Upward Movement Ministries travelled to Indonesia from July 17- August 7, 2018. for a special mission trip at the invitation of the Rantung and Boyoh families and at the request of the South Minahasa Conference, North Sulawesi and the Imandi District, Bollaang Mongondow Mission.
The Rantung family apparently pioneered the SDA church East of Indonesia and are very passionate on evangelism, specially to their home land.
We were a team of six supported some nights by another team of 25 youths led by Pastor Stanley Luntungan from the Andrews University Indonesian church community. They stayed at a local school campus about an hour from where we were and ministered primarily there.
Our main goals were to lead out in two consecutive 7 days evangelistic series, conduct two sewing classes for marginalized Indonesian women, help with VBS programs and also help teach English classes primarily to the youth.
The first mtg we conducted took place in Eris, Tondano, Indonesia. Jeannette taught a sewing class to 25 of the local ladies who are deprived financially because they are either widows, single mothers, or their husbands are not working or earning very little. The program is designed to teach those with the desire and the aptitude a trade that they can start using right away to earn a living. She graduated all 25 students, some with prior experience in sewing or quick learners received an Advanced certificate and others with lesser experience a Beginners certificate. She provided 8 of the ladies with brand new sewing machines, a little start up fund in Rupias (their currency) and enough fabrics and sewing accessories to start their own businesses.
She donated 7 machines to the local church and they designated right away a contact person who will oversee a center of influence where the ladies of the community can continue to visit on a weekly basis to further their sewing skills and also study the word of God. The designated person will be reporting the progress of this center of influence to UMM on a monthly basis. We will also stay in touch with some of the ladies who received sewing machines and speak English to monitor their progress.
We teamed up with the local pastors and conference in an evangelistic series in title “ Unless the Lord builds the house” Each of the eight sermons delivered dealt with a different but profound fundamental truth based on Agape love. At our site we had an average attendance of 350-400 every night, With about 30-35 visitors. 25 individuals responded for baptism. We baptized 11 at our site. I was told that the president of Hope channel was conducting a similar meeting not too far away and they did not have any baptisms, so it was suggested that we would share some of the candidates with them.
On Friday the Conference president and the ministerial director, organized a special pastor training meeting which was attended by 31 of the local pastors, and some of the Conference officers. I spoke to the pastors for about three hours on how to do evangelism specially in the inner cities. We introduced the book “The Ephesus model” which is written by one of UMM members, Dr Jeffrey McAuliff . We provided those who were interested with an ebook copy in English. The Conference and the ministerial director are very interested in translating this book in Indonesian and are already planning to implement the ideas locally.
On Sunday we travelled to a new site. Our first meeting was truly a humbling experience for me. I was so tired from 6 hours of riding through winding, narrow and dangerous roads, but God is awesome, and we had a very good driver as well. We had half hour from the time we arrived at the village before the evening program started. We went to the house they prepared for us to stay for the duration of the program and it looked really nice, but no one lived in it for a while we were told and there was this terrible moldy smell in the bedroom they reserved for us. Little lizards were running the walls like they own the place, Jeannette took one look at me and I knew there was no way I was going to convince the sister to stay there-- I was kind of glad because frankly I had my doubts on staying there as well. But I had to preach, so we quickly changed. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of visitors we had for our opening night. We numbered 215 non-Adventist from the community. I was told the pastors went out with the church members and knocked on doors and invited folks and the hard work clearly was paying off.
The spot on the platform where I stood to preach that first night was wobbly and shaking, the heat was unbearable, bugs were flying everywhere, in my mouth, head, clothes, they were all over; I never had an experience like that before. The interpreter was doing his best, but clearly, he was struggling like I was, I later found out that he was not feeling well. Children were crying, and no one seemed to care. I felt the direct attacks of the enemy. I knew in my heart if this evangelistic was going to be successful we would need a lot of prayer and incredible persistence. This was the enemy’s turf and the warfare were real. Somehow God managed to win that opening night. Despite all that was going on in me and around me, Jesus came through the message in a big way. You can tell the people were blessed. There was a Holy excitement in the air and I was pleasantly humbled.
Two nights later under heavy rain we still had an incredible 425 visitors. The blessings were tremendous.
The fact that Jeannette was able to hold a sewing class in UUwon is in its self a miracle. At the last minute we had a large donation which in part facilitated the project, but we thank God for the smaller contributions as well for without them we would fall short.
The space allotted for the sewing program was small, cramped and very, very hot. To fit 20 machines into that space was a small miracle. The ladies were so excited, many showed up with their children, others with curious friends, we quickly had a nice social club which concerned us in that already cramped space. We had to quickly and very gingerly set some structures and boundaries. Communication was difficult at times, the ladies in UUwon aa a whole seem to have less than Eris, but they were even more eager to learn. They quickly did all the assignments and helped each other. They came in early and stayed up late, many of them never sewed or used a sewing machine before. By the grace of God all of them finished their final assignment which was to make a dress or a skirt. Jeannette graduated 20 ladies, gave away 13 sewing machines to deserving ladies and 7 machines were given to the Conference to start a center of influence under the leadership of the shepherdess of the churches. They will continue to teach ladies how to sew and develop other skills such as cooking classes, stop smoking, and bible study classes.
The nightly meetings went incredibly well. The visitors kept coming and they invited families and friends. From Wednesday through Friday we averaged, a never heard of, 600 visitors per night. This happened despite the fact that it rained almost every night, the tent was muddy and hot, and we had to deal with the nuisance of losing power every so often.
On Sabbath we ended the meetings with 18 baptisms and a wedding. Many, many more will be studying and preparing for future baptisms, but its on the streets of gold around the throne room of God it will be revealed the effectiveness of the minor the sacrifices we daily make to preach the sweet gospel of Jesus.
We deeply thank all those who participated in this program by praying, contributing financially, those who helped in putting together brochures, donated needed items and encouraged us in different ways. The success of this program would not be possible without your combine efforts. And lastly thank you again to Pastor Boyoh and his wife Linda Rantong Boyoh for their leadership and also inviting us to be part of such an awesome outreach program.