Monday, December 2, 2013

CLI Home/Office Fund

Dear Friends,

The Advent season is upon us and many of us are eagerly preparing for and anticipating the celebration of Our Lord's birth. It's such a great time of year!  Yesterday I preached a message called "Hopeless?" It was a message about how we all find ourselves in dark times that leave us feeling discouraged.  We wonder if there's any way that things will get better.  The people of Israel probably felt that way after suffering centuries of defeat, exile and silence.

However, in the midst of silence the voice of a tiny infant's cry promised hope.  In the darkness a blazing star declared that Messiah had come.  Just as God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, just as it was prophesied through the Psalms and the Prophets, a tender shoot grew out of what appeared to be a lifeless stump.  The Offspring of Abraham had come to be a blessing to all of the nations.

Hopeless?  No way!  We have a Savior!  There are so many reasons to hope.  I pray that this season becomes a time when you're able to fix your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2).

God continues to bless the nations of the world with the message of Christ as His Kingdom expands around the globe. I'm so excited about how God continues to convey His message of grace and truth through the ministry of Choose Life Indonesia.

Having spent seven years in bi-vocational ministry in Indonesia, Garvisa and I returned in 2009, ten years after our departure, to lead a team of 14 men, women and teens to do ministry for two weeks.  During that time we conducted a Choose Life conference for Christian leaders on the Island of Bali.  They were so renewed by the message we shared that they expressed a strong desire to share it with others.  During that visit, we challenged Kristian Lehom and Luh Asri to consider leading a national ministry to help Indonesian believers recover the life they were promised by Jesus in John 10:10.  "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

After a great deal of prayer, this couple agreed to abandon their plans to accept another ministry invitation on Kris' home island of Kalimantan, and they agreed to stay on Bali (Asri's home) to establish "Choose Life Indonesia".

My church, Grace Life Community Church, has been the sole supporter of Choose Life Indonesia since 2009.  We have provided Kris and Asri with a salary, assisted Asri with funds to pursue a counseling degree, sent teams to Indonesia to encourage and expand the ministry, and we have rented a home/office for the ministry since October 2009.

Our most recent visit to Indonesia include outreach in Central Java where the message was received with enthusiasm.  Already, pastors are inviting us to return to help others understand the meaning of Grace and how to experience LIFE in Christ.

Great things are happening, but there is an issue that must be resolved.  The cost of the home/office that we have been renting for this ministry has significantly increased due to growing property values in the city of Denpasar.  The owner of the home we have used has become resistant to certain kinds of ministry on his property: caring for pregnant young women without husbands, or recent believers in Christ suffering persecution because of their conversion.  As the owner of the property, he has the right to forbid this kind of ministry.

Kris and Asri believe that the best thing would be to purchase a home/office where they have the rights as owners to decide who their guests are.  They also believe that the continuing outflow of money toward a rental property is poor stewardship of the Lord's money.

It is for that reason that we have decided to assist them in purchase of a small home in a small city west of Denpasar.  The home is located in a housing development rather than a village, so their ministry will not be as closely scrutinized by cultural leaders.  This will enable them to continue counseling and conducting ministry without undue restriction.

They have located a home, they have a bank willing to lend them the money for the purchase, and they have made a down payment that will allow for a 15 year mortgage.  They have, however, discovered the harsh reality of closing costs and home repairs needed to make the house habitable.  Currently, they are $3,500 short of the total needed to go to closing in February.

I have agreed to ask my friends and family to consider making an end of year contribution toward this need.  These folks have been very faithful.  They have embraced God's message of grace whole-heartedly, and they are declaring it fearlessly. They teach, counsel, exhort, correct, model and even broadcast the message on Heartline Radio Bali during a weekly message.

Please pray about making a tax-deductible contribution of any amount toward this effort to procure a long-term location for the ministry of Choose Life Indonesia.  Click here to make a secure online contribution.  

You may also send a gift in the mail to 
Choose Life Indonesia 
c/o Grace Life Community Church 
9560 Linton Hall Road, 
Bristow, VA 20136

Make checks payable to GLCC.


John Stroud

Choose Life Indonesia Office Fund