Download our book Dancing on the edge of the Earth
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?
Indonesia – where there are more followers of the Prophet than any other country on earth, in addition to much idolatry and witchcraft
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.
The economy of Batu Ampar was largely dependent upon the ten area sawmills.
The Kalimantan Sari sawmill based in the town of Batu Ampar itself
Above & below: Downtown Batu Ampar ca. 1980-81
The house we purchased from which we would live and reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Townspeople came to the meetings we held in the little anteroom of our house
Bible study in our home with early disciples
We send them inland to share the gospel…mission posts were established there
The inland village of Kemuning
Home meeting in Kemuning led by disciples Asiu & Akong (below)
Above & below: We tear down and rebuild our house with a large room in front for meetings, ca. 1983-84
1983: Back to America for a break
The Lord raises up fruitful disciples like A Lanyi who can minister with great power and effectiveness
Asiu – a most faithful and fruitful disciple
Above & below: the congregation continues to grow in our renovated home, ca. 1985
Trained disciples take the gospel to an unreached neighboring town called Padangtikar
The eventual church in Padangtikar
The Lord provides a small speedboat for outreaches
Our faithful long boat Immanuel bringing believers to church on Sunday
Disciple Ameng leading a cell group for laborers in a sawmill
Our original eight cell group leaders: counterclockwise from the top left – Akong, Ameng, Bakko, Chinko, (Lucille), A Lanyi, Amoi, Ibu Lis, Asiu
Our neighbors, including a small mosque, complain to local authorities about our activity so we look to move to another location
A gospel meeting in the town of Kubu about an hour away led by Sister Asuan
The disciples plant a church in Kubu now pastored by early Batu Ampar disciple Brother Hotlan
Our little houseboy Kit Chiang grew up to become very fruitful
With Sarah & Esther on our front porch facing the hill, ca. 1986
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.
Eventually we built this temporary facility for the congregation to meet. Lucille, our firstborn daughter Esther, and A Lanyi are standing in front.
For kindergarten our first-born Esther was homeschooled by her Dad
Our Sarah taking a break ca. 1986
Our children ca. 1986
The Lord provided five motor scooters for our workers and for transporting people from the harbor to church on Sundays
Bakko & his wife who would eventually take over as pastors after our departure
“The house of the wicked man fell into the sea!” (For this dramatic testimony, please read Dancing on the Edge of the Earth.)
Our youngest Christina still in her mommy’s tummy
Christina later outside her mommy’s tummy
Above & below: our last Sunday service in Batu Ampar before our forced departure back to America with us in the front row
A tearful goodbye at the harbor as we leave Batu Ampar to go home to America for good
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.