Strong Faith in Indonesia
It’s Sunday outside of *Hope Church in Bandung, Indonesia, and these children crowd around their favorite teachers—*Adinda and *Maya, who are currently studying under Langham Scholar Dwi Handayani at the Bandung Theological Seminary. They are serving at the church, which is located in one of Bandung’s poorest neighborhoods, as part of their studies. Dwi’s own story of emerging from a childhood of desperate poverty has motivated and inspired Adina and Maya to better love and serve the children of *Hope Church.
“Looking at Dwi, knowing where she came from. . . it’s a great motivation for me,” says Maya. “In class she emphasizes not just teaching and preaching God’s Word, but also the life of the people that you are ministering to. You have to love them, approach them, spend time with them. The more I learn about the Bible and theology, the more confidence I have to serve others.”
Training one, impacting many
The crest mounted on the stone wall outside Bandung Theological Seminary reads “Sola Scriptura.” Not too notable for a seminary. But in Indonesia—where a movement of biblical preaching is gaining momentum smack dab in the middle of the largest Muslim population in the world—it’s a meaningful declaration.
Inside, Bible teacher Dwi Handayani, one of 14 Langham Scholars who graduated with a PhD this year, is working to teach her students—Indonesia’s future pastors and leaders—how to both proclaim God’s Word and connect it to the world outside of the seminary walls. Dwi also serves as Langham’s Preaching training coordinator for Indonesia, and she uses the same simple curriculum Langham uses to train pastors around the world with her seminary students. As a result—students are being presented with an entirely new approach to studying and teaching God’s Word. And, it’s making a difference.
Dwi says, “Before, some of the seminary graduates don’t preach well. They know how to dig into the Bible, but they don’t know how to deliver it well. . . Langham’s training method is clear and transferrable, so by giving them this kind of training, it’s helped them. And the churches we send them to, they say that we produce good preachers. So, that’s wonderful.”
“Langham has arrived at just the right time.”
Dwi credits her studies, supported by Langham at Asia Graduate School of Theology in the Philippines with encouraging her to bring together God’s Word and the context of the world.
“They said it all the time, ‘in your context, in your context. ’ I was thinking, ‘What is my context?’ Then I thought about Indonesia, the most populace Muslim nation in the whole world.”
This is why Dwi focused her studies and research on ministry within Muslim contexts—an issue front and center for those doing ministry in Indonesia. Rosemary, a local pastor trainer with Langham Preaching, shares: “The [areas] where the church is established and stronger is arousing the attention of more radical Islamist leaders. Church leaders know that if their people are not established in the Word, they will be easy prey . . . Langham has arrived at just the right time for church leaders who believe that unless we establish our people, we will lose them.”
As a theologically trained leader, doors are now open for Dwi to engage in meaningful conversations with leaders of other faiths.
“A few months ago,” she shares, “I was invited as a moderator to a religious freedom dialogue at the largest university here. That’s an opportunity to share.”
They are longing for the Word of God
Across town, *Hope Church stands as a Gospel outpost in an impoverished Bandung neighborhood. Its pastor, Daniel, is one of Indonesia’s almost 4,000 biblical leaders trained by Langham, and he has gone through several levels of pastor training with Dwi. In the five years since the formation of the church, Pastor Daniel has seen the congregation grow from 6 to 120 members—and he sees himself not only as their teacher, but as a caretaker.
Dwi says she’s seen a great deal of growth and improvement in Daniel’s preaching, and Daniel knows it’s impacting the church. After spending three months preaching through the book of Acts—Daniel saw the Word of God touching the heart of his church.
“[My congregation] is basically desperately poor, and they are longing for the Word of God to strengthen them, to encourage them, and to give them something to hold on to,” he says. “Before Langham, I never do expository preaching. But now, my sermon is based on the Bible.”
“My congregation says that now they know what is the purpose of their lives. It is to serve God,” he shares. “They have a new vision.”
Langham is dedicated to multiplying biblical leaders with a God-shaped vision in Indonesia and throughout the global church. Thank you for being co-laborers in this mission with us. Your prayers and generous support of Langham raises up teachers like Dwi who pour their lives into training pastors like Daniel. By God’s grace, the result is believers growing in number and maturity. We are grateful!
Make a gift that equips theological leaders like Dwi where they are needed most.
*Some names have been changed to protect the security of those serving in sensitive regions.Tags: Asia Graduate School of Theology, Bandung Theological Seminary, Indonesia, Langham Partnership, Langham Scholars, Scholars