North Sumatra, Indonesia
The island of north Sumatra (Indonesia) is made up of two provinces. They are Aceh in the far northern tip and directly below it is North Sumatra. Aceh is the home of the 4 million Acehnese people and they are all but unreached (for the gospel) Muslims. Just to the south of them in North Sumatra are 6 million Bataknese people and they are primarily Christians. Their provinces border each other, they speak the same Bahasa Indonesian language, they are both citizens of the same country, both are basically of the same culture and there are peaceful relationships between them. But still the Acehnese are unreached for the gospel and the people group just south of them is flourishing with Christianity for more than 100 years … HOW CAN THIS BE ???
It is in this context that God called MTM to conduct a leadership conference among the Bataknese people in North Sumatra August 6-8, 2012. As we drove through these regions of North Sumatra there were huge churches abounding on both sides of the streets … absolutely amazing when you consider that Indonesia is the largest Muslim population nation in the world. There were approximately 35 Bataknese pastors in attendance for the leadership conference. They came from many regions of North Sumatra. They were very open and a blessing to minister to. They were open and honest in confessing that wealth and busyness has caused them and their people to not reach out to the people group just north of them. They openly confessed that they have been drinking at wrong sources and the living water is not freely flowing. My heart was deeply touched … there were tears, there were commitments made and there were those that were saying … “here am I Lord, sent me”. IT WAS VERY CLEAR TO ME THAT GOD HAD MTM IN NORTH SUMATRA FOR A TIME SUCH AS THIS !!!
The Full Conference Group In North Sumatra
Please do pray for these Bataknese pastors. That the vision God stirred in their hearts at this conference … they could cast the same vision upon their churches and bring them along as well. Ultimately that many Bataknese missionaries would be sent out from North Sumatra to Aceh for the cause of Jesus Christ to the Acehnese. Blessed be God !!! Raymond Burkholder (MTM Director)
Our Native Coordinators Testimony; MTM teaching just like a ring bell to me, calling me come home to where intimacy with God is every thing and above all priorities, and also the teaching correcting our concept about mission. I was studied in a bible college where you have purpose to have a big crowd of new believer crowding to your church. And make your church become a mega church and you become the big pastor, but the MTM teaching directing us to see Antioch church and found out that we are so selfish! So thank you for MTM teaching.
PS; The Burkholder family will be in America August 28th to October 9th, 2012 for our yearly Thai visa renewal. We will also be doing IGo-MTM presentations in different churches. Click here to see our schedule.