Some Christians in Serui

The congregation in Serui, Papua Province, Indonesia was established in 1988 and has always been self supporting. They built their church building literally with their own hands and at their own expense over a seven-year period. My missionary memoire (in progress) is about what God has done with them. They are representative of many over the past thirty years, in many locations across the vast Indonesian archipelago. Some of the key people are: 1. Deki, an elementary school teacher on the fast-developing frontier of Waropen. 2. Yopi, the husband of the late Octafina. She died at the age of 28. The final words from her mouth as she lay dying, eyes closed for the last time, were the song Amazing Grace. Yopi has since remarried, to another fine Christian lady. They have believing children, including Johnny, Octafina's son, who was a little boy when his mama went to be with the Lord. She has left a Christian legacy. 3. Charles, a graduate of the Bible school at Batam, more than 2,000 miles east of Serui, who is a faithful. capable preacher and teacher at Serui. 4. Chris Payawa, the husband of Betty. They have twelve children, including one already in the blessed presence the growing number of departed saints. All who have reached the age of accountability are faithful Christians. Four have graduated from college, so far. 5. Yoris, the husband of Aplena. She was taught the gospel since she was a little girl in the Bible classes in Serui that at first attended sitting on my living room floor, before the congregation had the native materials building, grass-thatched and rustic, that was used for the twelve years before the permanent building (where this photo was taken this week) was completed. Yoris, who was brought to the Lord by Aplena, is the regular preacher for the Serui congregation. He and Aplena were mentored by Bram and Rose since their marriage to take an active, effective part in the children's ministry. 6. Another young man taught at Serui and baptized into Christ there. I apologize that his name has slipped my mind as I type at midnight. 7. Bram, husband of Rose, with whom he has taught children's Bible classes since she brought him to Christ. 8. Rose, the younger sister of Chris and the wife of Bram, who has seen almost all the children she and Bram have taught over the past 25 years excell in public school and character and become faithful, loving followers of Jesus. There were no college graduates among the charter members at Serui, but there are many now. I baptized Rose into Christ in 1990, at the same time as her late mother (Kostafina, the grandmother of Octafina), her brother (Boas), and her aunt, (Francina), all faithful, courageous, and evangelistic. A brother in Singapore asked me recently what I consider the defining moment in my 45 years of missionary ministry. This is my reply, by the amazing grace of God. My memoire is a grateful tribute to them and many others like them about whom I have written over the decades.