In the April 2019 edition of Border Crossings, we told the story of the mission of the Gereja Kristen Luther Indonesia (GKLI) church to the indigenous Sanak people in the jungles of North Sumatra. In April 2022 I was privileged to visit the Sanak village largely built by donations from LCA members. So how has […]
In the April 2019 edition of Border Crossings, we told the story of the mission of the Gereja Kristen Luther Indonesia (GKLI) church to the indigenous Sanak people in the jungles of North Sumatra. In April 2022 I was privileged to visit the Sanak village largely built by donations from LCA members. So how has the gospel transformed the lives of these dear saints? Kristian, the leader of this community, explains.
My name is Kristian Yanto. I am the Tumenggung, the leader of my tribal group known as the Suku Anak Dalam (Sanak). My wife is Elizabeth Suani. We have two children. The first one is Yemima. She is in grade 2 at primary school and her younger sister is Tamar Wulan Sari. There are 23 people and seven families in my Sanak group.
Previously we lived nomadic lives and our main livelihood was hunting boars. Today their population is decreasing because the palm oil plantations have taken over the jungle. This meant we were facing difficulties to fulfil our daily needs.
Before becoming Christians, my group had beliefs inherited from our parents. We worshipped the ‘Behelo’, the one unseen we believe to be in power. The intermediary between us and the Behelo is an elder. He prays and meditates in a quiet place to the Behelo. When someone is sick, this elder prays to Behelo so that the sick person gets healed.
In October 2017, Rev Anton Ben Gurion Hutagalung and his wife visited us at our camp with a toke, a merchant, who regularly comes to get the boars we hunted. They wanted to invite us to join their Christian gathering.
Now I feel a peaceful life because I have faith in Jesus. God has given me a new life and salvation in Jesus Christ the Lord. Previously none of us goes to school. We do not know how to read and write. But our thanks go to Pastor Hutagalun and his wife, evangelist Donna, who encouraged us to send my child to a public school.
Since becoming a Christian, I have been more aware of how to love others. I realise I am a sinner. When there is someone who harms me, I realise that God wants me to forgive like Jesus who has forgiven us.
Previously we lived nomadic lives, but I thank God now we have settled in the middle of a palm plantation in which there is already a church built by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod through GKLI, as well as several houses for us to live in, supported by the LCA.
Thank you very much for your wonderful help. May the Lord bless you.
This story was also published in the August 2022 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.
Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray
Read more stories about our partner churches in Indonesia at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/indonesia/