FROM THE DESK OF DAVID ABBOTT
This letter is somewhat different in that it reports from short visits in three countries with a few days home in between each one. Indonesia was the longest stay being twelve days. There again I joined with my missionary friends from Japan and they had with them four children from their church aged seven to thirteen. This meant I was able to build into them and begin to equip and use them as a ministry team. They were ready for the challenge and rose to it beautifully, they grew spiritually in leaps and bounds and are now eager to continue as my ministry team when I am in Japan in April, May this year.
There plans changed at the last minute and we didn’t go to the Island of Kalimantan as last year but stayed in and near the capitol Jakarta. Most meetings were pioneer for my ministry to see what God opened for the future and He has certainly done that. We started with the only return visit to a church in Banduny where unfortunately a split had occurred during the year and left its resulting problems. Also that area is a particular Muslim stronghold and we were not allowed to walk just a couple of hundred yards down the road from the church to the Pastor’s house, we had to be driven, as the locals could see us as foreigners come to pollute the area with Christianity and the church pay the price. The children there, though less in number and in confusion over events were none the less hungry and responsive to the call from God to get up and get going. The ministry team were able to get well involved in their first go at one on one ministry as every child responded for prayer and they also performed a drama before I ministered.
Back in Jakarta we had three days in a church run school in a very poor area where women were washing clothes and people bathing in a very murky polluted river. Each day we had a different age group, seven and eight, nine to eleven and twelve to fourteen and we had a free hand to teach. The young ministry team got fully involved with a drama and one gave a testimony each day. The children were like sponges soaking up every word and the first two days groups almost all responded for salvation which kept the ministry team very busy praying for them.
The second day the presence of God was so strong in the classroom while the children prayed the sinner’s prayer and were prayed for, many witnessing to feeling His touch. A few were wiping away tears and most were not from Christian families. There were several there who God highlighted in my heart but I felt now was not the time for words for them. The pastor told us later this was the first time the gospel message had been preached and children given opportunity to receive Him into their lives. He has longed for this as his vision has always been for the school to first build the spiritual and second the academic. So he has asked me to return to the school every year and help him build his vision and go on into the fullness of the Holy Spirit and more. The final day was a new age group added to the school and a higher percent Muslim and so we had to share the gospel more carefully and wisely and no invitation for prayer given. We had a number of one on one meetings with different pastors and small group meetings filling our time. Dates are set for next year with definite visits to Banduny and the school in Jakarta so please pray that God will open the other doors that He wants. Sitting like the ham in the sandwich was Tetbury, just a drive away from home. This is always very special as I am working with a man who I became friends with when he was eleven and now he is a father of teenage children the eldest at university. The time there was definitely high quality, it was a wide age range but every meeting everyone responded, one didn’t make it public but she was very shy and responded inside. Judging by the feedback the adults there helping were just as challenged and blessed as the children. I left with a definite feeling that some very important work had been done by God in those lives that will change them.
The finale was WOW. Not only was it the only time I had free to go for an extra trip to India and the only time I could get air miles tickets but it was without a doubt God’s ordained time. He packed more than one could imagine into just two and a half days. To start with on day one all children should have been in school but it was recently made a public holiday because of being one of the election days. Then my final part day the school allowed the children to have the day off for my meetings. So I was easily able to finish off the series of rejection seminars with the orphanage children which is what I went to do. Those final seminars were precious the presence of God was so strong The children continued to open up on hidden secrets of abuse and seek to be set free.
The final seminar on forgiveness which we concluded by taking the communion together, was the hardest one but I saw something break in their lives and many showed visible signs of a new freedom and joy from then on. God hadn’t finished yet, a number of local Pastors meet in the orphanage every week for prayer and so hear and pray for my ministry. They asked if they could bring
children from their churches over the weekend to receive ministry. So on Saturday they brought one hundred village children and Sunday one hundred and thirty six. They sat and soaked up the word and as they were all new to me I took the two days to go through the way of salvation and then made an invitation in the last meeting. Almost every one responded, they all prayed the sinner’s prayer en-mass and then were prayed for individually by the young ministry team from the orphanage. The local Pastors sat amazed watching children ministering to children but saw what it did for both sets of children and left thrilled. There is still more, over the two days forty five ex-residents of the orphanage came back to see me and share their lives with me. I was speechless at the honour and blessing they were giving me and the wonderful examples of God taking the ‘nothings’ of this world and making them ‘somethings’. Every one of those forty five are still walking with God and are today either studying in college, finished studies and have full time jobs or went straight into jobs. They are all doing something including one disabled boy, and in India they usually don’t get regular jobs, but he has a job training to be a Clerk in the office of a big transport company. They are mostly are from the untouchable class and often don’t get to do the sort of things above.
On the train back to Chennai I had a phone call from the Principal of a school, as a result of the meetings with the village children. He has asked me to go to his school, 650 strong, when I am there in August. He says they need Jesus! So there it is, God has more than done it again in every place and all glory and honour goes to Him, I am just so privileged to be allowed to have a small part in it along with you. I know that I could not have kept up the pace and done what was done without your vital part in it. Thank you, thank you so very much for all you did in your part of these trips. I pray that God will mightily bless you as a result, I have the blessing already seeing it all happen first hand.
Much, Much Thanks & Love