Southeast Asia
Robert Meyer, Southeast Asia Director

Eleven countries in Southeast Asia have BIMI missionaries earnestly involved in mission work. There are 35 couples and two single ladies working with seventeen different language groups.

In one of the 1968 issues of the BIMI World Magazine, an article announced that the new field of Southeast Asia would be opened within the next year. A field director was appointed and the first countries to be targeted were Australia and Papua New Guinea. (The Philippines and U.S. Territories were also mentioned. However, these were later designated to the Far East Asia Division.) Soon after, couples began to go to these countries.

INDONESIA was the next country to be entered by BIMI missionaries. In 1971 Jim and Dawn Daley went to Indonesia after serving in Australia. The following is an update from Dr. Daley:

A Country in Turmoil

Indonesia is in the midst of a great struggle. After the fall of strongman President Suharto in May of 1998, due to student demands, the people have enjoyed freedoms that they had not experienced in over 40 years. Although they have a form of democracy, they still have all of the problems carried over from the old regime. The country is facing economical disaster along with great political instability. In the first free election in almost fifty years, Abdurrhaman Wahid was elected as the new president. Fondly called Gus Durr, he is an Islamic cleric who is very moderate and has shown great tolerance towards other religions. The country faces tremendous problems because of the past and present corruption that has driven the country into dreadful debt. Debt cannot be repaid for years to come. The meltdown of the currency has caused hardships for the people. Over fifty percent of the population is living in poverty. Religious warfare between Muslims and Christians (in name only) in the area of Ambon (Eastern Indonesia) has resulted in the death of over a thousand people. When it appeared that the government had the problem under control, a group called Lakar Jihad (the army of the Holy War) traveled from Java to Ambon and since that time hundreds more have died. This problem has also spread to the island of Sulawesi (Celebes).

In spite of all of the above problems, the ministry is going well with the Independent Baptists. Our churches are experiencing growth as people are being saved. In the city of Jakarta there are over 20 million people in the metropolitan area. There are only two Independent Baptist families along with a single missionary lady trying to reach a total population of 100 million. Tom Crawford with B.B.F. and I have worked together for the past 27 years in starting churches and teaching in the Bible College. We had over 70 in the Bible College this past semester including part-time students as well as the full-time students. This is the largest group that we have ever had. We are very excited about the prospects for the future. We have students from the island of Nias, from Timor and also from Irian Jaya. We will be reaching out to these other islands as well as continuing the ministry on the main island of Java. Many of our churches have grown to the place where they need buildings but are not able to really meet the needs because of the financial crisis. The church at Cijantung, which Brother Tom and I started together some 20 years ago, faces the problem of growth. Pastor Yohanes cannot receive any new people because he has nowhere to put them. The church has over 125 children in Sunday school along with some 40+ young people and over 100 adults. They are attempting to build a second story on the building that will give them a large auditorium above the present building. They have been able to raise a good part of the needed finances but still need at least $10,000 to finish the project. Also, Pastor Yosua Ketiyo of the church of Kedoya needs around $40,000 for a new building. He is in the middle of a Chinese area that has great potential. Although we face many problems with the continuous riots and the demonstrations that take place daily, we are excited about what the future holds for our ministry. PRAY FOR INDONESIA.

Over a period of thirty years in Australia, approximately forty churches have been started and/or shepherded by BIMI personnel. Bible institutes have been started to train believers for the ministry. At present BIMI has fifteen couples as part of our Australian outreach.

In 1998 Robert and Lisa Gunter became the first BIMI missionary couple to go to Australia to minister to the deaf. They are in school learning the different sign languages used “down under.”

Now after 22 years, God has opened nine more countries. He is taking out a people for His Name through some dedicated servants. Oh, that we had twice as many for a good start in the new millennium.

The following are recent highlights from some of those countries:

The John Owens family was our first BIMI missionaries to go to Papua New Guinea in 1969. Brother Owens started the Lae Baptist Bible College in 1981. The school now has its own property with classrooms, dormitories and mission houses. Jim Stackhouse is now in charge of this vital ministry. There have been approximately forty churches started by our missionaries and national pastors.

The Dan DeLongs have just finished a term in Port Moresby. He writes: “As we went to Papua New Guinea in 1996, we prayed seeking God to bless and guide our efforts as we served Him in that land. Although our efforts were often frail and weak, we praise Him today for the many rewards of our seeking in the 1,009 souls that have professed faith in Christ as their Savior. We have had 219 follow the Lord in baptism. We have three new strong soul-winning churches: Gorohu Baptist Fellowship, Shem Baptist Fellowship and Heritage Baptist. We have a monthly ministry to the Bomana Prison and weekly soul winning and preaching ministry to the Port Moresby General Hospital. Each week there are also religious instruction classes taught at two of the community schools. A Bible Institute program has been started for training laymen and preacher boys. Carter Silas has been sent out to plant new works in the village areas of Rabaul, located on the island of East New Britain. We are also engaged in the ministry of two Christian schools plus the organization of Sunday Schools and Bible Clubs for children. As we diligently sought God in our service, we found Him to be a true “rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

The Bob Rutta Family in Dunedin, New Zealand, writes that they gave out 6,000 invitations for an evangelistic meeting in June. They have received a donation of 45,000 tracts and are awaiting 1,000 portions of John and Romans promised for their ministry.

The Mark Bosje Family reports, “Our church has recently had three of the most exciting Sundays we have ever known. The last three weeks of October was named “The Spring Programme.” (Things are a little different down here in the Southern Hemisphere! Note the time and spelling.) Before we began, our highest attendance for a Sunday morning was 158. We set a goal of 153 for the 17th of October, naming it “Fill the Net Sunday” after the story in John chapter 21. We were able to run a bus and a van, and our people worked unbelievably hard inviting visitors. Our count for the morning was 171 people, breaking our record or breaking the net. There were 31 people that walked the aisle to receive Christ as Saviour.

The second week was Labour Day weekend here (different again), so we did not set a number for the day, expecting many people to be out of town. To our surprise, 179 people showed up for church, with many new faces in the service. God blessed again with 32 more walking the aisle for salvation. Our goal for the 31st of October was to have 200 in the morning service. This was a tremendous step of faith for our people, but as the week went on we heard of more and more people who were planning to come. That morning 346 people joined us for our morning service, setting a new record and astounding us all! On that morning 48 souls professed faith in Christ, making a total of 111 for the programme.”

In spite of political turmoil in Fiji with martial law in effect, Paul Daku writes that they have an increased attendance with several being saved.

A church has been established in CAMBODIA (Ruppels) and three in SINGAPORE (Mannings and Burkes). God is showing Himself strong in India. David & Joanne Divakar are now working with his parents and soon his sister Sharon will join them. MYANMAR: Tom Kane can only take short trips into this “closed” country (formerly Burma). He writes: “After receiving Baptism training, seven Buddhist converts were baptized. The Sunday school ministry is doing well with three teachers taking part in the work each week. We have informally instituted Bethel Baptist Bible Institute. God has burdened my heart for this ministry for some time now.”

God has greatly expanded His work in this great region of the world through the sending churches of BIMI since our beginning in 1969. To Him be the praise and glory!

Missionaries of the Day
Thursday, July 31, 2014

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

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