By His Wounds

By Janet Kuhns Howard

Retired international worker to Indonesia

As they walked up the notched log into the smoky, dark longhouse, the men asked for the village leader. “We would like to ask your permission to talk to the people of your village,” they said. “We have important news that can change your lives.”

These farmers, who had walked many hours to come to this village, were completing an assignment for a TEE (Theological Education by Extension) course they were taking at the Galilea (C&MA) Church. Their assignment: “After you have studied what it means to follow the Jesus path, go and find someone who has never heard this news.”

As the students talked among themselves, they said, “All the nearby villages have turned from their fetishes to follow Jesus, so now what do we do?”

“I guess that means we have to walk farther to find villagers that need to hear this news,” they concluded.

After receiving permission from the village chief to tell his people about the good news, the students waited until evening, when the villagers had come back from their rice fields or fishing traps, had bathed in the river, and cooked their evening meal of rice and vegetables.

Test of Faith

As the believers began to repeat the Truth they had learned about who Jesus is and why everyone should choose His path, a lame villager spoke up. “If this ‘god’ you’re talking about is really so powerful, can he heal me and help me to walk again? I was climbing a tree three months ago to gather honey when the limb broke and I fell to the ground. Since then I haven’t been able to walk, work in my rice field, or help provide for my family.”

What a challenge to the faith of these young Christians. Believing God’s Word, they assured the man that God has all power to heal. They prayed for the lame man, but nothing visibly happened. “We’ll be back again in two weeks to tell you more about our God,” they said as they walked the hot jungle path home.

True to their word, they returned in two weeks. Meeting them at the top of the notched log was the man for whom they had prayed. “I can walk now!” he said with a big smile. “Your God has great power. Everyone in our village has seen what He did for me. Please come and tell us more about your God and how our lives can be changed by His power.”

Farmers, school teachers, and housewives throughout the villages of West Kalimantan were mobilized through their study of God’s Word in their TEE classes. In one river valley alone, through the witness of TEE students and the spread of TEE centers, 16 new churches were established in just two years.


Fast forward 20 years. Just last year I had the joy of being with Indonesia GKII (C&MA) church leaders in a conference held in Makassar, Indonesia, where I was teaching a modular course at Jaffray Theological Seminary. An entire evening was devoted to prayer, with an emphasis on evangelistic outreach in the provinces. Rev. Sebinus, the leader of the church in West Kalimantan where Bill and I spent 25 years, told how God’s people are continuing to reach out into new areas. Christ’s Church keeps on growing. Praise God—the impetus to spread God’s Truth is still part of the DNA of the Alliance church in West Kalimantan.


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