By Mark Ellis —
The leader of a Hindu temple in Indonesia needed a duck to sacrifice for one of their ceremonies. He recently met a Christian ministry leader, and asked the Christian if he could help him find a “special duck.”
The 36-year-old temple leader was considered the head of the village, had large land holdings and two wives, according to Christian Aid Mission (CAM).
It seemed like an odd request. Why does he think I could find him this special duck? the Christian wondered. “What will this duck be used for?” he asked.
The Hindu leader explained the duck would be sacrificed so his god will be appeased. “If it was not offered, the ‘big fish’ will be disturbed by a god and get sick,” he said.
With Spirit-filled inspiration, the Christian explained the role of animal sacrifices in ancient Israel and how they were no longer necessary because the blood of Jesus Christ is the perfect, final, and sufficient offering for the forgiveness of sins.
“I tried to explain it by using a passage from the Hindu scripture, Bhagavad Gita, verse 24.23.3, which says, ‘Only the life of God can be the sacrifice that can make people clean from sin.’”
These words from the Hindu holy book shocked the man when he suddenly recognized their correlation to Jesus Christ.
The Hindu leader returned many times to ask questions about Jesus, the Christian leader told CAM.
Overpowered by the Spirit and swayed by the Truth, “he says he now believes in Jesus Christ!”
The man has not been baptized yet, because he is still a leader of the village and also a leader of the main Hindu temple in the village, the director told CAM. “Please pray with me for him.”
Hindus represent only 1.7 percent of the population of Indonesia, while 87.2 percent are Muslim and less than 10 percent are Christian. Last year this indigenous Christian leader watched 54 people decide to follow Jesus, and 13 were baptized.
The ministry conducts outreaches in Central Sulawesi, Bali, and other islands, employing nine full-time missionaries and one volunteer worker among several unreached people groups. The ministry also trains evangelists and pastors — 15 last year — and four people recently graduated from its Bible classes, according to CAM.
As a result of their outreaches, they have seen teenage children changed and entire communities transformed.
Recently a 15-year old girl in a predominantly Hindu village asked why the Christian leader was offering Bible studies at a home for widows.
“The girl wanted to understand why Jesus Christ was more powerful than black magic,” he said. “One day as I was on my way to the widows’ home, she followed me and asked if she could listen to what I was teaching the widows. She began to come regularly. After the third Bible study, she openly believed and professed Jesus Christ.”
A friend introduced the Christian leader to the head of a large Hindu temple in another village who said black magic had left him bed-ridden with illness for two years. The director prayed with him for two months that God would bring healing.
One day the temple leader’s wife called and asked him to visit, saying the local shaman had stopped visiting him. In fact the shaman had been coming but was mysteriously unable to find him, the director said.
“I came to visit again, and I just asked him to invite Jesus the Doctor, saying He is God who can make you healed,” he said. “I said, ‘I’ll pray for you, but you must believe that He is God and will make you well.'”
He prayed for him and left. The director returned the next day and found the temple leader strong enough to be mixing cement to build a wall.
“When I came, he said, ‘Hello Mr. Church,’ because he doesn’t know my name,” he told CAM. “He said, ‘Please pray for me and let me know more about Jesus,’ and afterward I gave him an MP3 player with the gospel. The next week I came and baptized him.”
The former Hindu remains an influential community leader, he added, saying villagers have been coming to him and asking why he came to Jesus, and many more are believing, as the Gospel advances day by day.
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