August 16-24, 2014 a MTM teaching team traveled to SOUTH NIAS ISLAND, Teluk Dalam, INDONESIA for a pastors leadership training conference.
Where Is South Nias Island Among The 18,000 Islands Of Indonesia
The MTM Teaching Team, L-R; Richard Anderson Our Indonesia Coordinator, Raymond Burkholder, Merle & Judy Flory, Marian Yoder & Rosa King
To our surprise we discovered upon our arrival that it was a Dutch Mennonite Missionary who first came to North Sumatra Province and baptized the first new believers. Nias island is a administrative division of North Sumatra province. The Dutch Missionaries name was Verhouven and he was from the Mennonite church of Holland. He baptized his first two converts, who formerly were soldiers in the the Padri army, in Pakantan village of North Sumatra mid-1834. This was the beginning of Mennonite missions with many more Mennonite missionaries being sent from Holland to this region of Indonesia. This year is the 180 year anniversary of Mennonite missions in the whole of North Sumatra. What a joy to see faith in Jesus Christ being lived out to this very day on this Island with a population of 750,000 people. Indonesia is the largest Islamic populous nation in the world…but due to one Anabaptist missionary this island, as well as most of North Sumatra, is predominantly Christian. Today there are more than 1000 churches on this island that is only 1842 square miles with very little to no Islamic influence. What a joy and what a privilege was ours to be part of what God is continuing to do in building His Kingdom in Indonesia.
Nias Island is a beautiful tropical island with towering coconut palm trees, cocoa groves, beautiful tropical flowers, Indian ocean beaches and surfing waves abounding (do not miss the picture link below to see for yourself) … but the most beautiful aspect of the island is God’s Kingdom people abounding with love for Jesus as well as overwhelming Indonesian friendliness and hospitality.
The Full Conference Group At South Nias Island, Teluk Dalam
Every day starting Monday the 18th to Thursday the 21st our teaching team taught in the pastors conference as well as our sisters teaching a women’s conference in a separate teaching hall. Then each evening, after teaching all day at the conference, we would travel to some remote tribal village, most times more into the mountainous interior of the island, and conduct evangelistic/revival type meetings. Those dear village folks would come out to the evening services by the hundreds to hear the gospel preached. When the invitation was given they would respond freely to the gospel call of, ye must be born again, to surrender all to Jesus, Jesus as the way the truth and the life, what must I do to experience eternal life, and where is your faith? At most every service the team would be praying for the responses for a very long time after the service. By the time we finally were able to get back to our rooms to retire for the night the clock was telling us AM had already arrived. All of the MTM team fully understood what Paul meant when he said he labored for the cause of the gospel night & day (I thess 1:9). Blessed be God !!!
BE SURE TO VISIT THIS POST AGAIN SOMETIME SOON TO READ THE TESTIMONIES OF SOUTH NIAS ISLAND BROTHERS WHO ATTENDED THE MTM CONFERENCE.