The Way God Pioneers
Since the beginning of March last year, churches in Indonesia were unable to physically congregate for nearly a year and a half. Sabbath meetings could only be broadcasted live, with the sermon speaker and related workers in the chapel while the believers worshipped at home. Fellowships, morning and evening prayer services were held completely online. At the end of last year, small churches gradually resumed physical meetings one after another, with in-person participation limited to 30 people.
The second wave of the pandemic began in June when the COVID-19 Delta variant entered Indonesia. Several brothers and sisters were infected this time, with the infection spreading rapidly from one family to another. Most people could only quarantine at home as hospitals were completely full. The pandemic was critical and severe, so we could only pray and rely on God. The government renewed strict regulations and implemented a lockdown, and most activities outside the house were banned. This time, even the sermonizers were unable to enter the chapel to lead services, and gatherings were completely conducted online. This included hymn leading, piano accompaniment, leading service, announcements, and the like.
Though it has been a year and a half of online gatherings, the situation was worse during the second wave of the pandemic. It is not easy to serve at home since the Internet is sometimes unstable and the sound of hymn singing is often intermittent. To address the problem, we thought of recording it first. There were many other difficulties we had to face in addition to this.
Thank God that though we are bound by the pandemic, our church continues to be silently led by God, step by step. Regardless of our circumstances, the ability still remains to shepherd believers and spread the gospel, including through evangelical services and spiritual convocations. God uses His way to demonstrate His authority and wonderful works.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Indonesian church tried its best to record all its services, morning prayer sessions, evening prayer sessions, children’s RE classes, as well as daily recordings as spiritual food for the elderly to listen to. Unexpectedly, God opened a way so that we gradually accumulated APPs such as podcasts, Spotify, TJC APP (Indonesian version) with sermons, Bible, hymns, “Anchor of the Soul” podcasts, and ASAF orchestra (hymns presented with traditional Indonesian musical instruments in traditional tunes). These, in addition to the previously-used Facebook, LINE, Instagram, and Telegram platforms, became paths opened by God to expand the spiritual network to all regions.
Since last year, the Indonesia GA has been gradually developing media ministry through the evangelical department in order to spread the word of God and the truth to all regions. God allowed us to learn that although we cannot directly interact with believers, it is God’s work that allows the gospel to spread from near to far: “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.” (Revelation 14:6)
Last year, a gentleman in Semarang came across the Indonesian TJC website. He contacted us through the website and asked if there were children’s RE classes, to which we followed up. Thank God, the five members of his family were baptized into the name of Jesus Christ, and they take gathering together for services very seriously. Not only that, the Canaan School also conducts missionary work. Special gatherings are held for parents every Sabbath morning. One parent, one teacher, three students, and two alumni were baptized.
Although we are in the pandemic and do not know what will happen tomorrow, we now understand that God has His will and way in demonstrating His authority, allowing all humankind to acknowledge the greatness of God.