The Southeast Asia Family Conference took place in Malaka, Malaysia in early November. Families from Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia gathered for a time of encouragement and fellowship. Many of the families are first-generation followers of Christ, and their walk with God is dynamic and joyful.
The testimonies of God’s work in people’s lives in Southeast Asia are amazing. Many who were raised as Buddhist, Taoist, or practicing ancestor worship shared that in their hour of need, they somehow heard about the love of Christ and their lives were transformed. One man told how he had been a Buddhist and a drug addict. After serving eight years in prison for drug trafficking, he was in a drug rehabilitation center when someone shared with him the Gospel. He received Jesus Christ and his life was immediately transformed. This man enrolled in seminary where he met his wife. He eventually became a pastor and heard the Biblical teaching regarding family size being left in God’s hands. In a country where having only one or two children is the accepted norm, this believer has trusted God for one daughter and eight sons. His family ministers together to others by singing while playing Chinese gongs and a Chinese violin for accompaniment.
Spiritual warfare is taking place in Southeast Asia. Indonesia is experiencing a growth in radical Islam. One year ago, rioting occurred in the streets of Jakarta against the governor who is a Christian. Governor Ahok was accused of blaspheming Islam, officially tried, convicted of blasphemy, and sentenced to two years in prison. Many in Jakarta realize that the charges were brought against the governor by corrupt politicians because he brought an end to corruption in the government. The people believe the governor is honest and the charges are unjust. Rather than appeal the verdict, the governor trusted God with the outcome and is currently serving a two-year prison term.
Please pray that the Lord would strengthen and encourage the Christians in Southeast Asia. Persecution is actively occurring in this area of the world, and those who choose to follow Christ are often ostracized from their families and communities. Pray that the love of God would continue to transform lives in Southeast Asia.