The Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church, founded by the famous evangelist Pastor Stephen Tong, has preached the Gospel to 1.5 million Indonesians, much more than its initial goal of reaching 1.3 million for this year. This is a testimony to God's blessing and greatness.
According to Pastor Tong's International Evangelism Fellowship's adaptation of the press release by the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church, a survey up until November 9th of this year showed that sermons have the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church's sermons have reached 1.5 million, exceeding historical records.
Indonesia, with a population of 248 million, is the country with the highest population of Muslims. The fact that the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church has reached 1.5 million just within this year is of great significance, and represents a tremendous contribution to the evangelization of a Muslim country.
To many people, evangelizing to over 1 million people within a year is hard to fathom, let alone the fact that the object for evangelization is Indonesians who are mainly Muslims. The Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church has turned this into reality, to testify to the miracle of God.
The Evangelistic Association pointed out that Pastor Tong, while leading the Taipei preaching assembly in the end of October, has shared how the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church enabled the miracle of the evangelization of a million people within this year.
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Pastor Tong stated that in order for the evangelization to 1.5 million people to be realized, 90 teams of church workers cooperated to toil and serve. Preaching assemblies are scheduled one after another with great strength, and some 700 preaching assemblies were held within one week at the busiest times. For example, in the month of October, nearly 200,000 Indonesians were able to hear the Gospel.
In aims of saving souls, church workers sent out by the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church worked to exhaustive extents, which was unforgettable for Pastor Tong. He gave an example: in order to preach to some 200 schools segregated within various locations on an island, the workers drove motorcycles and traveled tirelessly in gusty winds. By the time they arrived at their destinations, they suffered from colds and coughs, but still had to start preaching after brief rests, which enabled more than 20 assemblies.
The Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church has reaped successes never seen before within this one year. Many workers are exhausted physically, but they still have not slowed their efforts, because there are still several hundred preaching assemblies waiting for them to lead, and they likely have to keep working until the end of the year to get some rest.
Preaching assemblies led by Pastor Tong in various places in Indonesia have been well received. He emphasized that about two months ago, when the Indonesian President heard that places touched by preaching assemblies hosted by Pastor Tong's Evangelistic Association resulted in better order, better compliance among the youths, and better behavior among the students, he laterally encouraged the various provinces in Indonesia to hold similar Christian preaching assemblies.
To Pastor Tong, the ability for preaching assemblies organized by the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church to be accepted by government officials and community leaders is predictive of the future widening of the Indonesian doorway to the Gospel. Thus the evangelistic works of the Church must continue under this golden opportunity.
Pastor Tong also stated another reason for the continual works of the Church. He stated that although the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church reaped great evangelization results this year, there is still a great distance towards the evangelization of the entire Indonesia. The Church cannot become proud based on its success on these 1.5 million people.
He calculated: Indonesia has 248 million people. If the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church preaches to 1 million people per year, then it has to spend 218 years to let all Indonesians hear the Gospel. In short, the evangelization of Indonesia is a long process, and he hopes that he can witness the great spiritual revolution in his lifetime.
Furthermore, one thing must be clarified: the number of people involved in Pastor Tong's personal Indonesian and world preaching assemblies, and the number of church workers involved in the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church founded by him are counted separately. In other words, the evangelization works by the churches and organizations that Pastor Tong founded has reached far more than 1.5 million people.
The 70-year-old Pastor Tong has served God for over half of his life, and he summarized his life's work as such, "To turn an unbeliever into a believer, and to turn a believer into a believer with true understanding, to turn a believer with true understanding to a reformed believer, and to turn a reformed believer into someone who acts and serves according to the reformed faith. When these things are done, I will then be ready to meet God."
[Editor's note: Carol Lee translated the article.]