Saturday, September 12, 2009

Testimony of ex YASINDO - Ev. Djomin Hu

He changed the path of my life.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:13-14
When I started writing this testimony, I did not realize that I have been serving the Lord for 9 years. I came from a non-Christian family. I was addicted to drug since my last year of secondary school. In 1997, my mother fell really sick. I prayed to God that she would be healed, but four days later, she passed away. I was devastated. I protested to God, even to the point of not believing that He is there. From then onwards, my life took a downward spiral, I boasted in those evil things I have done.

On 23 March 98, I was captured in Kaitak International Airport in HK together with 2 of my friends. I was deported back to Indonesia and was locked in one of the prison, whereas 2 of my friends are taken into HK prison and up till now they are still yet to be released. 

In the prison, I started to know about Jesus through the ministry of Yasindo, Bpk Toni Taniara. But I was not full hearted yet because I was still addicted to drugs. In March 2000, I was released. After my release, I went back to my old ways of doing things. One night, my friends and I went to a night club. On our way there, we were stopped by police as they conducted a raid. We were asked to come out from the car and we were checked one by one. I was afraid because then in my pants pocket I carried 1 gram of ‘shabu-shabu’ (a low grade heroin) and heroin. The police asked me to empty all the things from my pocket and wallet. When I took out the drugs from my pocket, I was prepared for the worst. However, the police overlooked the drugs on my hand and we were asked to go. My friends cheered that I have great power to make the drugs went unnoticed by the police. When we reached the night club, suddenly I was stopped by a voice that said: “If you did not stop what you are doing, you will be dead”. Not just once, but repeatedly. In the end, I left my friends there and called a cab to go round the city. But still the voice did not cease. I can still hear it until I got scared. I shouted with all my might:”if that is you who speak Lord, speak again one more time!” and then, I heard God saying: “I love you”. This time, I started crying. It dawned on me that all these while it has been God who is working behind the scene, giving me favor in my trials. 

While my friends were in HK prison and sentenced for 14 years, in His grace, God brought me back to Jakarta and I was sentenced only for 3 years and 9 months. Even then, God in His mercy reduced the sentence to 2 years and I was granted a conditional release. It was not because of my family and friends, but it was God who give favor to my life.

I started to make commitments with God. If He delivered me from my addiction to drugs, I will give my all to Jesus and serve Him with all my life. Praise God, from August 2000 until now and forever, I never touch drug again. God has delivered me from my addiction to drug, alcohol and cigarette! Hallelujah! 

During my early walk with God, I was sent by Yasindo to STT Life News - Solo. But on my third month, I was dismissed from school as I fought with fellow students. After that Bpk Toni sent me to Ketileng Bible Training Centre (KBTC) in Semarang. There, I experienced my new birth. I realized that living holy to God is more than just not using drugs, but it’s leaving the old man behind. There I learned the bible, I learned how to humble myself before God, and living a total surrendered life to God. After 6months in KBTC, I was sent to west Kalimantan for my attachment ministry. I was asked to sign a document stating that: If accidents or death happen to me, the school will not be liable.” At first, my family objected, but in the end, they acceded because they saw I was determined to go. My principle said its better for me to die for Christ while I am ministering rather than dead because of drugs.

In West Kalimantan, I practice in the middle of a jungle. No one ever wanted to serve there. I heard that the people living in that jungle like to poison and put curses on people. They believe in animism, a belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls. They liked to worship trees, stones and human skulls. Every family owned 1 to 2 human skulls for worships. There was no electricity and toilet. I have to take shower in a river filled with crocodiles and pass motion either on river or scrubs. There is no place to sleep, no canteen. I have to find food in the jungle or river. I experienced several attacks from evil powers.

I started my ministry with children. With only guitar on my hand, I taught them how to sing. Slowly but surely, many children were interested and joined. I started my own Sunday school. Then my life got better, they made me a place to live. I taught them the word of God and taught them how to read and write. Praise God after 3 months, the parents of these children started to join. From what started as a Sunday school, it grew to a full service. Every day there is new soul being born again. At the end 90% of the village population received Jesus, including the head of the village and the ‘spiritual’ leader.

