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A Coffee Shop Divine Encounter

05/09/2024 • Southeast Asia

Coffee shops have taken over Indonesia’s cities and towns, to the point where you can find one on almost every street. But because there is such an excess, many of them sit empty. Employees sit with nothing to do, waiting for people to come in.

One of the leaders of our partner, Arief, was walking around town, praying diligently for God to lead him to individuals whose hearts He had prepared to receive the Gospel. As he walked past an empty coffee shop, he saw two young employees sitting around. Arief walked in and ordered a cup of coffee. He asked if these two young men would like to sit with him since the shop was empty. They happily agreed and began talking.

Arief came to find out the young men’s names were Timothy and Victor. Timothy is a 21-year-old college student, and Victor a 16-year-old student, both working in the coffee shop to earn extra income for their families. After some small talk about what they’re studying and what they hope to do for a career, Arief transitioned into talking about more spiritual things.

He asked Timothy and Victor if they had any spiritual needs. Timothy told him, “I have no idea what you mean by spiritual needs.” Arief explained how our spiritual need is to be close to the Creator. “Just as we will die if our physical needs aren’t met, we will also die if our spiritual needs aren’t met,” he said.

Since they were still willing to listen (and still no customers at this point), Arief continued by telling them about the forgiveness of our sins available through the sacrifice of Isa Al-Masih (Jesus Christ) and afterward, challenged them to believe. The younger man, Victor, said he understood what Arief was sharing and that he was ready to believe in Isa Al-Masih, but Timothy was still unsure.

Arief went on sharing about Cain and Abel, and Noah, stories Timothy and Victor would be familiar with as Muslims. Arief emphasized that God was pleased with Abel’s blood sacrifice because it was according to how God forgave sins. He wanted to help them understand that our human effort to receive forgiveness for our sins is not enough, but that it is only through believing in Isa Al-Masih that we can be saved and receive that forgiveness.

Praise the Lord that after discussing some more, Timothy believed, and both young men prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

Arief exchanged his contact information with the two, and they began meeting up once a week. At each meeting, Arief taught them stories from the Bible, and they began growing in their faith.

One week, they were studying the story of the Ethiopian eunuch. Arief told Timothy and Victor that baptism symbolized the eunuch’s identification with the death and resurrection of Isa Al-Masih, and it was also a sign of being His follower. Arief asked them if they wanted to be baptized.

At first, they were silent. Being baptized is very serious, indicating they are now a Christian which could incur serious consequences where they lived.

Arief and our leaders do not focus on decisions but are looking for obedience to the Lord. One of the first tangible steps in obeying God is baptism as an outward sign that they are willing to grow further in their faith.

Arief interrupted their silence saying, “If you obey by getting baptized, you are not obeying me but obeying God’s command. But if you don’t obey in this, you are not fighting me, but are fighting God.” Seeing baptism in the new light of obeying God’s command, they agreed to be baptized.

Arief asked, “Where is the nearest water?” Timothy led them to a nearby river where Arief baptized them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Rejoice with us for Timothy’s and Victor’s salvation. Pray for them to continue to grow in their faith. Arief is training them in how to share the Gospel with their families and friends.

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