One of the bonuses of traveling to places in the world where most people don’t get to go is unusual experience. Now I don’t mean seeing strange animals, or mere traditions; I mean unusual spiritual experiences. Indonesia is a fascinating country. Though it is the world’s largest Muslim country with more than 200 large unreached people groups, among the Chinese people—which are 40 million strong, there are many large churches.
One of the most inspiring I’ve come across is the Tiberias Church, which conducts 178 services per Sunday across various locations in Jakarta. Total membership across Indonesia is 500,000, with most of these in Jakarta. According to church growth experts, it’s the 9th largest church in the world.
The pastor, Yesaya Pariadji was a muslim to whom Jesus revealed himself in 1986. He became acquainted with the Full-Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship and visited a number of conventions across America with its founder Demos Shakarian. Jesus appeared to Pastor Pariadji after healing his wife out of a debilitating disease, commissioning Pastor Pariadji to bring a deeper understanding of the Holy Communion and anointing with oil in the name of Jesus Christ. Last Sunday, after our Gospel Festival in Kupang, I flew to Jakarta, to speak in a couple of the services at the Tiberias church. I had met Pastor Pariadji a year ago and was deeply impressed with how Jesus is shining through his life. This time I gained a greater understanding of the church. The message of God’s grace permeated the praise and worship. Every song, many of them written by Pastor Pariadji’s son, Argo Pariadji, really lifted up Jesus and the Father’s love. The people received my teaching with great joy. I hope to be able to show it on one of our telecasts. You could tell the message of grace had already penetrated the congregation and they were ready to receive. Though we were on a tight schedule, I was anxious to stay to the end of the service when Pastor Pariadji would give out the Holy Communion and anointing oil. I have never witnessed people so eager to receive the bread and the wine; such energy of faith. The church bulletin featured testimonies of people who have been healed simply by trusting in Jesus and receiving the Holy Communion and the anointing with oil.
Pastor Pariadji’s teaching on the anointing oil from the olive tree as symbolic of the redemptive work of Jesus is profound. I felt that what I saw and heard would have been just like when disciples in the first century received the bread and the wine. I went home with a determination to not only take the Holy Communion in Sunday services, but at our Grace TV headquarters.
Well my last two days in Indonesia were intense. First the closing service in the Kupang Gospel Festival with a huge crowd [see photo report], then the flight to Jakarta and the services there, and after the final meeting in Jakarta I took the last flight to Medan, the largest city in Sumatra (the area of recent earthquakes), in order to spend almost a day with the Gospel Revolution Bible College headed by Susan Hoover. The students were ready and receptive. It was exciting to see growth in the school, and I also met many of the missionaries that have come out of our Bible College; Sarah DeRidder, Kyle Laviolette, Gola Tiruneh, and John & Lasmian Kingma. Do you have a testimony of Jesus revealing Himself to you through the Holy Communion? Let me know. -Peter
Hyderabad, Pakistan Festival (above)
Kupang, Indonesia Festival (above)