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" IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD,
AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD.
HE WAS VrtTH GOD IN THE BEGINNING.
THROUGH HIM ALL THINGS WERE MADE;
WITHOUT HIM NOTHING WAS MADE THAT HAS BEEN MADE.
IN HIM WAS LIFE, AND THAT LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF MEN.
THE LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS,
BUT THE DARKNESS HAS NOT UNDERSTOOD IT.
NO MAN HAS EVER SEEN GOD,
BUT GOD THE ONLY SON
WHO IS AT THE FATHER*S SIDE,
HAS MADE HIM KNOWN.*'
JOHN 1:1-5, 18
Dear friends,
As we share together in love and fellowship this special time of the
year, our family prays that each of you might be showered with gifts of
joy and comfort and glorious thoughts of Him vho reigns on High| seciu^e
in Christ vAio is the King of all Kings I
Servants of the King,
Bob and Diane and girls
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to IndoneaUt
Dear Christian Friends:
October/November 1974
Millf
We have been home now for several months, in fact, it is hard to believe
our furlough time is more than half over. Our speaking dates during the
summer months took us through some twenty states, with little time be
tween engagements to enjoy families. Even though, it certainly was our
thrill and blessing to be able to see the beautiful countryside and
sights for which we had longed while away from our native America. The
warm fellowship we have received from those we met and visited cannot
be described as they are beyond description. What a joy for us to ex
perience such spiritual blessings from you dear folks.
Diane is now spending most of her time staying at 'home' with Debbie
and Laurie. The girls are having a very interesting'??? time adjust
ing to the school atmosphere, the biggest problem being 'disciplined
thinking' and social differences. More and more we realize how much of
the Eastern culture they have adopted. We are sure the stories they
relate to their friends about all of our insects and bugs must seem
'gross''. Then, too, you should hear some of our stories!!!
Bob is continuing histravels to congregations who have helpedwi-th -
our support during our time in Indonesia. He is also visiting our
Bible Colleges, challenging others to share in our wider vision of
lost souls and seeking workers who might be willing to go and tell
the Good News, NOW!, while the door is still open.
During our first few months of cultural shock which we encountered
^pon returning to the 'States', .not ed the fast pace of
living, the style of dress, the apathy of Christians (?) and of
^ourse, the extremely high cost of food and clothing. We do offer
a SPECIAL 'thanks' to those of you (individuals and congregations)
who have dug deeply into pockets, giving us that bit of EXTRA nec
essary for our needed living expenses here. How the Lord will bless
you for sharing yours with us during this special time of need!
PRESENT NEEDS:
Funds for our return to the 'field white \mto harvest'
(Current rates have increased ^0% above our return trip 6 months ago)
. A motorcycle needed for village work as an inexpensive means
of transportation (this can be purchased on the field).o
Typewriter (comparable machine to the one 'borrowed' for this
news letter. .. 3^nmi Camera ......
At this time we have sufficient Bible School material to take back
with us for use in translating, personal study and teaching mission
ary children. We have had such a good response for this particular
need and we wish to thank all those who have shared.
SIGHHTS 'n SOUNDS STATESIDE,
How great it would be for our vision also to grow
as 'God grant the increase
higher ^
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Serving Christ
Bob, Diane and girls
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Christian Greetings:
9
' J""... yr'.
/... /,
June/July 1974
CULTURAL SHOCK??? In America, yes, especially when you have
been away for awhile Away from this land of plenty!
The smooth highways, the many available items in stores, the
high prices, many changes in clothing styles, especially for
the men, all of which takes much getting used tOo
So many times when trying to decide what to buy well, we
have just walked out of the store empty handed with the
decision of what to buy being too much for us.
We have been offered a completely furnished home in which to
live while on furlough. The Lord has truly blessed us in this
way and we know the Lord will bless the one who has been so
willing to sacrifice her home for our comfort and joy.
Our trip home was delightful, stopping over in Hong Kong one
night in order to break the lengthy journey.... One constant
problem was our speaking to o-thers in the Indonesian language
while in Singapore, Taiwan and other refueling stops as we
winged our way home. Needless to say, the puzzled looks of
others over our strange speech left them wondering where in
the world we came from. Even now, at home in the United States,
it is difficult for us to *think* in American English at times.
Therefore, when we meet, please don*t be alarmed or feel
slighted as we struggle to communicate.
\ Our summer season will consist of' Vacation Bible School pres
entations and speaking to supporting congregations. Then in
September, the girls will enroll in the Catlin, Illinois
school system. They are looking forward to having a *true*
school atmosphere with American friends. Indonesian schooling
consisted of home tutoring and correspondence courses.
