A Name, A Face and A Story
It was 1996 when Bo Barredo left for a missions trip to the Philippines. As he spoke in Covenant of the upcoming trip, Laila was impressed to ask Bo if I could join him when he arrived in Indonesia. He agreed. I did. Bo was a veteran missionary. I had some experience, but limited. My role was to learn, take notes and look for stories. Yes, "stories". There are incidents that happen, but the details do not make it into a story to tell those who sponsor mission trips or those who may give to support missions.
Paulus Wibowo had arranged for us to visit an elderly missionary. Traveling was long and the weather was hot. The consensus as we drew nearer to our destination was that we would pay respects, but there would be no story.
Arrival was to a fenced compound. Inside was a modest home of a former Muslim policeman who had been feared for his toughness. The "former policeman" was history. He had found Jesus. His wife and daughter served us refreshments. We expected to be traveling again in a few minutes.
However, the policeman-turned-missionary wanted to show us a special room in his home. When he opened the door it was equipped with a powerful short-wave radio that could send signals hundreds of miles. Beside his home he had erected a bamboo pole high into the sky and wired an antenna to it. He sat down in front of his radio, put on the headphones and a transformation took place. He seemed to become years younger as he spoke Arabic into the microphone, all the while twirling knobs.
We came to understand that he spoke classical Arabic, was scholarly in understanding Islam and had become an even better scholar of the Bible.
His nights were spent talking into the microphone with Muslim scholars, debating them, and offering them Jesus!
We had a story.
I have a story. It is the story of a noble people of good birth who make up the Covenant Family. We walk together deeply respecting each other, believing that we are one in Christ, and united in fulfilling the Great Commission. We humble ourselves to serve.
Yes, we know the world is not perfect. We know that hell is not happy about our resolve to preach Jesus and declare that the Holy Ghost is able to empower us to live victorious lives.
We know that our values are not the values of the carnal world around us. We know that the world is too selfish to tithe. We know that sin abounds.
But we also know that Our God is able to keep us. We know that no weapon of hell formed against us can defeat us. We know that together we are a formidable force for Our God. We know victory is ours. Jesus does hold us in the palm of his hand.
We know that our current mission of joining our buildings together is the result of years of praying and hard work. We know that in a few months we will celebrate completion and see souls added to the Kingdom of God. And God is honoring the process and even adding souls now.
We have a story to tell. We are telling our story. It is a powerful story!
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper” Isaiah 54:17