eNews and prayer update May 2017
Strong Faith in Bandung
It’s Sunday outside Hope Church in Bandung, Indonesia, and the children crowd around their favourite teachers—Adina and Maya, who are currently studying under Langham Scholar Dwi Handayani at the Bandung Theological Seminary. They are serving at the church, which is located in one of Bandung’s poorest neighbourhoods, as part of their studies. Dwi’s own story of emerging from a childhood of desperate poverty has motivated and inspired Adina and Maya to better love and serve the children of Hope Church.
“Looking at Dwi, knowing where she came from… it’s a great motivation for me,” says Maya. “In class she emphasizes not just teaching and preaching God’s Word, but also the life of the people that you are ministering to. You have to love them, approach them, spend time with them. The more I learn about the Bible and theology, the more confidence I have style to serve others.”
Training one, impacting many
The crest mounted on the stone wall outside Bandung Theological Seminary reads “Sola Scriptura.” Not too notable for a seminary. But in Indonesia—where a movement of biblical preaching is gaining momentum right in the middle of the largest Muslim population in the world—it’s a meaningful declaration.
Inside, Bible teacher Dwi Handayani, a Langham Scholar, is working to teach her students—Indonesia’s future pastors and leaders—how to both proclaim God’s Word and connect it to the world outside of the seminary walls. Dwi also serves as Langham’s Preaching training Coordinator for Indonesia, and she uses the same simple curriculum Langham uses to train pastors around the world with her seminary students. As a result—students are being presented with an entirely new approach to studying and teaching God’s Word. And it’s making a difference.
Dwi says, “Before, some of the seminary graduates [didn’t] preach well. They know how to dig into the Bible, but they don’t know how to deliver it well. . . Langham’s training method is clear and transferrable, so by giving them this kind of training, it’s helped them. And the churches we send them to, they say that we produce good preachers. So, that’s wonderful.”
“Langham has arrived at just the right time.”
Dwi credits her studies, supported by Langham, at Asia Graduate School of Theology in the Philippines, with encouraging her to bring together God’s Word and the context of the world.
“They said it all the time, ‘in your context, in your context. ’ I was thinking, ‘What is my context?’ Then I thought about Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the whole world.”
This is why Dwi focused her studies and research on ministry within Muslim contexts—an issue front and centre for those doing ministry in Indonesia. Rosemary, a local pastor trainer with Langham Preaching, shares: “The [areas] where the church is established and stronger is arousing the attention of more radical Islamist leaders. Church leaders know that if their people are not established in the Word, they will be easy prey . . . Langham has arrived at just the right time for church leaders who believe that unless we establish our people, we will lose them.”
As a theologically trained leader, doors are now open for Dwi to engage in meaningful conversations with leaders of other faiths. “A few months ago,” she shares, “I was invited as a moderator to a religious freedom dialogue at the largest university here. That’s an opportunity to share.”
Improved preaching impacts the church
Hope Church’s pastor, Daniel, is one of Indonesia’s almost 4,000 biblical leaders trained by Langham, and he has gone through several levels of pastor training with Dwi. In the five years since the formation of the church, Pastor Daniel has seen the congregation grow from 6 to 120 members—and he sees himself not only as their teacher, but as a caretaker.
Dwi says she’s seen a great deal of growth and improvement in Daniel’s preaching, and Daniel knows it’s impacting the church. After spending three months preaching through the book of Acts—Daniel saw the Word of God touching the heart of his church. “My congregation says that now they know what the purpose of their lives is. It is to serve God,” he shares. “They have a new vision.”
Langham is dedicated to multiplying biblical leaders with a God-shaped vision in Indonesia and throughout the global church. Thank you for being co-labourers in this mission with us. Your prayers and generous support of Langham raises up teachers like Dwi who pour their lives into training pastors like Daniel. By God’s grace, the result is believers growing in number and maturity.
Join us in prayer
UPCOMING LANGHAM PREACHING EVENTS
Where countries are considered sensitive re: security, the region is mentioned rather than the country.
- May 14-20 Uganda, DR Congo, Indonesia(2), Bolivia(2), Liberia, Zambia, Argentina
- May 21-27 South Africa, Indonesia, Honduras, Liberia
- May 28-June 3 Sierra Leone, Indonesia
- June 4-10 Botswana, DR Congo, Liberia, Zambia
- June 11-17 Burkina Faso, Uganda, Zambia
Thank you for your prayers!
- Thank God for a successful line-up meeting in Fiji last month and pray that all will go well with plans to commence a Preaching work there. Pray for the work of Langham Preaching in Serbia, where the first ever seminar was held in March. There are only 10,000 evangelical Christians (in a population of 7 million) so there are many challenges for the church there.
- Please pray for Langham Australia as we try to raise support for the ongoing Library Grants Program and resources for graduating students in the Majority World through theological colleges and students in Australia.
- Please pray for Ethiopian Scholar Anwar Berhe who has just returned from Ethiopia where he has been doing research for his PhD.
- Please pray for scholars who will soon be offered Langham scholarships. Pray too for those Langham is unable to support, that they will find another way forward in their scholarly endeavours for the Lord.
Langham Australia CEO Gillean Smiley writes…
I am very excited to welcome Langham Scholar Dwi Maria Handayani to Brisbane this month, as a speaker at the Brisbane School of Theology Missions Conference. Dwi will be drawing on her academic and her personal experiences to present seminars on evangelism to Muslims as well as the woman’s perspective on mission to Islam. Dwi, like all Scholars, is an inspirational and highly gifted young leader, and the Langham Preaching program in Indonesia has flourished under her coordination. Unfortunately Dwi will not be able to visit other States during her brief time in Australia, but for our Queensland friends, check out the Langham website for opportunities to hear Dwi from 24th – 28th June. With the world’s largest Islamic nation on our doorstep, it is important that we understand the challenges for our Indonesian brothers and sisters as well as how we can stand with them in defending and promoting the Word of God.
Thank you for your prayers and support.