JOhn & Helen Dekker
As you likely will remember, my official job description with Partners International is Missions Consultant. That in itself may not mean very much to you, so allow me to explain a little as to how this relates to Partners International. As I mentioned the end of last year, we are working with some 55+ national ministries among some of the hardest to reach people groups through many national evangelists and missionaries in the world.
Some of those people groups live in Indonesia. As you know, Helen and I worked there for many years among the Dani people of Papua and saw thousands of people (stone-age when we arrived there) turn to Christ and then go on to send their own missionaries to as yet other unreached tribes – amazing! But in many other parts of the country the Muslim people have proved very resistant to the Gospel.
These are the people groups we are now engaging through the national ministries we are working with. Just last year alone close to 12,000 people had a chance to hear the good News of the love of God and 771 put their faith in Christ.
In two parts of the country, we are seeing these new believers reach others. In one area they have planted churches up to the 4th generation and in another part up to the 5th generation. What I mean is that a new believers from a Muslim background have planted a church (first generation) that has in turn reached others that have planted a church (second generation), etc. Very exciting!
Whereas in previous years I was mostly involved with Partners International in the ministry of teaching and training the national missionaries – and that took me all over the world – these days I am mainly involved in doing all we can to see to it that at least the ten fundamentals of the Gospel are proclaimed by the national evangelists and get through clearly – a huge task! Too often we have found that only a bare minimum is proclaimed: You are lost; God loves you; Jesus paid for your sins; follow and obey Him and you'll have eternal life after the body dies. That is true of course, but there is so much more!
Please pray for these 771 who have come to Christ (and many more since the end of last year) that they will become a part of the great harvest force in these difficult times in Indonesia where aggressive Islam is on the rise.
Please pray for much wisdom and patience for me as I work with our Area Directors who live in those countries where we spread the Gospel as they help the many ministry leaders to see to it that the Gospel is proclaimed without leaving out basic Gospel truths like: who really is Jesus? What is a Christian? Etc. etc. So important!