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Sermon transcript from church service in Malang and Surabaya, preached by Pastor Widjaja Hendra.
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Being shepherded is beautiful
By: Mrs. Yohana Agustina
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Release: August 03, 2017
are several things that I would like to testify:
2014 I checked ASTO (Anti-Streptolysin Titer O) - a test to
measure the antibody titer as a sign whether one has been infected
beta hemolyticus - for
my son because in 2009 his
ASTO was more than 200
- for a child, it should be minus -, which made my son had to
have an injection therapy once a month for 5 years.
made my son suffered from rheumatic fever, out of breath, and could
not walk. I saw a lot of children in the Hermina hospital who had to
be hospitalized because they could not walk when they came home from
school. When my son's ASTO was tested, we were afraid that the
result would have still been positive.
We struggled - as
my son, learnt to fast
for this problem -, because we were afraid and anxious of the
A lot of friends who had the same problem found the
second positive result, so that they had to continue the injection
for the next five years.
On Saturday, October 18th
the result came out. We opened the resul in our car after the
service , and the
result was negative!
Praise the Lord.
We were very grateful. It
was all because of God's grace and His miracle, as well as the
prayer of our pastor and his wife, and all of the congregation.
did not stay still.
In March 2015, I visited the doctor and he
suggested us to do another treatment for 5 years
in the concern of the heart and rheumatic fever; as stated by the
pediatricians congress from all over the world. I asked, 'Why?
We have already had a negative result.'
By several reasons, the doctor said that it was suggested to do so.
father could not accept this
and said that we did not need to follow what the doctor said.
son and I stayed still,
confused and I could only say 'Ezra,
we could not be separated from God, and we have to put our hope and
depend on the living God. Your father said not to do, but the doctor
suggested us to do. We can only stay still.'
we have already felt that this is God's miracle, because the result
had been positive, and then it changed to negative, and Ezra could
breathe normally, even when he played football.
learnt to obey and depend only on God.
We believed that there was a power of Jesus' stripes in the
second thing is about baptism.
When I saw several children from the Sunday School were
baptized, I was happy as a Sunday School teacher to see those
children who were little kids got older and entered their new life.
that moment, I also cried because Ezra
had not decided yet to be baptized.
Indeed, to be baptized, it could not be pushed or stopped.
became my struggle, other than:
became Ezra's struggle too, not only mine.
struggle of my family which was not united,
struggle of what Ezra had experienced,
struggle of how Ezra could be in the true shepherding,
struggle so that Ezra's heart could be moved by God's word to be
I could not think and
when God's word strengthened me, I often said: "God,
I do not know what will happen next. I
surrender everything to you, oh God.',
but often Ezra and I also said: 'When
will it reach the end, when will I be like others, when will we be
able to go to the services as a whole family?'
decided to be baptized,
I was happy and anxious at the same time and said: 'Ok,
pray and go to the services earnestly, and pray to ask for your
of us were afraid
that Ezra's father would have not let him to be baptized since his
father goes to other church.
through this baptism I could see the
power of the word.
evening, Friday, and Saturday were very
I could not describe it with words. Saturday evening, the flesh
started to speak: What if his father forgot about his promise and
asked Ezra to go to his church? What if his reply was only for
letting him to minister, but not for not going to his father's
struggle to get
the permission from his father
through Blackberry Messenger, because we were afraid to tell it
We were afraid and we were waiting for his father's
reply. At the end, he
and we were relieved.
second thing, we
hoped that Ezra's father would come to the baptism.
Sunday, August 2nd,
2015, I was strengthened by the song of the youth choir: "When
you are alone, facing a problem, it seems that there is no
solution.... only God can understand. Surrender every burden to
to this song, we were holding our tears, and I knew what Ezra felt.
The process from asking for his father's permission and hoping that
his father would come to pray, were
not easy for him.
