April 1, 2021

Decisions for Christ, More than 3,000 Miles Away

Northern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review

Following a recommendation by Richard Sabuin, Sabbath School and Personal Ministries director in the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), the Nusa Tenggara Mission invited Kwon JohngHaeng, NSD Stewardship Ministries director, to hold an online evangelism series. The Nusa Tenggara Mission is located in southeast Indonesia, more than 3,000 miles (about 4,800 km) from the NSD headquarters near Seoul, South Korea.

Initially, the evangelistic meetings were scheduled for September 2020, but COVID-19-related restrictions prevented the speaker from attending in person. After consultation, church leaders decided to hold the meetings through livestream on Zoom and Facebook Live.

Nusa Tenggara Mission leaders promoted Zoom and Facebook Live to the local church leaders and members. Pastors and lay leaders taught the Bible to viewers and made appeals. Sabuin himself instructed baptismal candidates for several hours through Zoom.

On February 21, 2021, the seven-day evangelistic series began. Kwon preached from the library of his apartment in Korea, and Sabuin translated the sermons into the Indonesian language from the living room of his apartment in Korea.

A series of evangelistic meetings hosted from two apartments in Korea resulted in dozens of baptisms in southeast Indonesia, more than 3,000 miles away. [Photo: Northern Asia-Pacific Division News]

According to organizers, more than 250 Zoom accounts were linked every evening. In some places, people gathered in churches wearing face masks. In others, about 10 people sat around and listened to the word using a cell phone. In some places, people heard only the audio without seeing the video. Many of those in the audience were organized into small groups for Bible study. Overall, it is estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 people listened to the messages every evening.

Indonesian church members sang hymns and opened the Bible to search for verses as if they were attending an on-site evangelistic meeting. One of the most touching features was children sitting in the front row and listening to the messages.

Every evening, the preacher appealed to the audience to make decisions by raising their hands, and they responded. On February 27, after the evangelistic meeting and worship, baptismal services were held in various places. In some places, pastors baptized people in a church baptistry. Others were baptized in streams. Overall, 27 people were baptized on February 27 and 13 more on March 6.

At the end of the series, Nusa Tenggara Mission president Albertho Tulalessy expressed his gratitude on behalf of church members. “We thank Pastor Kwon and Pastor Sabuin, who have become God’s mouthpieces in this evangelistic meeting,” Tulalessy said. “We are grateful that the NSD extended its helping hand to support evangelism in our territory.”

Above all, Tulalessy emphasized, he and his members felt thankful to God. “We praise and magnify the name of the Lord for what He has done through this evangelistic meeting. Please pray for the newly baptized and the rest of the members in the Nusa Tenggara Mission,” he said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Northern Asia-Pacific Division news site.