Makassar, Indonesia Festival
Makassar You Are Loved! The atmosphere was electric as the revelation of God’s unconditional love began to settle in the hearts and minds of those attending the pastors and leaders seminar. The theme; “Cast out Hagar”. Pastor Peter shared his personal testimony how he threw out many of his own sermons when God began to teach him about grace. This revelation has changed lives around the world!
As the day went on, anticipation grew for what was going to happen at the festival! The auditorium filled once again to maximum capacity. Thousands were ushered into the numerous overflow areas where they would watch on projector screens.
“Nothing Is Impossible for God” was the theme for the evening. No matter your circumstance, sickness or situation Jesus can turn it around. An invitation was made for those to receive Jesus, hands raised everywhere accepting His love for them.
Night 2 was a special night for the blind. People testified healing from cataracts and blindness! One in particular was 80 year old Ibu Esther. She had suffered from cataracts for 22 years. Being a widow, she could not afford to pay for the needed operation. But Dr. Jesus operated – totally free of charge!
It has been a disappointment to loose the permits to the city center, but at the same time we trust God will make all things work together for good in Makassar.
Permits for the open air city centre field had been revoked by the Mayor of Makassar. An agreement was reached and a new venue was selected. News of the new location was spread by radio and newspaper. This was with continued protests from the opposition.
Demonstrations intensified as radical Muslims sent 1500 people to the Mayor’s office to once again try and stop the event. The owner of the venue, where the festival had been relocated, stepped in and decided against the new venue for the night. Once again the festival had been cancelled – this time with only a couple of hours before it was to start.
A quick decision had to be made. The largest auditorium, owned by a Chinese church, would now become the third location for the festival. Amazingly the word spread quickly and thousands of people quickly filled the auditorium despite the short notice. 3000 chairs were removed to create standing room only. This doubled the capacity. Thousands more watched in a nearby auditorium with closed circuit TV, and thousands more watched on big screens in two different parking lots. Many Muslims received healing and salvation from Jesus!
The most memorable miracle of the night was the healing of Indri, 39 years old. She suffered from cervical cancer for five years. Due to her severe weakness, she was carried to the meeting by her husband. Lying on a bed she listened to Pastor Peter minister the words of the Gospel. Suddenly Jesus touched her body and her circumstances began to change. She got up off her bed, and moved towards the stage. With tears streaming down her face and her bed in hand, she began to testify what Jesus had done for her. Just like the story of the lame man she could “rise, take up her bed and walk”! Beautiful testimonies from the night gave witness that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, TODAY and FOREVER!”
This festival has been met with fierce adversity but with God on our side, who can be against us!
Amid threats of violence and riots from radical extremist groups, the mayor of Makassar revoked the permit for use of the open field in the city center. The festival was delayed due to the mayor’s decision to put the event on hold.
The radicals that opposed the festival threatened to kill a female member of World Impact Ministries’ team in front of many witnesses. 1,200 billboards around the city were torn down. These crimes have been reported to the city police, which to our knowledge have done nothing so far to investigate these threats further, most likely out of fear.
Many back and forth negotiations took place with Pastor Peter Youngren and the local committee. It was finally decided that the festival would be moved to an indoor building. This decision created a challenge since the advertisements were for another location. Much effort through newspapers and radio was made to spread the word around Makassar about the new indoor location.
Despite the tumultuous opposition, the Gospel Revolution Seminar for pastors and leaders continued as planned. More than 1,300 people were in attendance. Much excitement filled the venue as the revelation of the New Covenant message began to sink into the hearts and minds of the attendees.
Thank you partner for your love and support during this time of opposition in presenting Jesus to the Makassar people.