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28 August 2013

Thoughts on Indonesia

Ruth Bayliss Ruth Bayliss Head of Student Work. Responsible for the Transform scheme.
Indonesia Blog

What is it like to live as a Christian in the world’s largest Islamic nation where over 200 million of your fellow citizens worship Allah? Where there is frequently the choice between your faith or your career? Or even that you can’t get hold of a bacon sandwich?! This is the reality facing the majority of Christ followers living in some South East Asian countries. This summer 15 of us from Above Bar Church were blessed to go and see for ourselves what it is like.

We were partnering with a local Bible Seminary which trained pastors for a major denomination, continuing the long links that Above Bar Church has had with the area through the work of our mission partner Biddy Taylor. While we were there we taught English at the Seminary; studied and acted out sections of Mark’s gospels; prayed and worshipped together. Meeting with the local University CU and Youth groups at the church, we got a real insight to what it is like to live as a Christian in a country where Christians face numerous challenges for following Jesus. In particular the church is majority women, so for these women a real choice is whether to marry a Muslim or to stay single for life. It was such a privilege to pray, worship and open us our common book the Bible to encourage each other.

We loved having a graduate from the seminary, who worked for ABC for a year (and is loved and missed by many in the church!). She has now just finished a trainee year in a tiny village a two hour boat ride and a five hour drive (on terrifying roads!) away from the nearest town. It is such a joy to see her thriving in her role as a minister, and she sends her love to the Above Bar Church family!

Among other highlights were tasting yummy local food (including lots of rice!), our daily team devotions and seeing orangutans! We all had a great time and learnt lots about what it means to be disciple-making disciples. We’d love to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported us prayerfully, financially, practically.

We are hosting a tea on the 20th October at 5pm where we will be sharing a bit more about our time. Please do come and join us if you would like to hear more: all are welcome!   



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