Thanks to all for your constant prayers and concern as we
endeavor to continue in the Lord*s work to Indonesia.
Sincerely in Christ,
Bob, Diane and girls
ATJAR NANAS
Peel pineapple and remove core* Cut into
serving portions. Tack a nail-shaped
clove into each piece of pineapple.
1 small pineapple
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/Zf cup sugar
Place into earthen bean pot. Meanwhile,
^ ^ in a sauce pan, bring to a slow boil a
whole cloves mixture of water, vinegar and sugar.
Simmer for 10 minutes and pour over
pineapple. Cool. Cover and pickle at least six hours.
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WHAT DO YOU HAVE??? Pickled Pineapple!!!
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G'ood
Selamat dalam Tuhan Yesus,
/.../. -
Vy ' 75
December - January
We would like you to meet your new brothers and sisters in Christ.
Twenty-eight persons have just recently been brought into His fold.
What a thrill for us to be celebrating the Christmas Season this year
with so many new Christians I
Old Faithful
We were able to buy sack the 1967 Volkswagan van, that we had sold
when we went home on iurlough. As you remember in 1973? we bought this
car for $1700. In 197^^ we sold it for $1700, and now we have purchased
it again, fortunately fdr the same price $1700, as the selling price of
that car is now $2500.
The motorcycle is used fjr quick tripshard to get-in-village areas
and a gas saver also, -he down payment on this vehicle was our washing
machinel
Please note our address:
R. Sigefoose
Jl. Irran Bonjol 65
Salatiga, Jateng
Indonesia
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At the time of this writing, we have just had a hxirglary. Thieves came
in the middle of the night and stole our tools, mainly car tools, an
estimated $800 worth, which just about cleaned us out.
Laurie, later, came out of her room with a nice sized screw driver.
Her comment, "Dad, aren't you glad I never put things back where they
belong?" We pray you and yours are enjoying this very special time
of the year!
In Christ,
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Bob, Diane, Debbie & Laurie Sigafoose
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October '70
May '71
July '72
April '74
April '75
OUTLINE OF WORK
Left U.S.A. for Sin^japore
Lived in Singapore for 7 months (waiting for visas) to Indonesia
1 Tried to start a work but doors were closed for new
work in November of that year.
2. Taught a weekly Bible School class in an existing
congregation, also worked with the youth
3. Taught and preached when and wherever possible
Left Singapore for Indonesia
Lived in Bandung for more than 13 months
During this time, Bob
1. Studied the Indonesian language
2. Taught the Bible in two churches by using English
3. Taught Young People's group each Sunday evening
4. Made several trips to other areas to hold meetings,
seminars and also survey work for helping new
missionaries to locate.
Moved to Salatiga (Central Java) almost 2 years
1. Oct. '72 - Started village work in Pendingan
Feb. '73 - baptized 20
2. May *73 - Opened new work in village of Sumagawe
Sept. '75 - baptized 14
3. Oct. '73 - Opened work in village of Patemon
Nov. '73 - baptized 18 from Sumagawe and Patemon
Dec. '73 - baptized 14 from Sumagawe and Patemon
4. Jan. *74 - Sumagawe and Patemon taken over by Nationals
Return to U.S.A. for 1 year furlough.
FUTURE PLANS:
Return to Salatiga to continue village work-opening new villages
and training leaders.
Outline - (page 2)
FUTURE NEEDS
Motorcycle for village work
Filmstrip Projector and Material
Flannelgraph material
Simple study books which can be translated into Indonesian
All types of Sunday School material
Financial Expenses per Month;
Salary - $500.00
Schooling for girls - $150.00
Travel Fund - $100.00
Mission Expenses on the field
Rent - $50.00 to $75.00
Travel expenses within the country - $50,00
Miscellaneous
Paper, Equipment, etc. for mimeographing
Translator for translating material
Postage
Film for slides
Tracts, Bibles, eitc.
Medical coverage
Committed Support at this time: $750.00
Additional Needed: $250.00 per month committed
Robert D. Sigafoose
Home Address:
P.O. Box 569
Catlin, II. 61817
CHURCH GROWTH IN CENTRAL JAVA
AN EXAMPLE
^ ^ 60:17
God is working today in the lives of millions of people. I thank Him for
the way He is working in my life. I would like to tell how God is using us to
help Christ's Church grow here in Indonesia and hope this will help others
serve God better. This article attempts to tell how God gave us answers to two
basic questions missionaries ask. These questions are: where should one work;
how.should one work in order to plant growing, indigeonous churches.
