FROM THE DESK OF DAVID ABBOTT
Ministering to Indonesian Children in the Slums
This trip to was very short (a flying visit!) but mightily powerful. Short because (Ando) who arranges this trip has been until now a missionary in Japan but that ended with this trip. Ando, his wife Catherine and their three young boys have now moved to be full-time missionaries in Indonesia. So, their year was busy, plus fulfilling normal responsibilities plus making major decisions and closing their affairs in Japan. They didn’t want me to cancel this trip mainly because of the army of children that God is raising up in the slum and we all agreed.
The city hasn’t changed it still takes just as long to fight your way through the heavy traffic jams getting to the location of the slum. Getting inside the slum to the school is just as difficult after tropical storms. This year, each day the winding foot path from the road between the houses to the school was almost unpassable on the way in and unpassable on the way out. When it rains the river which among other things they bath and wash cloths in floods. Going in we could wade through some parts and balance on low walls the rest. Coming out two teachers had motor bikes so they ferried us two at a time on the back of the bikes. Arriving each day, we were met by a tremendous atmosphere of peace and the presence of God made it feel like another world. Each day we had a different age group all day so that by Friday we had ministered to every pupil in the school.
DAY ONE – Responding to Salvation Call
Day one, was the six’s and seven’s, a small group but for many their first time with us. They sat cross-legged on the hard-tiled floor in over thirty degrees of heat (86 degrees Fahrenheit) with the wall fans having no cooling effect, just circulating the hot air. They sat very still every meeting then after the final one everyone responded for salvation. I am used to hearing children praying the sinner’s prayer together but this time there was something special about it, it was like music to the ears. Then as the team laid hands on them to pray some were so caught up with God that when the team member finished they stood dead still, eyes closed for ages instead of sitting down.
DAY TWO – Holy Spirit Touch
Day two, was eight and nine-year-olds, ones we have been ministering to for three and four years and so they are really growing in God now. This year for the first time they pushed the chairs and tables aside and sat on the floor. This was much better, at tables to their mind it was too much like school, on the floor they could more easily shut that out and be in meeting mode. They have always been open and responsive but this year all the team agreed, words can’t properly describe the way those children responded. I ministered on shame and inferiority, which they opened too and came for prayer. I watched as the team ministered to them and you could visibly see the spirit of God touching their lives. It truly was a heart touching sight to see. We ended forty-five minutes after school finished and even then when we asked “do you want us to stop so you can go home” there was not one descending voice, everyone wanted to continue, so we did.
DAY THREE – God is building an Army
Day three, was ten and eleven-year-olds the ones we have had the most input too and it showed. Everyone testified to knowing Jesus was really in their hearts and their faces confirmed it. I shared on the need to continually walk with Jesus and some of the costs and still at the end everyone stood for prayer as they wanted to follow whatever. During the night, I felt God say He wanted the young people on the team to push the boat out more. I felt the plan was that they not just pray for the children who respond but also look to God that He would let them sense that one of those they prayed for had a call on their lives. They rose to it and after the final meeting, they brought to the front the one that God had shown them, which God also confirmed in my heart. I explained to the children why they were there then the team left to minister to the children as God led them, both parties were elated afterward. God is building an army, but could it be a small seed of a church beginning to grow for the future? There is no Christian church in that slum!
Church Plant in Jakarta
The final weekend was spent two hour’s drive from Jakarta again helping with a new church plant. I knew the pastor, I had worked with him in a church in Jakarta where he was the pastor to the young teens. This last year he’s married and within four months he was sent to pastor this new church and he wanted some help. We all ministered in the youth and teens meeting, they were hungry and we ministered to a number at the end. They left me there and I shared in the morning service followed by a session with the children’s leaders. At the start, they were a discouraged, despondent group but the pastor said they left with new looks on their faces, so God gave them what they needed.
Much love ~ David
PS – Your words of encouragement mean so much, and those of you God raises up as an intercessory prayer arm for the children is part of our team ministry. Trusting God for his provision each month, to reach the children of the world.