Finding God in Bali
The nation of Indonesia consists of almost as many islands as there are languages and cultures. The island of Bali is one of these distinct societies, lying in the southern portion of this large and diverse country. Known to many as the “Island of Hinduism,” Christianity has a distinctly small following in Bali. But despite comprising only two percent of the population, God is still working miracles through his Balinese Christians and University of the Nations base located on the island. Three recent testimonies gathered by University of the Nations staff make this evident.
While sitting and chatting with a group of Balinese men in a hut, a Balinese man turned to a University of the Nations staff member and began to speak in English in hushed tones. He said to the staff member, “I am healed. I believe in Jesus.” The staff member was startled and not sure how to respond, and so asked the Balinese man to explain more.
The man told how earlier in his life he had suffered from a sickness that he kept to himself. Then one late night while watching television he came upon a Christian program. The people on the program were inviting others to believe in Jesus while praying for the sick to be healed in His name. They were also inviting the viewers to believe in Jesus and pray for themselves. The Balinese man felt compelled by their invitation, and told the staff member that “I believed and I prayed for myself and Jesus healed me!” He looked at the staff member with a grin on his face and said it again, “I believe in Jesus!”
One late night, as a University of the Nations staff member was on the street, a Balinese woman whom he did not recognize came close and called him by name. She said to him “I believe in Jesus!” Confused, and a little shocked, he asked her to explain more.
Sometime before, this woman’s husband had betrayed her. He left her and her eight year old son on their own, and the woman struggled with the pain and anger left in her husband’s place. Soon someone gave her an Indonesian Bible. She opened it, and from 2 Corinthians Chapter 11 the words “Jesus Christ is your husband” immediately stood out. She wept, and told the staff member, “Jesus is my husband. I believe in him.”
She found comfort in Christ, even in her loneliness, shame and anger. Knowing then that Christ would always be with her, she told the staff member “Jesus is my husband. I believe in Him.” Even after her family ostracized her, she is still today finding comfort in the local church her son and her now attend with their fellow Balinese Christians.
Like many prisons throughout the world, Bali’s infamous Kerobokan prison is an area of special ministry for YWAM and the University of the Nations. Recently, a known Balinese gangster and drug dealer in Kerobokan was converted and became a Christian. He went throughout the whole prison seeking and extending forgiveness. This radical change of heart shook the other inmates, and as he became a giving and caring person the inmates around him were deeply impacted. The reformed gangster soon died of an unknown sickness.
One inmate in particular was stunned and confused at these recent events. He realized how little we all understand the purposes of God. In a state of confusion and desperation he cried out to God, seeking truth and understanding in Heaven where Earth and his efforts had failed him. That night, Jesus appeared to him in a vision. This inmate is now a Christian and has changed just as radically as the former gangster did before him.