Led to Christ to Lead Others

April 7, 2016 by Open Doors in

Led to Christ to Lead Others

Just as Jesus handpicked lowly fishermen and transformed them into preachers of the gospel, He is still in the business of making the ordinary extraordinary. Follow an Open Doors field writer in her encounter with a church leader for former Muslims — a trash picker by trade — in Indonesia.

Picked to Follow Christ

Meet Bagus*. He came to know Jesus in 2014, and was baptized the following year. Bagus remembered well the reason he followed Christ: “It was because of my long, hard, and troubled life, Ma’am.”

“So when you finally decided to follow Him, your life wasn’t troubled anymore?”

“Not anymore, Ma’am.”

“What did you do for a living, then?”

“I was a trash picker, Ma’am.”

“And what do you do now?”

“I’m still a trash picker, Ma’am.” 

Now everyone around us was laughing.

Happy and Restful

Really, from my point of view, nothing seemed to have improved in Bagus’ life after he began walking with Christ. It took a few seconds for me to understand what he meant by ‘not troubled anymore.’

“So, how did you feel after following Isa (Jesus)?” I asked.

“Very different, Ma’am. I felt happy and restful,” he replied. He showed confidence by straightening his back and looking me in the eye.

Bagus seemed very quiet and answered only what he had been asked. Imagine my surprise when he said that he was a house church leader of 15 former Muslims in his village. The second he started talking about Jesus, I was convinced. His eyes lit up and an endless fountain of words burst from his mouth. Perhaps it was this that got him into trouble not too long ago.

A villager had seen Bagus sharing the story of Jesus with a neighbor and reported him to the village authorities. The authorities dragged him and 15 others to a paddy field and threatened to kill them unless they returned to Islam. Bagus refused and remained firm in his new faith. While his life was spared, he is now forced to live apart from his wife and children, spending his days on the street. He now can only see them periodically.

“I never regretted my decision to follow Jesus,” he told me without a hint of doubt. “I’m following Him wholeheartedly.”


to support persecuted believers like Bagus who are living out their faith on the front lines!

*Representative name and photo used for security reasons

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