Indonesia is an island nation in Southeast Asia and has a population of
approximately 120,000,000 people. It is a new field of service for the Churches
of Christ/Christian Churches. God led us to come to Indonesia after we heard
reports about the many people who were accepting Christ. We started preparing to
come in 1968. In October of 1970 we left the U.S. and came to Singapore, follow
ing the advise of other missionaries. Then in May of 1971 we received our semi
permanent visa allowing us to come to Indonesia.
My family and I now live in the city of Salatiga which is located in central
Java. Previously our home was in Bandung, Western Java. Lew Cass, another Church
of Christ missionary was also located in Bandung. After an extensive survey of
Java, the most densely populated island of Indonesia, Lew Cass and I found the
central part of Java more responsive to the Gospel. This was especially true of
the village areas. My family and I felt the need to evangelize these people. It
was decided that my family, along with the Lew Cass family, would move to this
particular area. Finding a centrally located town was time consuming, but we
finally decided on the area around Salatiga, a small town with a population of
approximately 55,000. We chose this city because of its location. It is located
twenty-five miles from Semarang, the capital city of Central Java. Salatiga is
also twenty-five miles from Surakarta and thirty-five miles from Yokyakarta, two
major cities. The population density in this area is approximately 1,100 people
per square mile.
(2)
We proposed two things for this area. First, we decided to work with the
existing churches. It was our plan to help restore the churches according to
New Testament teachings. Second, we decided to start churches in the villages
where there are no existing churches. There are now fourteen churches in the
city of Salatiga, and we at the present time, do not have any plans to start a
new church here.
Making plans is one thing, but carrying them out is another. We found
that if you are willing to work for the Lord and open your heart and mind to
that purpose. He will find a way to use you.
One of the biggest jobs was to find housing. Finding a house was difficult
enough, but then one must bargain for the price. All Indonesians think that
because a person is a foreigner he is rich. They start out by asking two or
three times what the house is worth, and then one has to bargain to get them
down to a reasonable price. Sometimes this takes a month.
The house we chose needed many repairs, I could not possibly do all the
work that needed to be done. The only thing for us to do was hire some men to
help us get the house ready. At the time of hiring these men, we did not know
where they were from and it did not really make much difference to me. All that
mattered was that they were able to do the work that was needed. As I worked
with these men and talked to them I felt the need to talk to them about Christ,
These men told me that they were all registered as Moslems, but they also said
that none of them were very active in their religion. Everyone in Indonesia must
register in some religion. There are only five religions which are recognized by
the government: they are Moslem, Christian, Hindu, Catholic and Buddhist, At the
present time this country is said to be over 80^ Moslem, I gave these men some
tracts that I had about Christ, Some of them said that they could not read but
they knew some one who would read to them, A small booklet on the life of Christ,
which was written in the Indonesian language, was given to them.
(5)
Latsr, I asked one of the men if he would go with me to some of the small
villages which are located on the side of the mountain. I wanted to pass out
tracts and to see how the people lived. The culture in Central Java is quite
different from that of West Java. The man that I asked to go with me as a guide
told me that he lived in one of the small villages in the foothills of the
mountain. When I arrived at his home, I found that not only he was v/illing to go
with me, but eight others were waiting there. As we were walking along from
village to village they began to ask me many questions. At tirst the questions
were about America and also about our plans for working in Indonesia. Then one
man, named Pak Harjo, began to question me about the Lord Jesus Christ. Ke said
that he had read the book v;hich I had given him several weeks earlier. Harjo
told me that he had talked to some of his friends about the book. He asked if I
would come to their village, Pendingan, and talk to them about Christ. The Lord
had ansered our prayers. The door was now open to begin teaching Jesus Christ to
these people.
I began immediately to find out what must be done in order for us to hold a
meeting in this village of Pendingan. You can not just enter into a village and
start teaching. First of all, one must have someone who is willing to open his
house for the meetings. Then, one must get permission from the local government.
There are five different offices from which one must receive permission. First
of all, you must see the head of the village and then the next man who is over
several villages; next, the man over him. We had to visit the offices all in
order. It is not possible to go to a man in a higher office before seeing the
man in the lower office. Most of the men were not there the first time I went to
see them. I had to return several times before seeing them. It took us more
than a week to all these people.
Written permission was then received to go into this nominal Moslem village,
freeing us to tell them about the gospel of Jesus Christ. This village of over
four hundred adults and twice as many children had never before heard the story
(4)
of Jesus Christ. I know of only one villager who had ever been inside a church
and he had just moved there from another area.
Many homes were open to us in the beginning. One of the homes was the home
of a man-who was a leader of the people. His name was Martono. He was chosen
by the people in an election. We felt that if he had been chosen by the people
as their leader, then that would be the logical place for us to start our work.
