Christian Raharjo (not his real name) was a school drop-out on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi looking for work, when he was recruited by a jihadist organization. Like many young Muslim men, he was paid to attack Christian villages with the aim to force the Christians out of the area. However, as a result of the increased ‘war on terror‘ by the United States after the 9-11 attack, his group fell apart and he lost his job. Raharjo returned to Jakarta, traumatized and depressed. There he joined a punk group and started to use heroin.
One night Raharjo had a dream. A person who introduced himself as Jesus (Isa) spoke to him in “bright and strong language” and told him to “Follow me!” In the dream Raharjo decided to follow this person. When he woke up, he found himself healthy, sober and without any desire to use drugs. Looking for someone to explain his dream Raharjo turned to Samiton, the pastor of a large Christian community in Jakarta, who had done a great deal for Muslims facing social diffculties. “I want to follow Jesus, but I’m not a Christian,” Raharjo told him.
Pastor Samiton put him in touch with Wira (not his real name). Wira developed a relationship with Raharjo, spent a lot of time with him and introduced him to the teachings of Jesus. His newfound faith struck deep roots in Raharjo and changed him over time. He introduced all his gang members to his new Christian friends, and one after another began to take an interest in Jesus. Wira noticed that the young men needed a meeting place and also a decent place to
live so he bought a house and called it ‘Father’s House’. Here they met regularly and discovered more about Jesus and his teachings.
The method they used to ‘discover Jesus’ was simple: they followed the instructions of the Quran to read the Gospels and also parts of the Old Testament. Questions that arose were answered cautiously. In this way the young men were able to discover faith in Jesus by themselves, which is very important for Muslims.
In the years that followed many of the young men in the community returned to their families in the countryside and shared their faith in Jesus. Most parents were happy that their sons had not been lost in the big city, but had found a good new life. This way more and more of these small Bible study communities started to emerge in Jakarta and throughout the country – always through personal contacts and along family lines. Like in the gospels it’s common for
new Jesus followers to be baptized in the context of their family. To date, through the life and witness of Raharjo alone, around 1,200 Jesus groups have been started among Muslims across the country.
Source: Joel News International; source withheld.
Bible Study: John 1:14-18
PRAISE God that He revealed Himself to Raharjo to make him an “apostle” to his people.
PRAY For God’s people in Indonesia, where believers in Christ are targeted by extremists. Pray that many Muslims, even jihadists, may experience the saving grace of the living Jesus.