God works in amazing way! One year later, God provided us with a place for service that is big enough for 100 people! After 1 year and 8 months serving in this Sebaro village, I continued my study in STII Jogjakarta. In this city, I served in Bethesda church and opened a Bible Post in Wonogiri. During my ministry and study, all my material needs were being taken care of by Yasindo. I graduated in June 2005 and received my Bachelor in Theology degree.

In Dec 2006, my wife and I went to Aceh according to the vision that God has given me. Even though there were a lot of trials and difficulties, I never once give up because of my faith in God. I believe that God who has sent me to this place will be with me to deliver and help me from any problems I will face.

Until now, I have been ministering in Aceh for 2 years. Many things have happened for the past 2 years. Many prayers filled with tears have been sowed. We commit all our thoughts, concentration, time and energy for the things to be done in this place. But it reaps inexpressible joy shown from our lives. The joy that heals all our pain and what we have gone through, especially when we started to see the fruits of the spirit. 

This is my testimony; I pray that it will become a blessing to many. God bless you!

Testimony of ex YASINDO - Ev. Masdan Barus

Tertimony of Ev. Masdan Barus
Anik – Kalbar.

“What I never think or imagine, 
that is the thing that God gives me”

I came from north Sumatra and of a poor family. Though my family are Christian, but we missed the true meaning of Christianity. Our lives as Christians are limited to church, even though my mother was the only person who attended church. My father and us, the children, very seldom attended.

When I reach adulthood, my father empowered me up with spirits powers for protection and my source of ‘livelihood’. Since then, I felt stronger than others and never fear anything that comes my way. With those empowerments, I left my hometown and went to Medan. During my stay in Medan, I lived in ‘freedom’; I did anything I find pleasure in. I extort money for gambling that cause rife, fights and injuries. Because of that, I was scare that the police was after me, so I ran away to Jambi and lived there with my brother. When I told him my story, he became afraid too and he decided to provide me with some money so that I could run away to Jakarta. I was scare and confused. Then I was 17 years old at that time and the year was 1990.

When I reach Jakarta, I decided to earn a decent living by working as a bus conductor. My circle of friends grew from here and found many friends who have similar lifestyle. I went into the trap of ‘free living’ again, drugs, alcohol, theft and free sex was a part of my life. This continues for the next 3 years.

In 1993, the government conducted an operation “PETRUS”, which in English it means mysterious shooter to ‘clean’ up the city by killing the street tugs. A lot of my friends were killed. Again, I was thinking of running away. I was confused, not knowing where to go. I met a friend in a station. He told me he is now studying in a bible college in Solo. He offered me to study in a bible college in Surabaya and I immediately accepted the offer just to run away from being killed. During my time in the bible college, my heart rebelled. I fought often. When school ended, all the students have to go to practice what we learned in a ministry. I was placed in Dolopo Madiun region. My job was cleaning the church and washing the dishes. I was there for 1 year until I felt restless and I went back to Jakarta by giving them a reason that I was sick. In Jakarta, PETRUS operation has ended and this time I resume to do evil from Grogol to Daan Mogot.

Even though I did a lot of evil, but it was never my intention to enter into prison. There is a saying in Indonesia, no matter how clever a squirrel may jump, in the end it will fall. True enough, I was caught while trying to rescue a friend’s son, but because of uncontrolled emotion, what was meant to be a good intention ended up into fight that brought me to a prison cell from 1996-98.

During the years in prison, I felt lost. No one visited me. To make myself feel better, I decide to join the church activities. As the months progressed, I felt the Word has impacted my life. One day I was listening to a preacher reading from John 14:6-13, 16-18. In the midst of the sermon, I was crying! Never before in my life I cried. I tried to suppress my tears but yet it continued flowing down my cheek. I was confused. From then on, I made a commitment on that day: the day I was freed from prison, I will obey God.

