CMS with Andrew and Abi

  • 12 April 2022
  • Louise Kaye
Welcome back! Easter is approaching, where we celebrate Jesus’ great sacrifice for us and his victory over death. For the fourth year in a row (two more than originally planned), we will not be in Indonesia to celebrate with our local church there.Easter in Toraja. This year, the set passage for Easter Sunday in the Church of Toraja is John 20:11-18. Mary’s desolation at Jesus’ cruel and unjust death and the indignity of his body apparently being stolen turns to joy as the risen Lord greets her. In her joy she runs to proclaim the news to the other disciples.

That joy is enacted quite dramatically in much of Toraja, as Sunday School children wake up well before dawn and go around their town or village proclaiming that Jesus has risen. This is followed by a combined Easter service at dawn. This only happens at Easter. So as the minister preaches about the resurrection, the congregation have already affirmed with their bodies its unique importance. Do pray that people will be drawn to the risen Jesus in their hearts as they hear the good news proclaimed.
Timothy learning to read music

As we continue to wait, Timothy continues to grow. A great blessing for us has been the playgroup at our local church in Sydney where he is learning to interact with other toddlers. This has inspired Abi to look at starting a similar group at our local church when we get to Toraja. As of writing, sixteen mothers have joined a Whatsapp group to express interest. “Domba kecil” means “Little Sheep”, a direct translation of the aptly named ministry in Sydney.

Abi has been at her local church since she was a child. Since becoming a committed believer through Perkantas student ministry at her theological college, her involvement in Sunday School and the youth group has been with a desire to draw people to Jesus. Many of those in the Whatsapp group were children and young people who experienced her ministry during that time. While Andrew can teach and supervise students online, this ministry, along with other ministry with women and the Fun English class for school aged children await our return.

Last, and definitely least in terms of intrinsic interest, here is the latest on our visa. Two months ago, we reported that the college’s visa application for Andrew was in process. Significant progress has been made… in discovering what needs to be done in order to get the visa. Firstly, they need a work permit, that is, permission to employ a foreigner. Secondly, Andrew’s degrees need to go through an official validation process both to determine their authenticity and to determine quality. This is a standard process for all foreign degrees, whether obtained by foreigners or Indonesians studying overseas. The (not unfounded) lack of trust in pieces of paper means that it is not just the highest degree that is verified, but all the prerequisites. So, Andrew will need to apply to have his Bachelor of Theology verified, then his Masters of Theology, and then his Ph.D. Only then can the work permit be granted and the visa application completed. We definitely won’t be back by Easter!

The work permit will be needed in any case by the college to employ Andrew, but at some stage our former plan of Abi sponsoring Andrew will be available again. If this happens soon, we won’t have to wait for the work permit. This is our current prayer.Give thanksFor the greatly reduced numbers of COVID infections and hospitalisations in Indonesia.For the abolition of quarantine requirements for visitors and gradual opening up of borders.For Timothy’s continued health and growth, and the Little Sheep ministry that is his main source of socialisation at the moment.Please askFor an alternative path to a visa to become available soon.For the processing of Andrew’s documents and work permit (necessary even if we can use another visa path).For hearts to be touched by the proclamation of God’s great deeds of power on the cross and in raising Jesus from the dead.