ARGod Will See Us ThroughThe atrocities of racial hatred pervaded Indonesia in the spring of 1998. But God continued to strengthen and unite members in His love.During the spring of 1998 many riots broke out against the Chinese in Indonesia. Many Chinese-owned stores and houses were vandalized, as the Chinese were killed and raped on the streets. Sis. Huang from Jakarta recounts some incidents when God showed His mercy upon His people. Even though some church members lost material wealth, their lives were spared. The riot actually brought the church members closer together, as well as increasing their faith. Members were not only unified nationally, but internationally as well. All the brothers and sisters around the world put in much prayer when they heard about the riot. We are truly one in Christ, and it is Him who will see us through our trials and tribulations.
No one today is a stranger to wars and rumors of wars. Yet when the riots in Indonesia hit the headlines on 14-15 May 1998, the world was aghast. In part, it was because of the suddenness with which everything happened. One moment, Indonesia was a prosperous, peaceful nation, and the next, chaos and conflict reigned. But more disturbing was the news of the burning and petrol bombing, the looting, and worst of all, the assaults on the female Chinese.
When one member suffers, all the members share the suffering. When a member is honored, they all share the
If the world was horrified, how much more so all of us in the True Jesus Church. We might not have been to the church in Jakarta but each member there was bound to us by God's love and Jesus' blood. And thus prayers were offered in almost all the churches for these beloved brothers and sisters. We asked God to help them through this painful period, preserving their faith and enabling them to emerge stronger than before. God heard.
Sis Huang from Jakarta recounts some incidents that showed her how God was with them throughout:
14 May 1998 My husband drove off to work as usual. At about 10 a.m., the telephone calls started flooding in. Friends, relatives and church members were anxiously keeping each other abreast of the latest developments. The riots were now more than just demonstrations. There were cases where petrol bombs would be thrown at cars driven by Chinese. When these bottles exploded both driver and car would instantly go up in flames, the driver dying a painful and gruesome death.
I could not contact my husband. Sick with worry, I told my daughter to kneel down and pray with me. Thank the Lord Jesus for His guidance and protection, my husband managed to reach home safely. Things got steadily worse towards the afternoon. There were burning, killing, looting and raping. The air was thick with fumes from the fires. But we managed to pass the day through prayers.
15 May 1998 At dawn, police sirens were heard. Five hundred rioters descended on our estate. While we had our vigilante corps (each estate had formed its own), the atmosphere was thick with danger, anxiety and fear. We felt really helpless. We could only rely on the Lord Jesus. My husband went off with the vigilantes. My daughter and I remained at home to pray continually, "Lord you are our only support. We rely on You, thank and praise You. We entrust everything to You." We believed that only the Lord Jesus could save us.
The rioters were only about 100 steps away from the rear entry point to our estate. They had looted every single Chinese-owned store along the way. But thank the Lord, our estate was preserved and saved by the Lord. I truly believe that in our times of tribulation, the Lord will protect us and deliver us from the wicked. Great indeed is the grace and love of our Lord.
It was the afternoon of the riots. Sister A's shop assistants had all gone home. She was waiting for the family car to pick her up. Suddenly, a group of rioters swarmed into her shop. They looted everything. One man grabbed her handbag and jewelry. Sister A was almost strangled by the rioter tugging her necklace. So she shouted loudly, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" This shocked the rioter and caused him to release his stranglehold on her chain. She was free from this danger.
She could not run out so the only thing for her to do was to hide in the restroom upstairs and pray. She begged the Lord for deliverance. Not much later, an old native Indonesian lady came to her. She took off her sarong (a wrap-around skirt) and used it to cover Sister A's face and body. The old lady told Sister A, "I am here to save you. Just follow me and walk straight ahead." It was indeed God's miraculous work--there were so many rioters about but no one noticed her (otherwise they would have taken turns to assault her). She managed to leave the shop safely. It was indeed the great love of the Lord Jesus.
Sister B was at home, ignorant of the fact that violent riots had broken out. She told her 17-year-old daughter to walk down to the end of their road to get some documents photocopied. Coming to the junction, the daughter saw many rioters behaving lawlessly. She wanted to turn back immediately but it was too late. So as this young girl walked along, she kept praying, "Hallelujah, Lord, please deliver me." The Lord Jesus heard her cry. The rioters did not disturb her at all and she was not harmed in any way.
When she reached home, she told Sister B, "Mummy, Lord Jesus heard my prayer. He rescued me and brought me home safely."
Coincidence? Lucky break? This is what people in the world would probably think but these testimonies truly helped me know that the Lord Jesus is our refuge. Though strong enemies would harm us, the Lord Jesus protects and delivers us. His loving and abundant salvation grace is ours. May the grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit always be with us."
Brother C owned a leather goods shop. The entire row of shops where his shop was located was set on fire. But just as it seemed that his shop would also meet the same fate as the others, the fire stopped at the adjacent wall. Just like that. By God's grace.
Doubtlessly, some had to undergo more difficult tests:
* One sister had to jump off the second floor. She injured her spinal cord, but she made a quick recovery.
* Four glass panels in the Jakarta church were broken.
* 17 houses and shops belonging to members were looted. Of these, three were burnt.
But God does not put us through tests that harm us. He always works for good for those who love Him. The troubles in Indonesia should prompt us to self-examine, whether we, who belong to the more affluent Chinese community, have cared enough for our poorer native neighbors. We can also learn from the kindness of the old native Indonesian lady who probably had risked her life to save our sister. On top of these, one thing was clear: the church had emerged stronger from these riots...
...in faith the brethren in Jakarta saw how God really took care of them in their time of need. His guidance was always felt. Members held on to their faith and have even drawn closer to God.
...in hope the church as a whole learnt how to pray and rely on God for deliverance. Some who had been dozing off in their life of faith received a wake-up call.
...in love local members were really concerned for each other. If they were not phoning to encourage each other, they spent the rest of their time praying at home. The whole church has grown closer. The church's Welfare Department offered financial assistance to members whose shops, the source of their livelihood, had been burnt. Individual members also assisted in private. TJC members and churches all over the world called to show their concern.
Truly we are one family in Jesus Christ. We are children of a Father who loves us dearly, who will see all of us through all our trials and tribulations.