As many of you know, I just made a Vision Trip to the nation of Indonesia. A group of us were looking to partner with some church planters in that region. I’m going to take a few posts to talk about what we saw, did, and learned as we were on the island of Sumatra.
It was a very tiring trip. It took about 24 hours of travel time on three different planes. I found that it’s more exhausting sitting on a plane for six hours, than working at a job.
As I relate to you the stories about our trip, you’ll probably notice that I don’t mention any of the names of the people involved in the ministry there. That’s because Indonesia is a Moslem nation. Therefore, I don’t want the lives or ministries of these native workers to be in jeopardy. So they must remain anonymous.
Sumatra is the sixth largest island in the world. We arrived at the city of Medan. It’s the largest on the island with 13.5 million people.
What first hit me was the “lostness” of the area. It’s a very dark place, spiritually. There are many Moslem, Buddhist, and Hindu influences in their culture. Of course, that doesn’t include the native tribal religions.
As I looked into the eyes of the crowds of people bustling by me, I was hit by the look of resignation in them. The average salary there would only translate to a few hundred dollars a year in US currency. It’s as if they know that their situation is not ideal, but they don’t see any way out of it.
But there’s more to the people of Indonesia than that simple snapshot. They are very warm and hospitable to visitors. Whenever they shake hands in greeting, they lightly brush their chest with their right hand. This means, “welcome; meeting you brings joy to my heart”.
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
1 John 5:19
It was a strange experience being in a country with a people who so obviously need to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. What’s so unfortunate is that we don’t view the USA in the same way.
I realized that the same zeal that I expressed to reach the Indonesians must be carried over to the US. We may be more affluent financially, but spiritually we need an awakening. My prayer is that my time away helped to magnify my commitment to make Christ known in my field of ministry.
Because of the freedoms we enjoy in America, it’s so much easier to share the Gospel with those around us. Unfortunately, it’s also easier to put it off and wait for someone else to do the job.
It’s time for us to wake up to the fact that we’re no longer in a Christian nation. If we don’t proclaim Christ, then no one else will.
I invite you to pray for the people of Sumatra. Pray for the workers who are bringing Christ to that area in spite of great challenges. Over the next couple of posts I’m going to share some of their stories. My hope is that it will be an encouragement to you as you serve the Lord wherever you are.
Question: What short-term missions have you been involved with?
© Nick Zaccardi 2017