In 1998, I was freed from prison. On the very same day, there was a riot in Jakarta. My friend tempted me to join in and at the end I broke my commitment. After the loot, I felt sick. Doctor pronounced me down with liver failure. The hefty medical bills wiped out all the money that I owned and yet I was still sick. Since then, I decide to put everything in the will of God and go back to Him.

I met with ibu Yono in Grogol station. She brought me to Yasindo and met with Bpk Toni Taniara. With the recommendation and financial support from Yasindo, I was sent to KBTC Semarang. I have never been to Semarang. Before I leave, I prayed and fasted for 1 week and on the last day of my prayer, I receive my miracle! I was healed from my liver failure. From then on, I became more enthusiastic for God and look forward to study in KBTC so that I can be equipped and empowered to minister everywhere and anywhere.
In 1999, after finishing my school in KBTC, I was sent to minister at West Kalimantan, precisely in a village called Anik. Where I ministered for a year at Evangelical Kalimantan Church (GKE) and I was blessed with a wife.

After we were married, I pastor a church under the covering of Bethel Church Indonesia (GBI) from 2001-2006. We were in lack. We have no place of worship and have to work to make ends meet. But praise be to God, with the help of Patmos organization and other churches collaboration, in the end we were able to build a church. GBI donated IDR200,000 every month for 1 year until the sponsorship was withdrawn. I was disappointed when the sponsorship was cancelled. With that, we went back to my hometown to open a business for 2 years.

God blesses us in our business and we never once fail to make ends meet. My passion to serve the Lord is always there. From the beginning of 2008 till now, we are pasturing a church again under the covering of Pentecost Church Surabaya.

I hope my testimony will bless you as He has promised. Amen.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Testimony Ex Yasindo - Pst. Zulkarnain Syarief

Testimony of Pst. Zulkarnain Syarief
Pastor of Gereja Sidang Pantekosta di Indonesia
Pontianak, West Kalimantan

"A God-Transformed Life"

I was born the 3rd of 6 brothers, grew up in the city of Jakarta and in a devout Muslim family. Since young, we have been indoctrinated against the ethnic Chinese and Christians. By the time I grew up, my hate for the Chinese and Christians was fully formed and I would often harass them both mentally and physically.

In my teenage years, with my parents rarely at home and the influence of my peers, I started getting into fights, thefts, and drug addiction that I often got into trouble with the police. My parents decided to send me to a Muslim training school in the town of Tasikmalaya for 3.5 years with the hopes that I can change for the better. Instead, the opposite happens as I grew increasingly wicked with all the knowledge that I’d received.

I was incarcerated twice. The first time I went to prison was in 1987 as I got involved with drugs but with my parents’ assistance, I was given a light sentence and was convicted to 8 months’ jail in Rutan Pondok Bambu. Upon my release, I continued using drugs and even started injecting into myself a more lethal drug called Morphine. To pay for all those expensive drugs, I began to commit crimes, which started small but increased to larger scales. I was involved in some robberies with some friends which we managed to get away from. The law eventually caught up with us and we were arrested in 1989. I was found guilty of robberies, assault and possession of firearms and was jailed at Cipinang. 

Prior to my verdict, my days in jail were filled with fear, which escalated into frustration, and I eventually turned brutal that each time I returned my to my cell block from my court trials, I would abuse and torture some of my fellow inmates. The feelings of fear continued to torture me, especially when I heard rumors that I might be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Until one night when I was relaxing, I noticed an inmate named Roni who was convicted of murder and has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, but he seemed to so at peace all the time. I began to try to find out the secret to his peacefulness, and it seemed to have come from a light blue book (which was actually the New Testament Bible distributed by Gideon). 

