Today we debriefed our time in Bali. I want to inform you of some of the spiritual needs of Bali, ways you can pray, and just give you a general idea of the feel for the people and part of the country. This is by no means exhaustive. And for the sake of time, it is not edited. Take it for what it is, but I hope you will get a small taste for the spiritual needs of Bali.
Here are some words that summarize our experience in Bali: ‘Planting seeds of light’ ‘contrast: light/dark, beauty/flith’ ‘eye opener of spiritual darkness’ ‘opportunity, openness, coffee shop ministry’ ‘interesting, immoral, irritating, intercession, entertainment’ ‘Idolatry’
The idolatry of Bali is blatant. The first thing we see as we walk off the plane at the airport is a statue of a Hindu god over the doorway. Everywhere you go you see these statues. In front of every store, every home you find woven baskets filled with flowers, incense, rice and meat. they put these out every evening as offerings for the gods.
The second thing we noticed as soon as we got out of our taxi that dropped us near our hotel were night clubs full of drunkenness, girls dancing on tables, drugs, and prostitutes. We were all feeling heaviness our first night in Bali.
But the next morning we saw the beauty of the island, and the beauty of the church, and the opportunity for great ministry. We visited Kuta International Church a number of times during our stay in Bali. We were able to be an encouragement to them, and they were an encouragement to us. They are a lively group of people, who love to worship the True God, who love gathering together many times during the week for feasting, fasting and prayer, and are a bright light on the island. That evening we met them on the beach and sat in a large circle singing worship songs and getting to know each other, as we watched the sun set over the ocean. It was beautiful. Then they took all of us on their motorbikes to a restaurant where they fed us dinner. We spent time praying for the church and for the city after we filled our bellies. During the course of the week we met with them for prayer, bible study, and worship on the roof of their new church building throughout the week. We were the third Global Challenge team to visit the church.
About the opportunities in Bali - Bali is bursting with tourism. There is a great need for tourist evangelism. People come to Bali looking for a spiritual encounter. May they find Jesus, the One True God!
- The Balinese people, in Kuta specifically, are very outgoing and love striking up a conversation. They are open to any spiritual and religious ideas because they are used to worshiping many gods. So there are many opportunities to share the gospel and your own testimony.
- The Hindus and Muslims in the Kuta area get along well with Christians; there is not conflict.
- my picture for Kuta, Bali - a coffee shop, right in the middle of all the shops, and restaurants and bars, that is owned and run by Christians, free wifi, a place where people can camp out and drink good coffee, read, write, work, strike up conversations, etc. there will be good Christian music playing, quotes, art, books, etc, that all point to Christ. Live music at night. Worship on the beach/sunset ministry. Bible studies. Hosting different types of events. Geared toward reaching tourists and locals. It will be a bright light in a dark place. Open till late in the night maybe. I imagine this could be a very effective type of ministry because of the environment and atmosphere of the Kuta area and the tourists and local people. I believe we need more Christians to just be present in the area daily, being intentional with meeting people and starting conversations. Spending time getting to know people and listening to their stories and planting seeds of faith. There is just SO MUCH opportunity in Bali (I am speaking about the city, not so much the countryside. The countryside would require a different approach. Most people do not understand English and they are not as receptive toward Christianity. Many people who become Christians are rejected by their families).
There is also much to say about the great need for prison ministry in Bali. So many foreigners end up in prison because they get caught importing illegal drugs. Importing drugs in punishable by death in Bali, and they take this very seriously. While we were in Bali, Francois, one of Global Challenges leaders, heard of a South African woman who was arrested for bringing drugs into the country. She is a Christian. He went and visited her one day and they held a bible study and worship. The story of Christabell is a heartbreaking one. I don’t know how to share it in only a few words. To summarize, she got caught up in transporting drugs to help pay for her children’s education. She didn’t know what she was getting herself in to. She knows she did wrong and has repented of her sin before God. Her husband has refused to speak with her during the months that she has been there. She was very encouraged by Francois’ visit, to be with other believers, and people from her home country. The team put together a packet of items for her to have in jail. If prisoners need anything in jail they must buy it. Christabell had to shave her head because she didn’t have anything to bathe with. Francois visited her a second time before leaving to pray with her and deliver our package. Just this past Monday she received her death sentence. Words cannot describe our thoughts and feelings. The government of SA tried to intervene, but the government of Bali wanted to make an example of this women. Some good news from the situation is that her children will be cared for by SA. Pray for her family. Pray that good will come from this. That it will help put a stop to importing of illegal drugs, and people will recognize the seriousness of it.
My prayer for Bali is that when people go to Bali in search of some spiritual experience, or to get lost in themselves, that they will leave having found Jesus Christ, the One True God.