Friday, July 30, 2010

Indonesian Sunday School teacher passes away

The following story was released recently about the passing of Ratna Bangun, an Indonesian woman who was arrested along with two other Christians in 2005 (click here to learn more).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         A few days ago, Ibu Ratna Bangun died of lupus while confined at a hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her husband and her two sons paid their last respects to Ibu Ratna on Wednesday in Hargeulis, her hometown.

Ratna Bangun was arrested in May 2005, with Dr. Rebekka Zakaria and Eti Pangesti, under false accusation of converting Muslim children to Christianity through a Sunday School program. All three women were given a three-year sentence on September 1, 2005 and were released from Indramayu prison on June 8, 2007…. While in prison, Ibu Ratna shared her reflections with Open Doors about being in prison:

“Before, I had always been surrounded by fellow believers. But now, I live among non-believers. I realize how hard it is to share God’s love and my life to them. It is also hard to live away from my children and  husband. But I am thankful – please note this carefully – that God’s faithful love has never left me. God has helped me through everything.

“Secondly, when Jesus broke the five loafs of bread and two fishes to feed 5,000 people, He turned nothingness into something. As for me, I feel like the insignificant breads and fishes. The suffering I face is nothing compared to what other believers around the world are going through. Just like the bread, I was crushed and distributed to become blessings for many people. I am being processed in this place.

“Thirdly, prison is a school of faith. This is where I fight for my faith, so that I could be a part of God’s plan; it is no coincidence that I am here, in this prison.”

What stood out to me in her reflections was her second point. It is amazing that she would view a situation in this way. What stood out to you?

Please pray for this dear family who has been through so much.

(Source: Open Doors)

Please take some time today to pray for those mourning her loss. Pray that they will rest in the knowledge that the Good Shepherd walks with them through this difficult time (Psalm 23). Pray that her Christ-like example will continue to inspire and challenge many. You can post a prayer of solidarity with those mourning on our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall

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