Children at the school we started.

Thank You, Langham International!

15 October 2015

Papua Barat: faithful preachers and a warm welcome waiting

Raymond with his family

Raymond with his family

Pastor Raymond Maabuat lives in Manokwari in Papua Barat, Indonesia.

Earlier this year, Langham Preaching ran a Level 3 Training Seminar in Indonesia.

Pastor Raymond attended. This is his inspiring story:

I first attended the Langham Level 1 Preacher Training Course held in Manokwari, Papua, together with some of my colleagues from the Ericson Trill Theological Seminary. Afterwards we formed a preachers’ club and called it ‘Pistos Preaching Club’. But it did not go well, as we were all so busy teaching at the seminary.

In March 2014, thanks to God’s help, I was able to attend the Level 2 (Old Testament) course in Bogor, West Java. In May 2014, I was asked by the seminary to serve a group of congregations composed entirely of village farmers from the interior. They live about 40 miles from town in the mountainous region of Arfak and call themselves the Pedrik Hingk Church. This isolated area, recognized as a distinct political region as recently as 2013, can only be reached by 4WD vehicles.

The first time I visited, I was deeply moved to see that ninety percent of the people were illiterate. There was no electricity, no phone signals, and water came from the local stream, which turned muddy brown every time it rained. The local pastors struggled with their preaching, as they had had no schooling, let alone theological training. They relied on basic reading and writing skills originally taught to some members by missionaries about sixty years ago.

I decided to help them, using the materials from Langham Preaching. I photocopied all the teaching materials and the practical exercises and then translated them into the local language. Thanks to God’s help, I met the leader of the local government in Manokwari. He was most helpful and provided paper, and coveed the printing and additional translation costs. So now we have all the materials available in the local ‘Hatam’ dialect.

When I started to teach the Langham materials, all 18 local pastors wanted to attend. Some of them were still virtually illiterate. So I decided to teach just those who could read, and then, together with my wife and my younger brother, to open a literacy class for the others. This class has grown into a school. In August 2014 there were 71 pupils and three of us as teachers. We managed to obtain school uniforms by begging for help from the town. We were also sent other schoolbooks and some writing materials.

At the same time I started a preachers’ club, again called ‘Pistos’ [faithful]. The group consisted of 46 people who didn’t want to be split up. Now, after Langham Level 3 Training (March 2015) I plan to divide them into 4 groups.

So, on behalf of the 18 congregations of the Hink region of Arfak Mountains, I want to say ‘Thank You’ to Langham International for making it possible for me to attend the Langham Training and to learn the systematic exposition method, which is so relevant, and to receive the books provided. It is very hard for us to get good theological books.

I pray that Langham will be able to come and minister to our Synod here in Papua. If you come, you will receive a very warm welcome!

May the Lord Bless You.

Children at the school we started

Children at the school we started

By John Chambers, facilitator for Langham Preaching Indonesia

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