on Sunday

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Disciple Ameng leading a cell group for laborers in a sawmill

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Our original eight cell group leaders: counterclockwise from the top left – Akong, Ameng, Bakko, Chinko, (Lucille), A Lanyi, Amoi, Ibu Lis, Asiu

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Our neighbors, including a small mosque, complain to local authorities about our activity so we look to move to another location

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A gospel meeting in the town of Kubu about an hour away led by Sister Asuan

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The disciples plant a church in Kubu now pastored by early Batu Ampar disciple Brother Hotlan

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Our little houseboy Kit Chiang grew up to become very fruitful

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With Sarah & Esther on our front porch facing the hill, ca. 1986

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We purchased a downtown movie theater hoping to convert it into our church facility, but the townspeople rose up against us in vociferous protest. It reached the ears of faraway state officials who held a town meeting to discuss the future of the growing Christian congregation in Batu Ampar. At this meeting held on Good Friday in 1985, we were put to public shame (as was Jesus in the gospels) by the state official and townspeople, and ordered to build our church on the very outskirts of town next to a cemetery. But the Lord used a high-ranking Army officer who was a believer to save us.

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Eventually we built this temporary facility for the congregation to meet. Lucille, our firstborn daughter Esther, and A Lanyi are standing in front.

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For kindergarten our first-born Esther was homeschooled by her Dad

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Our Sarah taking a break ca. 1986

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Our children ca. 1986

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The Lord provided five motor scooters for our workers and for transporting people from the harbor to church on Sundays

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Bakko & his wife who would eventually take over as pastors after our departure

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“The house of the wicked man fell into the sea!” (For this dramatic testimony, please read Dancing on the Edge of the Earth.)

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Our youngest Christina still in her mommy’s tummy

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Christina later outside her mommy’s tummy 

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Above & below: our last Sunday service in Batu Ampar before our forced departure back to America with us in the front row

 

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A tearful goodbye at the harbor as we leave Batu Ampar to go home to America for good

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The present-day facility of the Batu Ampar congregation

During our entire seven years in Batu Ampar, we were generously supported by First Christian Assembly in Plainfield, New Jersey. After Pastor Bob Mahaffy retired, the church continued to support us faithfully under Pastor Fran Huber. We are most thankful to the Lord for them.

 

2017 Photos of Biang & Menjaya in West Kalimantan

 

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