By Brother John
In 1971, I became the 7th child in my Muslim family. As a young Muslim, I was
not active in the prayer times and other religious Muslim practices. As a teen
I became a bad Muslim, drinking, smoking and disobedient to Allah.
In 1998, a Christian developed a friendship with me. He said something utterly
amazing to me. "God loves you." I was shocked. Allah doesn't love me. Allah
is angry with me. I am a bad guy. My new friend said over and over, "God loves
you. Even though we are sinners, God sent Jesus the Messiah to die for us. God
loves you. God wants to save you and develop a friendship with you." Night
after night, I lay in bed amazed at what my friend said. "God loves you,
I began to go to a Bible study. I began to read the New Testament. Jesus was
so amazing, so powerful, yet so kind and forgiving. By 1999, my hard heart had
changed. I wanted Jesus. Contrary to what I had been taught, from my study of
the life of Jesus I believed he was the Son of God. I wanted to receive the
love of God and the forgiveness of God through the death and resurrection of
Jesus the Messiah.
When my oldest brother found out I had become a Christian, he was furious. He
attacked me and beat me up bad. He threw me out of the house and away from my
family. In the kindness of the Lord, I found work in a nearby city. My new
Christian friends at church loved me and helped me.
As I continued to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, I became effective
at explaining the gospel of Christ to Muslim friends. As I progressed with
Jesus, the Lord called me into ministry for Jesus. Now I teach personal
evangelism at a Bible School. I help the students go out and discuss Jesus
with Muslims, Hindus and Animists here in Indonesia. It is super-encouraging
to see them develop confidence and effectiveness with their friends.
After years of hardship with my family, some softened as they saw my progress
and new way of life. My Mom was the first to turn to Jesus. Then younger
brothers 8, 9, 10! My Mom is now with Jesus. The Lord is continuing to work
in my family. I am excited about what the Lord can do for my brothers and
sisters. Whenever I get a chance, I tell them, "God loves you."
Notes: Brother Gulang teaches at one of AIM's partner mission schools in
August 7, 2019