Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pray for Indonesia this November

The blood of the suicide bomber stained the church floor,
but his attack served only to strengthen church members’
faith.
Every year, Christians in more than 130 countries join together in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters through the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). This year, IDOP Canada is observing the day of prayer on Sunday, November 4, 2012.

To help you, your family, or your congregation join in this worldwide prayer movement, IDOP Canada prepares a kit with testimonies, videos, specific prayer points, and more. The following story is included with this year’s kit.
Indonesia: Pastor Yonatan’s story
Last year in Solo, Central Java, the Bethel Full Gospel Church faced a violent confrontation that would test them as a congregation.
Pastor Yonatan Yap Setiawan tells the story:
“On Sunday, September 25, 2011, Pastor Sigit Purbandoro from Surabaya had preached about ‘God’s Help’ from Psalm 121:1–8. The prayer of blessing was uttered at 10:45 a.m., and believers left their pews and walked out from our church hall. The singers and music band were sending out the believers with praise and worship songs. Suddenly, a loud explosion shattered the joyful atmosphere.
“I ran to the centre of the stage. I thought the blast sound came from the sound system speakers, but then I saw thick white smoke coming from the main door. This smoke had a sharp powder smell. I ran to the source of the white smoke. There was blood on the floor, and some were crying out hysterically in pain.
“‘Lord, help your children; don’t let them die,’ I uttered many times in my heart. I told the wounded believers, ‘Don’t be afraid! The Lord is protecting you. You will get help.’ 
“I found a dead body and realized that this was the suicide bomber. The deacons helped me secure the church building. The church’s security personnel closed the church’s gate so that no outsiders could come into the building. In 15 minutes the church deacons managed to evacuate all 30 of the victims to the hospital. None of the wounded died, only the bomber. Fourteen of the 30 victims had to stay in the hospital to undergo operations.
“I left the hospital and returned to the church. I sat on a chair not far from the dead body of the bomber. After looking at the bomber’s body for a while, I thought, Should his life end tragically, wasted like this? At that moment there was no hatred or revenge in my mind, but only love for this bomber who had chosen the wrong path.
“Based on the video recorded by the church’s closed circuit television, the bomber had come into the church’s hall through a small side door wearing a white long-sleeve shirt, black trousers, a cap and sunglasses. He had a small bag slung over his chest.
“When the bomber pressed the button, shrapnel spread out. A piece of sharp pipe as big as an adult’s fist ejected and pierced the church’s ceiling. If it had hit believers, they would have died instantly. But none of our believers died. The happiest thing is that all the victims suffered but are not angry at the Lord. They were harmed, but they forgive their enemies.
“Church member Yulianti, who is 74 years old, told me, ‘I’ll stop attending church meetings for a while.’ But on the following day she said, ‘After I’m healed, I’ll go to church again. I’m not afraid anymore, because Lord Jesus is everything.’ She said, ‘Pastor Yo, through this way I can testify how great our Lord Jesus is. And this is the chance to show to unbelievers that I’m not afraid to walk with the Lord Jesus and show them that I forgive those who have harmed me.’ This is faith which is built on the Rock.
“Let us sow the seeds of love and forgiveness, not revenge and hatred. We love and we forgive. No bitterness, but thankfulness to the Lord. After dark, then the light comes. We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”
For other testimonies and resources to guide you in prayer, go to www.idop.ca.

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