Dispatch Indonesia 2013:
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Indonesia teaching the first session of our curriculum on Soteriology (Doctrine of Salvation) to about 80 aboriginal pastors and ministry leaders. I was teaching through two interpreters. One translated my English into Indonesian, and the other translated Indonesian into the local dialect. When I broke for questions, no one moved. Crickets. I asked my first interpreter, Benwell Wampy Christiansen, if they had correctly translated my invitation for the students to ask questions. He said, “Yes, sir. We did.” I asked them to repeat the invitation to the students once more. They did so. The students sat motionless. A large fly buzzed around the room. A few of the of the men shifted in their seats. This went on for several sessions. No one ventured a question all afternoon. Finally, at the end of the day, I encouraged my interpreters to really press the students for their questions. One of the older men reluctantly spoke up in his native dialect. When he finished speaking, Benwell interpreted the old pastor’s remarks. “What you are teaching is from God. It is His Word. It would be a sin to question what we are being taught.” There was lively, hearty agreement among the 80 students.
On the one hand, the aboriginal pastors in this remote jungle of Papua, Indonesia (three hours along gravel roads to the nearest airstrip) were utterly teachable and humble to the bone. On the other, it was a frightening state of affairs. If false teachers came through the area, and the students held the same attitude, it could be disastrous for the churches in the region. I admonished the students to be good Bereans, accepting theological instruction from no one unless the students had “searched the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). World Hope Bible Institute stands as a biblically conservative theological voice around the world. We are training these pastors with doctrinal precision and instilling in them a passion and reverence for the inerrancy, sufficiency, and authority of God’s Word. Supporting World Hope Bible Institute through prayer, giving, and traveling to teach makes you our co-laborer in Christ. Thanks for being on the team.