CRC Report #6 – Calvinist Reformed Churches of Indonesia.
When it comes to international relations, it doesn’t come much closer for us as Australians than Indonesia. For those who have been following along in this series, you will recall that earlier in the year I had the opportunity to fellowship with various other national and international reformed churches at a conference in Melbourne. With that in mind, I am continuing to share with you some of what God is doing in and through these churches, all in the interests of helping us to pray for them.
We’ve seen quite a bit of diversity in this series! We’ve seen: the first-century-like explosion of evangelism under persecution in India; the present day difficulties of South Korea following the remarkable growth of Christianity in the last two centuries; the extreme purified atheism of Japan, and the struggles of the handful of Christians there; and we’ve also considered Presbyterian and Reformed churches here and in New Zealand, facing similar circumstances to our own churches. Our family in Christ in Indonesia presents yet another set of challenges!
Indonesia is 87% muslim. It is made up of 17000 islands, 6000 of which are in use. There are 270 million people, easily many millions more than what we have here in Australia. At the conference, I had the privilege of spending a little bit of extended time with Soleman, a quiet man and an elder in the church, and a preacher named Yonsoon. Yonsoon was energetic and lively, passionate in his faith, and he hopes to see Catholics and Charismatics reformed, and Muslims and pagans converted!
As a muslim dominated country, it’s hard work being a Christian in Indonesia. It’s even harder being a reformed Christian. But our brothers and sisters in Christ toil on nonetheless. One particular avenue of success for them in mission has been the establishment of schools. It’s hard to start up a church, and many have been shut down, but muslim folk are willing to let the Christians run schools. At present, the schools connected with the reformed churches graduate 200-250 graduates per year.
As to challenges additional to the overarching muslim environment, our brothers reported that their churches feel quite isolated from the rest of the world. They always deeply appreciate visiting preachers and teachers, and say that there is a real need to equip their leaders with deeper theology and learning (they even invited me to come!). They do not have a Bible College, although they do hope to start one.
With these things in mind, let’s go to prayer in the coming week and uphold the body of Christ in Indonesia. Let’s pray…
Soli Deo Gloria!