Three Ibu in the Park
“What does that mean?” Ibu Sarah asked our teammate Anna, having just heard for the first time the good news of Jesus. Anna repeated again that Jesus has the power to forgive our sins and brings us into a right relationship with God. Upon hearing this, Bu Sarah confessed that she too believed He has forgiven her sins. Excited that Bu Sarah received this good news, Anna shared the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch and decided it was best to come back the next day to revisit the conversation. However, Anna went looking for her day after day and didn’t see Bu Sarah.
Weeks later, when Anna finally found Bu Sarah and asked her all that she remembered from their last conversation, Bu Sarah a little confused said, “I don’t know.” A little disheartened, Anna didn’t give up and continued to go to the park looking for Bu Sarah. Without a phone or any means of communication between visits, Anna chose to keep spending her evenings showing up at the park.
One night, in search for Ibu Sarah, Anna and another teammate Angela met another seller at the park, Bu Nia. A neighbor of Bu Sarah, Bu Nia shared with Angela and Anna about the hardships in her life while she sold an Indonesian snack. Bu Nia’s husband was a farmer but sick and weak, he could no longer work, and with three kids and one still at home, Bu Nia supported her family by traveling hours into the city each weekend to sell a local snack at the park.
Angela shared how Isa is the great and the last sacrifice and that through Him we have a right relationship with God. Upon their second visit, Bu Nia affirmed her desire to continue to learn about Jesus and asked for physical copies of stories from his life. Weeks later, however, Anna noticed Bu Nia seemed a bit preoccupied and disinterested in learning, and for the following three months, she remained absent from the park. Anna soon learned that Bu Nia’s husband died just days after undergoing surgery. Angela and Anna continued returning to the park to share and develop their friendship with Bu Sarah.
A month after Ibu Nia stopped coming to the park, Anna and a local sister, Bu Wina, met Bu Sarah at the park. Bu Sarah was immediately put at ease as they chatted in Javanese, her local language, with Bu Wina. Now, with greater understanding of Bu Sarah’s little Bahasa, Anna felt Bu Sarah really understand the stories of Jesus. From the amount of information Bu Wina gathered that Bu Sarah understood from her conversations with Anna and from the little Bahasa that Bu Sarah had confessed to knowing, both Bu Wina and Anna knew the Holy Spirit had been present translating and connecting Anna and Bu Sarah in their previous meetings. As Bu Sarah learns she is sharing with her friends, Bu Nia and Bu Suh, the stories of Jesus. Shortly after, Bu Suh begins to follow Jesus.
Jesus answers prayer
One day, Ibu Sarah shared about her husband’s temper and asked Bu Wina and Anna if she could learn how to pray for her husband. As Anna prayed, Bu Wina translated, and repeating word for word, Bu Sarah prayed for her husband. Shortly after, Bu Sarah sat at her stall and having not had a customer for three hours, she worried if she would make enough money for the day. She desperately prayed asking Jesus for help. Immediately after she prayed, a customer arrived. Then another. And, for the remainder of the day, she had a steady stream of customers. The following week she could not contain her excitement as she shared with Anna and Bu Wina how Jesus answered her prayer. Amen!
We praise God for the work that the Lord is doing in these women at the park. Anna, Bu Wina, and Angela are continuing to meet with Bu Sarah, Bu Nia, and Bu Suh. Bu Nia is still mourning her husband’s death and is in need of prayer as she strives to support herself and her children. May these women intimately know the God who sees them (Genesis 16:3) and loves them. Please continue to pray for our sisters as we pray they seek Jesus.