Missionaries-Baptists of Russia — Valentin and Svetlana Suprun — a few years ago at the behest of the Lord, went to carry the gospel in the largest Muslim country in the world — Indonesia (88% of the population). About how it happened and what had to face, the correspondent of the God news said Svetlana Suprun.
— Tell us, what did you do before you travel to Indonesia?
— Before leaving for Indonesia, our family lived in the Novosibirsk region. We visited the community of the brotherhood “Bible Baptists”. As both believed in childhood and adolescence, he constantly served as: Sunday school, children’s Christian camps, youth Ministry, preaching the gospel.
— When and how you realized that you need to go on a mission to Indonesia? How quickly you agreed with that call?
— My husband believed in 16 years, and almost immediately received a call to be a missionary somewhere in the tribes. When he proposed to me, I warned about the plans and calling that in her 17 years I decided: if I can live such a life to support him and follow him. I think then I agreed.
— What did your relatives, colleagues, friends?
— My mother was a believer. She had long prayed for the vocation of their children, so she was ready for what the Lord will use us. Valentina was supported by the father, even though he is not close with God, but strongly encouraged his son. My father and mother the wife is not opposed to our leaving, but they wanted us to have lived closer to see his grandchildren grow up. Some friends and acquaintances doubted us, considering our relocation is not possible, and say “You’re not going West, you’ll see!”. There were those who blessed and believed in us helping us, than could.
— How difficult was it to prepare for departure? Have you seen the help of God?
— Husband prayed that God allowed us to go on a mission before reaching the 30th anniversary. His desire was due to the fact that 30 years is the age when it is not easy to acclimatize in Indonesia: the older a person is, the more difficult.
The pastor of our congregation helped us find contacts Indonesian Christians and visa. We began to go to churches with the presentation and to seek funds to move. Collected enough money for only one month stay in Indonesia. So we decided to sell the house and all possessions in order to buy tickets, to pay for the visa, and rent a house for the first year. We have done all this by faith, taking a step into the unknown, hoping only for God.
— Tell us where you lived on arrival in Indonesia? What difficulties have you faced? How did it overcome them?
— We built a lot of plans, but everything was absolutely not the way we wanted. However, God smiled upon us and everything was gone. Before departure to Indonesia we had to obtain a student visa in Moscow. We’ve paid the documents, but when I came for them, we found out that we are denied a visa. What to do?! The house is sold, the tickets are purchased. After a couple of days, fly to South-East Asia. An employee of the Indonesian Embassy advised us to fly in as tourists, and is already in place to solve the issue with visa. And so we did.
In Bandung, near the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, we met a missionary family from the Philippines. They helped us with rental housing and visa at the language school, which was planned. And what?! Prices for the visas inflated three times. Looking at the means, we realized that we would not be able to pay for school, which could provide a student visa. Here, the Filipinos turned to the pastor of the Church of our fraternity, who sponsored the receipt of their visa. He agreed to help us with the visa. We got a missionary visa with the right to preach the gospel in this country.
For a year we lived in Bandung: studied language and culture in the Church missionary Filipinos. Oh Yes! Two months after arriving in Indonesia, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Valentine.
— How the locals reacted to the fact that they came to the Christians of Russia?
The Indonesians are very friendly and smiling people, which is always fun to go first and meet you, ask where you are, pull chubby cheeks of our children and the opportunity to practice your English. They think that all foreigners know English.
— How quickly you were able to find common language with the locals? As you conquered them?
To win them don’t need much: enough to have white skin, blonde hair, blue eyes and, of course, be open to new acquaintances. In order not to repel them, you must know the culture of communication: what to say and what isn’t. And most importantly — love. I liked their dancing in traditional attire, and I became fascinated with them. I had a dream dress in their traditional clothes and at least once to dance. After a few sessions I was invited to participate in a festive dance at the wedding: what? so fast?! Local residents were delighted with my speech. One of the photos on the Internet, they signed: “Just because they love us and respect our traditions.”
— Tell us: what do you do on mission?
On Sundays in the Church we have the Worship, midweek — Bible study, Sunday school, teen Ministry. In free days we visit parishioners, and go to crowded places to meet new people. The last two years God brings to us missionaries who come to us on a short mission. Together we have playgrounds for children and adolescents evangelistic meetings in the Church and in the villages teaching the women needlework.
— Tell us about the source of Finance: if you are sponsored or you earn yourself? If you do, then what?
— Before leaving we visited only five churches: parishioners of the three of them made a promise to God and to us that will right to participate in our General labor with money. Some friends missionaries also joined the financial support. In Indonesia, it turned out, this is not enough. Knowing nothing about our difficulties, we have supported her husband’s father — it was a miracle. Some time later we found a little financial support, and father-in-law has dried up the opportunity to help us.
I wanted to work. Valentin wanted to get on the scene, but he talked our assistant service. Here this mentality: the foreigner shall not engage in the dirty work — if you are a foreigner and was able to come here means you have financial shortage, otherwise the Indonesians will cease to respect and see as a spiritual mentor. Once my neighbor, after tasting my cake “Medovik”, asked me to prepare them for sale. Every morning I gave her two cakes for sale. This neighbor was preparing a La carte food and deliver it to offices. She also sold my cakes. It really helped us! People still bought me cakes and even pizza. For us it is a miracle when it gets hard, I start to roll orders.
— How serious is the question of Finance for the mission?
— To live in a foreign country is always expensive. Financial issues, of course, very important. Before leaving, our pastor warned that the support is small, and does not believe in the success of our trip. And so it happened: school pay, labor pay — no benefits, even the locals. Later, 3.5 years after arrival in Indonesia our son was born. I gave birth at home with a midwife, so as to give birth in a local hospital was afraid — there was peace in the heart. In the hospital, and home births are paid.
Plus, according to the rules, we as foreign missionaries, had to take a local assistant for their content. All this we did not anticipate and were not prepared, but God did not leave us.
— How far you already serve in Indonesia? What are the results of your work you can already transfer?
— For 8 years now, we are working among the Indonesian people. Thank God for the people He has entrusted to us and for the opportunities provided to Them.
We knew we had to do, had to take a chance and trust. The most important thing here is not to find enough money and boldly go, and to trust God, hear His voice, to do what He calls.
— What kind of support would you like to get from people?
No matter how people or churches want to support us: prayer, financial, kind, encouraging email, or come on short term mission and see with your own eyes. The main thing — it must be sincere, from the heart, knowing that together we are obeying Christ’s command, you — praying or collecting the financial support we preaching the gospel.
Talked Alexey Kovalyonok