Praise Report: The Indonesian Pastor & The One With Them Wristband
After three months in prison, Pastor Bernard Maukar was released on April 29, 2013. Twenty members of Gereja Pantekosta di Indonesia (GPDI) in Sumedang, West Java greeted the pastor at the church upon his release. The believers could not hold back their tears, as they saw their pastor for the first time.
The 59-year-old pastor was imprisoned for three months (since January 31, 2013) for operating his church without permit.
“I felt sad during my first week in prison, because I won’t see my family for three months,” said Pastor Bernard. “But when I prayed, God continuously reminded me that He loved me… I had more time to pray and read the Bible while I was in the prison, and I grew stronger in my faith in the Lord [as a result].”
While incarcerated, Pastor Bernard did not stop sharing of his faith. Once, there were two Muslim men who asked him for prayer for healing. A few hours after he prayed for them, the two Muslims were healed and they promised to come to the church when they were set free.
An Open Doors worker visited Pastor Bernard and gave him a One With Them wristband. It was a reminder to Pastor Bernard that he was not alone and that Christians around the world were praying for him. “I was strengthened when I learned that many people, whom I never knew, were praying for me. Thank you for being with me.”
“I really liked the bracelet,” commented a smiling Pastor Bernard. “It was unique and many people in the prison had been asking me where I got it.” After his release from prison, Pastor Bernard and the congregation decided to pursue getting a church permit for the third time. Unless they are able to secure this permit, the church will continue to be vulnerable to attacks and threats from Islamic radical groups.
Please pray for:
- Pastor Bernard Maukar as he continues in his ministry.
- Local churches in West Java who struggle with securing church permits.
- Churches in West Java to respond with wisdom whenever they are threatened by radical groups and Muslim local leaders.