Sad Letter from a Missionary

This letter is a sad one to me because I know the facts.  The fact is that Steve is returning to Indonesia without having raised the funds that he needed to raise to continue his work in Indonesia.  He returns in good faith that brethren will YET come along side to help.  There are contact links at the bottom of this message.  If you are a member of churches of Christ and have influence will you see what you might do to help?  PLEASE!!!

Dear brethren, family, and friends,

Susan and I plan to begin our return trip to Jakarta in exactly two weeks, the Lord willing. We are now making final preparations for that trip– making last visits to our family, changing our thinking from American back to Asian, using Bahasa Indonesia with each other more than we have (we actually do have to do that in order to be ready to face the complete culture change when we arrive in Asia), and planning our packing (making sure we have all of our documents in order and in-hand, etc.).

I have no more scheduled speaking engagements in the USA at this time, and I am making no new appointments during this visit.

Brethren, as one good preaching brother and friend used to say on the radio, “May I talk to you heart to heart?”  I wish to write to you “heart to heart” for just a few moments.

As we think about our stay in the USA on this trip, we have thoughts of joy, sadness, and concern. Many good brethren have been so helpful to us in so many ways. We have met brethren who are new to us, and who have an interest in the work that we have been doing in Indonesia. We have met some who have made serious personal sacrifices to help support these efforts financially—some with limited incomes who have given all they are able to give. We have met those who have been able and willing to help by adding to what they have already been sending to support this effort.  So many have been so generous and helpful in so many ways!  Thank-you so much!

On the other hand, we have spoken, by phone and letter to those whom we have known for years, who refused to allow us to even come into their presence to discuss this mission effort. I realize that every congregation is not able to help every missionary or benevolent work that comes along. I have lived long enough, preached long enough, and worked with local churches here in the USA long enough, to know that not every request for help can be supported in a financial way.

I have lived long enough and understand the Scriptures well enough to know that one must honor the decisions of elders in local churches as to which mission and benevolent works their flock will support, and how much support will be given to such efforts.

I have also lived long enough to know that (in some cases) there are brethren who have funds (undesignated thousands upon thousands of dollars in church bank accounts ) that are doing nothing with it and who seem not to understand the urgency of spreading the gospel, and supporting those will help to spread the gospel into the harvest field, around the world.

One of the things that gives me great concern is that, considering the current threat to free nations of this world, why some brethren cannot see that supporting the spreading of the gospel into primarily Muslim nations (Indonesia for one, it being the largest Muslim nation in the world) would not only be in the best interest of the Cause of Christ and the conversion and salvation of the Muslim people to Christ, but also in the best interest of Americans and American freedom. If one wins his enemy to Christ, he helps to transform that enemy into a brother!

In a case or two, I was surprised when we lost some support this year from a couple of brethren due to petty personal feelings and church politics. How sad that is. I have thought about such verses as 2 Timothy 4:14-18.

Our hope is that those new congregations that we have visited will soon be able to help this work on a regular basis. We look forward to hearing from them.

One of the joys of being able to be back in the USA this time has been to spend some time with both Susan’s mother and my mother. Our mothers are very important to us. Our time together with them has meant so much to us, and it means more as we all grow older. We wish it were possible to take them back with us to Indonesia.

One of the saddest losses that we have experienced through the years is that I have had little or no influence on my four grandchildren and two dauaghters due to the fact that we have been separated from them for the most part of the past 10 years in the work in Indonesia. My grandchildren do not even really know who we are because we rarely see them. I have not been able, therefore, to have the influence on them that I enjoyed from my own grandparents when I was a child. I used to crawl all over my grandfathers’ laps and go places with them, and learn from them. That is one of the greatest sacrifices that I have made as a father and grandfather. Not being able to be with one’s children and grandchildren is difficult. And, it is the cause of some of the greatest sadness that I have as we contemplate our return to Indonesia.

In the congregation that meets in the Kelapa Gading area in northeast Jakarta, on Sunday, 08 July, there were 14 people in Bible Class. Walter Rolos was the teacher. He taught again on “The Mission of the Local Church.”  In the worship service, there were 14 people. The sermon was preached by Marolop Simatupang on the subject, “Lessons From The Way of Cain” (Jude 11).

Brother Marolop wrote the following to me: 

“Our sister from Philippine, Evangeline and her friend, Alma, already come again to Jakarta. They stay in Mediterania Apartement, Kelapa Gading, and work at SIS (Singapore International School) close to our congregation building.
Our hello to our brethren and your family. Thank you!”

This is good news from Jakarta! Sister Evangeline, a Filipina teacher, has been able to return to Jakarta in a new job in a different school. She will be staying closer to us than in the past. This will make it easier for her come to worship. And, her friend and co-worker, Alma, a young lady who is a Catholic, has also returned. Maybe this time we will be able to convert her. Both of them speak English fluently.

Brethren, thank-you for your support, for your prayers, for your interest in the work that is being done in Indonesia. We are already planning our work for the next few months. There is much to do. We hope that we will have the opportunity to accomplish it.

In Christian Love,

Steve and Susan Waller


Steve Waller — Jakarta, Indonesia

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