The word that we received on Sunday was very beautiful and
it strengthened and showed us that God loved us as the word said
cannot hold Himself when He sees our tears,
so there is hope and assurance that He will help us.'
the end, God helped us and Ezra's
to Malang on August 8th,
2015, although he was invited to a wedding of the child of his
cousin at the same day.
third process happened on Sunday, a day after the baptism, as I and
Ezra had feared, that Ezra's
father would ask him to go to the Sunday School Service in his
because his father is the teacher of Sunday School there.
was confused while Ezra did not dare to say anything, and we were
afraid to say no.
years, every Sunday I always grieved when I let Ezra go to a Sunday
School Service with his father in another church. Every Sunday, we
always prayed "God,
protect Ezra from false teachings that are not according to your
Sunday, I was really sad, and it lasted for several days. I had a
headache for several days and I drank up to 5 doses of medicine to
relieve my headache. I could not endure it.
we came to see the pastor and his wife as our shepherd. We did not
know what we should say or do. However, the
living God's word had came to us,
before we came to see the pastor.
word before and after the baptism, as well as during the priests
upgrading services corrected me and prepared Ezra. I got God's
takes God's disgrace, should be willing to suffer through His
and I looked at each other, as if we were prepared to face these
came and talked to the pastor and he affirmed about the truth and
matter of not listening to other teachings anymore,
because women are allowed to teach in Ezra's father's church. The
pastor told me to hold the Word of God, as what I had listened to.
our way home, we cried on the car, I could not think how Ezra
should say this to his father. What if he became angry and refused
it? Every time there was a meeting of Sunday School teachers, Ezra
was not allowed to go home with his uncle or his grandmother, so he
had to wait until the meeting finished.
As a mother, I
could understand what Ezra felt. On Wednesday, we listened to the
word in the Prayer Service, and I was really corrected. I
could not be a hyssop dipped in blood yet
- I was not willing to suffer - let alone be hyssop and be
dipped in a sour wine mingled with gall, so we had not yet listened
to Jesus 'saying "It
so I stopped praying for my husband to God. I lost my heart and I
could only endure.
I was a
weak and useless hyssop,
but God's word pierced through my heart. It was difficult to pass
through these last days.
told Ezra: 'Give
thanks to God for what you have to undergo because not everyone has
the same experience. After asking for the permission to be
baptized, the process keeps going. There should be tears, sadness,
and sprinkles of blood to step forward in the baptism, minister to
God, and be in the true shepherding.' I
was sure that God has a beautiful plan. Ezra might seem like an
adult - he is tall and big -, but actually he was 13 years old,
had to shed so many tears and be stressed.
to my feeling, I wanted to shout and rebel, but God's
word strengthened me.
Thursday, Ezra asked his father's permission to minister to God and
did not go to his father's church. Even though he asked it by
knew that it was hard for him,
I was sure that he was afraid. I knew that his father had read the
message but he did not reply, and we thought: 'Oh
no, it is the end.'
We were ready to be scolded or even worse, be kicked out from the
resent the message after he finished school, and his father replied
at 7 pm. It
was a miracle! God's miracle is true!
I thank the pastor and his wife, as well as the Sunday School
teachers! It feels like we were Daniel. I don't know what God did
to his father so that he replied: 'it
is up to Ezra.'
I could not believe it and I read it again and again and I
hugged Ezra. Thank God.
told Ezra; 'You have to be strict.' Sunday morning until 8
am, we were worried, afraid, and anxious. We were waiting while
praying: 'God, show us your perfect miracle.'
the Lord, everything went according to the plan,
namely his father went alone and did not say anything about Ezra. We
were relieved, praise the Lord!
thank Jesus, pastor and his wife, for their prayer which depth cannot
be measured, and we also give thanks to the support and prayers that
the Sunday School teachers have given to Ezra so that he can undergo
this hard process.
can see the examples that the other Sunday School teachers in WR
Supratman 4 gave me through this problem.
I can see how the
teachers support and lead the students to be reborn. I see and
more I would like to say, it is really beautiful to be
shepherded and attached to the true vine,
God's word is like His hands that lead us. Our struggle is not
finished, but the most important is that God's word will keep working
on us and we will always be the hyssop and we believe that one day we
will listen to His voice saying: "It is done!",
and we all will be united in the same shepherding.
want to use the chance to minister to God earnestly.
I am always
reminded by my colleague in Sunday school - Ningsih - about God's
Word in the Old and New Service: this year is the year of the
blood sprinkles, but also the year of glory and miracles.
month, God has given Ezra and me freedom. Ezra has been reborn, he
does not go to other church anymore, and we are led to become the
hyssop that God uses. This is the biggest gift for me, the freedom
from my long struggle.
be to God.
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