Photo: Dr Henry Susanto, Academic Dean, and students at CCTSI

 

By GMP

In his room, Ahmad is praying, in the way that he learned from his Muslim family. He is in a crisis of faith. For the last decade, he has felt his life slip from his control. He has become caught in his bad habits — gambling, drinking, and embezzling money from his job. And now, he can’t feel a connection to God.

Frustrated, he cries out: “Lord, if you really exist, show yourself!”

This is the moment, Ahmad says, that God changed the direction of his life.

A few nights later, Ahmad started to notice some strange things.

“I slept with music in my earphones, with a playlist of songs made before my sleep,” Ahmad says. “When I woke up, I heard a lyric, ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah’. I’m sure at that time, there is no song with such a lyric in my playlist. Well, maybe I accidentally touched my screen. So, I didn’t give any attention to it.”

“I coincidentally met my friend, that [I had] never met directly, only by ‘phone or WhatsApp chat. His name is Christian [and I] talked with him twice in two consecutive days.”

“Later that same week, inside me I began to make a conclusion from what happened. There was a great willingness in me to buy a cross necklace. So, I just bought it. During my confusion, I knew that I needed to make contact with someone who could help me. I took a picture of [the necklace] and sent it to Christian with the text: “I am confused about this. I want to learn and know more.”

Ahmad met with Christian, and explained what had happened to him, and how he felt that it was a sign that God was answering his prayers. Christian invited Ahmad to go with him to church next Sunday, and Ahmad accepted.

“The very first time in church, I was so nervous,” Ahmad says. “Like someone who is invited to visit, but doesn’t recognise who the host is.”

He did his best to follow along, singing the worship songs and listening to the preacher. That week, he bought his first Bible, and started to read it.

“The more I read the Bible, the more I can find the truth, and I am sure this is the answer I’m looking for. The second time in church, I pray to Jesus and I cried. There was something inside me that told me, ‘Release, release everything, don’t keep it, release it’.”

He found that every time he prayed, he was hearing the same message from Jesus, “Release everything”.

So, Ahmad left his job, and joined an Alpha Course with Christian. Over the next three months, he learned more about Christianity, and grew deeper in his newfound faith.

“When it came to the session to learn and know about the Holy Spirit, I asked my boarding friend, Henry, to also join us. At that time, I felt an extraordinary feeling that I’d never felt before. I felt the Holy Spirit inside me, I cried for Jesus, the redeemer of my sins. I cried with a great thanks to God, I cried for His calling to be His son. I cried for I really needed Jesus, I cried as I want Him to keep holding my hand, I cried for I’ve been found, I cried because I am a nothing without Him. Jesus is all I really want.”

Henry and Ahmad went deep into conversation that night. Despite living together for two years, they had never felt so close. They found they had a shared desire to become a servant of God. They decided that they would both aim to get scholarships from the Christian Church Theological School of Indonesia (CCTSI).

 Opening of a new classroom at CCTSI

And this is where you come in! Your Great Gift of Bible College helps people like Ahmad and Henry take the next step of their faith journey! Your gift this Christmas can help CCTSI train students like Ahmad in evangelism and vocational mission.

“In June, my friend Henry got an offer from his church to join a theological school in Jakarta. For me, I trust one thing: that God has a plan for me. My longing for Him will bring me to Him, and because of His love that will put me where I should be.”

When you give a Great Gift, you are giving to faithful people like Ahmad who want to develop their own God-given gifts.

“I just want to preach this happy news to everyone — first to my family, when God says I’m ready for it.”

“Jesus is everything. He gives us a faith that can save us.”

 

Read more stories of Fresh Hope HERE.