Tsunami relationships open doors for new outreach in Indonesia.

By November 29, 2005

Indonesia (MNN)–This is the story of a ministry being harvested through tragedy.

Words of Hope’s Lee DeYoung says a partner in Indonesia may soon be able to air Gospel programming on the radio in the region. That came as the result of their team’s emergency medical help in the early days of the tsunami crisis.

He explains that, “In the past, [broadcasting] that was an option that was closed, even though there were stations that were willing to consider it. There was concern that there might be a backlash, and at this point, at least in one area, the station is willing to go ahead and air programs. It seems as if it may reflect a softening of opposition against the Gospel.”

Indonesia has long been home to more Muslims than any other country. In spite of expected opposition to the hope of Christ, the church has grown throughout this nation of 3,000 islands. Some believers estimate that Indonesia may now be 25% Christian.

It’s growth that doesn’t come easily though. The community had a large distrust of Christians because of past sectarian violence.

In the days following the tsunami crisis, when it became evident believers were reaching beyond themselves, the doors began to open.

Because the community trusted Christians, they started asking questions. DeYoung says that’s a change of heart in this Muslim area. “It’s a sign that even in a very hard place, in the midst of tragedy, there may be a n outcome that has created a greater openness to the Gospel and to Christians there in Indonesia.”

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