Indonesia (MAF/ MNN) — Seeing people receive God’s Word in their heart language for the first time is one of those “Bucket List” kinds of moments.
According to UrbanDictionary.com, the term “bucket list” refers to a literal list of things you want to do or accomplish before you die. It comes from the phrase “kicking the bucket,” which is sometimes used to refer to dying.
Dave Ringenberg, a Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) pilot serving in Indonesia, describes his Bucket List-worthy experience in an e-mail shared with MNN.
My scheduled flight was to Anngruk that day, an airstrip about one hour southwest of Sentani, inhabited by the Yali people group. I found out the previous day that I was to carry a couple of Indonesian gentlemen from a ministry called Faith Comes By Hearing. The purpose of their visit was to distribute devices containing the audio version of the New Testament. The written Bible has already existed in their local Yali language for some time, so I’m not sure I grasped the significance of what this audio version would mean to the local people until I heard chanting and celebrating from the village women as I shut down the Cessna Caravan.
A huge group of villagers gathered around Pak Chandra and Pak Nathan, the men from FCBH. As the plane was unloaded, the boxes of audio Bibles were placed in the middle of this huge gathering. Chandra began to explain in Indonesian what these audio Bibles were and how to use them. Nathan translated Pak Chandra’s words into Yali. There were two types of audio Bibles: a smaller one and a larger one. Both are solar powered, and the larger one also has a hand crank.
And then Chandra played it for the people. They stood in rapt attention as a dramatic voice spoke from the device itself, reading the first few sentences from the fourth chapter of the book of Matthew in their native tongue. One lady off to the side kept raising her hands to the heavens and then bringing them to her heart. Right then and there I knew that this was pretty special, as they were going to have the Word of God in audio form in their heart language.
Before I knew it, the ceremony was just about complete, but prior to our departure, the local pastor offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to God for these wonderful gifts from caring Christians around the world. As he began his prayer, I felt a humility before the Lord and I had to get on my knees. In my heart I could hear God’s Word resonate: “Whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). I was moved by these events as I humbly remembered that God’s Word will not return void. Praise God.
MAF missionary families and Indonesian staff members serve central and eastern Kalimantan. MAF enables ministry groups to bring the Gospel and basic, life-sustaining services to this primitive and otherwise inaccessible region of Indonesia. The MAF team provides much-needed flight services and maximizes opportunities to minister in ways not available to other mission agencies. Aviation allows MAF to establish and develop relationships with a broad cross-section of society.
Learn more about their work in Indonesia here. Then, respond by taking action.
“The first thing [to do] would be to pray: pray for God to bring workers in,” says Ringenberg.
“The other thing is to see what things are going on around the world and see if you’re interested in participating, somehow, someway.”