Village leader in Bali accepts Christ despite threats

By January 24, 2008

Bali (MNN) — Last year, Book of Hope showed the GodMan film for the first time in Bali. The GodMan is a 3-D animated story of the life of Christ that supplements the distribution of the Book of Hope.

Bali, a South Pacific island, has a long history of Hinduism. The team there must request permission from village leaders before they show the GodMan. In one village in particular, the village leader, Ladra, was not accepting of the idea. However, while the team was at his home, they found out that Ladra's wife was very ill. They offered to pray for her, which he allowed. 

Before they left, they noticed that Ladra was very touched by the fact that these strangers were concerned not only for his village, but for his wife as well. Ladra invited the team back in a few weeks.

Book of Hope's Ty Silva says the situation when they returned was quite different. "This time Ladra had prepared a place for the GodMan to be shown. In fact it was in a field right in front of his own house. They had the film showing, and the children and the people of the village were very excited. In fact, they filled the field and overflowed into the street."

After the showing, Ladra gave his life to Christ. The team was excited, and the news spread. But local priests in other villages were angry. They told the local police who began to tell villagers that Ladra's decision would bring him under a curse. 

Threats came in, and prayer began. "One day, not too long after that, the chief of police in Ladra's village called the pastor to report to his office. There the pastor was given the opportunity to present his side of the story, plus he was able to share the Gospel with the chief of police and other policemen that had gathered around," said Silva. The Hindu chief granted the BOH team protection as long as they reported any more threats. 

Local priests were still upset and stripped Ladra of his leadership responsibilities. "Ladra gave a very similar response as Nicodemus. He said, ‘If they turn against me for showing the story of a Man who taught so many wonderful things and did so much good, then let it be," said Silva.

Ladra's response impacted his entire family. They unanimously decided that Ladra would be the priest of his family. Now, the pastor of the Book of Hope team has begun a discipleship and training program for Ladra. 

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