Meet Pastor Budiantoro from Indonesia
Terrorist attacks create fear and wreak havoc. This fear can grow and spread rapidly, immobilizing entire communities. The recent attack on a church in Surabaya in Indonesia has brought much fear and concern to the community.
Rev. Yonathan Budiantoro, Pastor of the Surabaya Pentecostal Church (GPPS) knows this very well. He asks the body of Christ to pray for his church members.
GPPS is one of Open Doors’ church partners in Surabaya. The church pastor, Rev. Yonathan, said that a security guard (Min, 52) died, along with four of their church members, including 17-year-old Daniel who tried to prevent the bombers’ car from passing through the church gate. “Had it not been for his bravery, more people would have been hurt,” commented an Indonesian netizen on social media.
Rev. Yonathan, who attended our Standing Strong Through the Storm training eight years ago, said he gathered the congregation to pray right after the attack. He encouraged them to see the incident as a preparation for the end times. “We must be even closer with God than ever. Some may be fearful to worship because of the incident. But we cannot give in to fear,” he said to Open Doors. “Please pray for the church members to grow stronger in their faith. It is even more dangerous if we step out of the Lord’s guard. His protection is the best among all. We may not know or understand His ways, but He is always good, all the time.”
The sudden surge of lethal attacks since last week is believed to be a form of retaliation by IS-linked terrorist cells. “Aside from an international motif, where ISIS had been cornered by the US and Russia, we have recently captured the leaders of JAD and JAT (Jamaah Ansyarut Tauhid), the two main ISIS supporter groups in Indonesia,” said National Police Chief Tito Karnavian as reported by TribunNews online news portal. “The incidents that followed are most likely an act of revenge.” Meanwhile, capital city Jakarta and its surroundings are now on maximum security alert.
- For comfort for those who mourn, and healing for those who have been injured and for protection over churches and others who are targets for extremist attacks – there was another attack on a police headquarters following the church attacks
- That God would confuse the plans of those who are seeking to do harm in Indonesia, and that God would change their hearts and draw them to Himself
- For wisdom for church leaders, Open Doors workers and others who are seeking to comfort those affected by these attacks
- For courage for Christians in Indonesia, and that these attacks would not stop them from meeting together and being a witness for Christ.
Open Doors works alongside local churches and mission agencies to support persecuted believers in Indonesia through immediate relief for victims of persecution, advocacy support, socio-economic development projects, training, and providing Bibles and other Christian literature. Support the work of Open Doors in South East Asia.
Read more on World Watch Monitor (here)