Increased Muslim militancy In Indonesia has been leading to considerable persecution of Christians with many churches being burnt down and other pressure being applied, but there are far reaching works of God at work that are not so often reported. In recent conversations between our friend Michael Ross Watson and Patrick Johnstone, the mastermind between the Christian Prayer Resource Operation World and with a leading General in the Indonesian armed forces, (one of six committed Christian Generals out a total of fifteen), it may well be now that something like 17% of all Indonesians attend church – a huge increase on previous estimates. (Government figures, of course, are always manipulated downwards)
The Chinese in Indonesia make up a mere 6% of the population but own 84% of the economy. In August Michael, who has done so much sterling work in Indonesia, had dinner in Surabaya with his Javanese family and two Chinese pastors of a large church in the city. They wanted to know how they were able to relate so closely to our Javanese family, because, in Indonesia the Chinese Christians tend to look down upon other Indonesians and treat them as servants. These pastors asked him to come next year and speak on this subject of seeing these barriers broken down.
May the Lord bring this wonderfully about! In the meantime, however, we need to pray for both Michael and Esther’s health. On a visit to the oncologist on 1st September Michael was given some new medication which he should never have been given. Among its other side effects are that it induces diabetes, causes serious eye problems and causes damage to the kidneys. He has been in a bad way since he stopped taking this medication after ten weeks. He is gradually improving and hopes to be completely restored, but he still has awful tiredness and his vision beyond a few feet is blurred. Two doctors have confirmed that this is the result of taking the wrong medication. Esther meanwhile has a nodule on her vocal chords and is struggling with her voice. It is not malignant, but annoying. The ENT specialist wants her to see a speech therapist before considering the option of an excision. They are both trusting God for full healing and restoration, but let’s get behind them in prayer!
Michael has written several devotional publications.