As a ‘little ruler’ in the small prison, I had the power to take away possessions of my fellow inmates, including Roni’s blue book for me to read (I would also use the pages of this book to wrap my tobacco powder in). When I first read the Bible, denials after denials arose in my mind against what was being said in it. However, my heart seemed to be increasingly stirred to want to continue reading that I actually finished reading from the books of Matthew all the way to Revelations. Then I came across Revelation 3:19 that said, "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” As I read that paragraph, there seemed to be a voice of authority that spoke into my heart with a loving tone. And I was not aware that it was God’s voice at the time, and I was momentarily brought into a reflection of the life I’ve lived so far, realized that I was truly a sinner, and I was afraid to die as I’d committed so many sins. But the verses that I read in the Bible were so simple, all I had to do was to receive Jesus Christ into my heart and my sins would be forgiven, and have eternal life. Romans 10:9-10 said, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Then the day the final verdict was to be read arrived and at the time, the prosecutor strived for a 7-year prison sentence. I surrendered and submitted my life to God that He would direct the paths of my life. During the final trial before the verdict was to be read, I continuously prayed for God to make known His power, "Jesus, if You are indeed the living God that created everything, including men, surely it would not be difficult to cause the Prosecutor to demand only a light punishment, for the court clerk to record it and the Judge to confirm it, as I only want a 3-year sentence. If that happens, then I will follow You.” And His miracle truly happened as I was sentenced to 2 years in prison instead, so as a consequence of my challenge, I had to follow Jesus and serve Him.

After receiving Jesus into my heart, my subsequent days in prison were filled with joy. It was like something new was planted in my mind and heart (so this is what they call ‘born again’). Longings to seek the Lord continually arose in my heart, so I began to pray diligently, read the Bible and joined every worship service they conducted in the penitentiary (I’m very thankful that they conduct daily worship services there). I met with Mr. Toni Taniara, Mrs. Selvi Handoko and Mrs. LF. Simanjuntak, who ministered to me until I finally grasped the teachings of the Lord Jesus. 

Towards my last day in jail, I had questions in my heart as to where I should go upon my release. If I returned to my old life, I would return to prison life in no time. So I took shelter at a Prayer Fellowship for a while and it was there that brother Joshua kept encouraging me to serve God. The call to serve Him grew stronger in me and I felt the need to be equipped at a Bible school. So I persistently prayed for that and He answered my prayer through YASINDO Prison Ministry, who sponsored me to attend KBTC (Ketileng Bible Training Center) Semarang in 1991 for 6 months. Upon finishing Bible school in 1992, I was sent to serve God in West Kalimantan. I served in rural areas and helped the churches there. 

My areas of ministry were:
1. Dagog village, Karangan Mempawah Hulu disctrict, Landak county in 1992-1995 under the covering of
    GGPI - Indonesian Pentecost Church Movement, which pioneered church in other areas:
    - Tempak village, Menyuke district, Landak county.
    - Mangun village, Sompak district, Landak county.
    - Pondok village, Sompak district, Landak county.
2. Then I returned to Jakarta and served in Pasar Rebo, Pekayon - Bekasi in 1995-1997 under the covering 
     of GBI – Indonesian Bethel Church.
3. In 1998, I returned to West Kalimantan and was entrusted with the following:
    - To start a branch of the Bahtera Hayat Foundation in Pontianak.
    - To start the PD. PELMA – Students and Undergraduates Prayer Fellowship.
    - To teach high school religion in SMUN 3 and SMU-SMK Koperasi Pontianak in 1998 - 2001.
4. In 2000:
    - I started a branch of YASINDO Prison Ministry in West Kalimantan to serve the existing prisons.
    - I became Chairman of the Transformation Movement of West Kalimantan province.
5. In 2004 – 2006, I pastured in GRDSB - House of Prayer of All Nations Church.
6. In 2007, I pioneered GSPDI – Indonesian Pentecost Council Church in Pontianak and have been  
    pastoring there until this day.
7. In 2009, I am serving as Vice Chairman of PGPI – the Fellowship of Indonesian Pentecost Churches.

This was the story of my life, where only by His grace and power that He can turn me from the scum of society into Salt and Light (from an evil person to God’s servant). May my testimony be a blessing to many of you. God bless you!