In a small Indonesian town, several people decided to be baptized following Bible studies and being told by neighbors that they had seen “people in bright white clothes” walking around their neighborhood.
A few years ago, as part of its plans to train and empower young people for mission, Seventh-day Adventists in Indonesia opened a local branch of the Northern-Asia and Southern-Asia Pacific Division region’s “1000 Missionary Movement” (1000MM). 1000MM is an organization that provides training and missionary opportunities to missionary-minded young people across the region. Its stated goals are to bring the gospel to unentered areas and to strengthen local churches with a volunteer missionary spirit.
Recently, the 4th batch of missionaries being trained in Indonesia held evangelistic meetings in two small towns. A series of meetings was held in a town where a group of just seven Adventists lived, while the other took place in a town with only one Adventist and no church. Most of the town residents are Muslims, and the rest belong to other Christian denominations.
During the series, missionaries woke up every morning at 4:30 a.m. for prayer walks in the neighborhood. They were divided into groups of two to five for Bible studies in people’s homes. A group of residents was so kind to the young visitors that they provided lodging and food.
White-Clad People Walking
A pair of young missionary ladies who were assigned to the town far from the base camp visited an older couple that were well respected in their local Christian church. At first, the husband seemed not interested in studying the Bible, but eventually, he changed his mind and accepted to study with the visiting missionaries.
As the older man progressed in his studies, he started opening up to biblical concepts that he had never been exposed to. “Ten years ago, I almost died of heart issues,” he said. “I had to give up pork, drinking, and smoking, things I enjoyed.”
The man had been a Christian for decades, but many of the teachings of the missionaries were new to him. “I have been so wrong in so many areas,” he said. Missionaries could tell his heart was warming up to the message.
Unlike him, his wife was not responding much to the studies, even though she also changed her mind and eventually decided to study the Bible with the visiting missionaries.
Finally, the moment of decision came. The man decided to be baptized, but his wife said, once again, that she was not interested.
On Friday morning, however, the day before the evangelistic meetings ended, the woman heard something astonishing from her neighbors at the marketplace.
“Yesterday at 4:00 AM, we saw people in bright white clothes walking around,” the woman’s neighbors told her. “There were four of them, and we saw them in front of your house, too.”
When the woman heard this, she was terrified that they might have been ghosts. When she returned home, she shared what she had heard with the couple of young ladies.
The young ladies were so surprised when they heard this—it was the exact time they were walking around, praying in front of each home! That morning, they had decided to make a special round of prayers before leaving the town. When the woman heard this, she felt God was leading these missionaries and decided to be baptized with her husband and a neighbor.
On Sabbath morning, a total of seven souls, including the couple, were baptized in this town and five were baptized in the nearby town. “We praise the Lord for what he has done,” said group coordinators. “Now we are praying that the Lord will keep doing a mighty work in Indonesia.”