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Total Dependence

January 13, 2016 by Brett Tarbell in Asia

About 27 years ago, Paulus* left a profitable career in the telecommunications industry to follow the Lord’s call to serve among the native tribes of west Malaysia. When Paulus began preaching the Good News among the animistic aboriginals, God performed many miraculous healings. As a result, many came to believe in Jesus Christ and a church was birthed.

As the church grew in numbers, Paulus built his first church building for the locals in 1991 in a remote, small village. Two days later, the authorities came and demolished the building even though he had showed a church permit given by the land owner and village head.

Paulus knew rebuilding the church would be costly, but asking members for money was out of the question. As targets of Islamization by the government, the aboriginals are denied special privileges which are reserved for the ‘sons of the land’—unless they embrace Islam. Hence, many live in poverty.

Thus began Paulus’ journey to seek justice. Christian NGOs rejected him. His appeal letters to government officers and the media bore no fruits. The only publication that was willing to release his story was dissolved by the government. “I finally wrote to the Prime Minister of Malaysia,” he says. Instead of an answer, he received a visit from officers of the Police’s Special Branch, along with threats and intimidations.

Instead of retreating, he grew bolder. He decided to sue the government for demolishing his church building. “I took the case to court with the help of a Christian lawyer,” he explains. Paulus won the case and was rewarded with a compensation of $5,500. However, the government refused to pay. He was advised not to push for the payment. He had received what he wanted —justice.

“Since then, my every move is watched, especially when ministering to the locals,” he adds. Yet he remains faithful to his Master’s call. Today, he has built 13 churches and is preparing 12 local Christians for full-time ministry work. “Obedience is better than sacrifice. When we obey God, even in persecution, we can totally depend on Him to get us through,” the bold man shares.

*Representative name and photo to protect persecuted Christians

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