The house was not large but was big enough. There were not enough chairs for
the people. We asked ourselves, what do we do? Should we use mission funds or
wait for them to get their own chairs? I was praying about this problem and what
to do in this situation. One of the churches in Salatiga offered to loan folding
chairs to us for the meeting. This was our answer to prayer. Then we asked what
should we do about Bibles. Should we buy Bibles and give them to the people or
should we make them buy their own? A Bible costs 250 Rupiahs or 620, and most of
these people, when working, only make 200 Rupiahs per day. Bibles have now gone
up to 550 Rupiahs, I knew from past experiences that if things are just given to
them that they do not take good care of them. We decided to just loan the Bibles
to them. That way they would be kept in one place and if they wanted to borrow
the Bibles they could, but they must be returned every Sunday in time for the
meeting.
We began our meetings in October, 1972, even though I thought it would be
better to wait for at least another month. There were two reasons for this.
First of all, this was the month of Lebaran, which is the largest Moslem holiday
of the year. This month of fasting is observed only during the day-light hours,
but at night they are allowed to eat. All Itoslems, and even nonMoslems celebrate
this holiday. Since this village was all registered as Moslem, I thought it better
to wait until November, The people in Pendingan wanted to go ahead as planned.
The other reason I did not want to start in October was that I had promised
I would go to Manado in Northern Indonesia with Brother Lew Cass and hold a
preachers training clinic. We were to leave the last week in October, It was de-
(5)
cided that a young man who was working with us as a translator could t'each the
people in Pendingan* Lie Sing Tioe, my translator, and I worked together pre
paring the lesson he would teach to the people at Pendingan in the next four
weeks. In this way, Brother Lew Cass and I were able to hold the meeting in
Manado which proved to be a glorious experience. When we returned home the work
was continuing to grow. Things were going so well that we decided it best that
I not go to the village every Sunday. I taught only every other week. In this
way the people would not think that the only time they could have a meeting was
when I was there. I did not want them to be dependent'upon the missionary.
At first many people came to see what was going on. They wanted to see if we
were going to give them anything. Usually the missionary, and other people who
come to the village, pass out something to the people. They wanted to know why
we had come to their village. As time passed the Sunday evening service settled
down to ten or fifteen adults. Many children were coming to the meeting. We
started a program for the children by first teaching them Christian songs in the
Javanese language, and then teaching them Bible stories. The meeting started at
6:00 P.M. for the children and then at 7:00 P.M. for the adults, as most of the
adults were in the fields until dark. Many people would not enter the house but
stood outside to listen. This continued for the next few months.
Later, the men of the group started a Bible reading class on Thursday evening.
They asked if Lie would come and help them in their Bible reading. Only about
four of the men who were coming on Sunday could read but they started reading to
others. Now they were meeting together twice a week. A prayer meeting was
started along with the Bible reading. We taught them to pray. They learned to
pray for others, for the government, and for the opening of other work. We also
started teaching them personal evangelism.
The first Sunday in February an invitation was given. They had been
studying and some, perhaps, were now ready to accept Jesus as their personal
Saviour. When asked if there were any ready to accept the Lord as their Saviour,
every adult and two of the older children raised their hands. I was so surprised
(6)
that I couldn't think what to say. I felt some were ready to accept Christ, hut
I did not know all of them would at this time.
It was decided that they would be baptized the following Sunday morning. I
know that many of our brethren would not agree that we should wait a full week to
baptize anyone after they had accepted the Lord. I would not approve of it either,
if I were in the United States. However, we are not in the United States and the
situation here is quite different. We do not have a baptistry where we can take
them. The closest place to baptize them was a swimming pool which was over six
miles from the village. We had to arrange for transportation, plus request the
use of the pool. While waiting this one week, five others who had been attending
the Bible Study also decided for Christ.
In Salatiga, a Bible Study group had been started by Lew Cass with the help
of a man named Willy Worang. Willy is a Manadonese who had been helping with
our mission work for about two years. Some of the people who had been studying
from this particular group had also asked to be baptized. So, the following
Sunday, sixteen people were baptized from Pendingan, four from Salatiga, and my
daughter, Laurie. The next Sunday, six more were baptized from the Bible study
group in Salatiga.
Several family units from Pendingan accepted the Lord. The man in whose
home we were meeting (Martono) along with his wife and two of his children ac
cepted the Lord. This man also brought his sister and her husband to the meetings.
They, too, accepted the Lord and later Martono talked to his mother and she was
baptized. In another family unit, the husband (Sumarto), his wife and two of
his children accepted Jesus. Also, two other families of husband and wife
accepted the Lord as their Personal Saviour.
All of these villagers were baptized into Christ on Sunday morning and that
evening everyone of them came to the service where they had their first communion.
Also, that evening, they gave their first offering. It was not much but at least
it was a start for them to be able to share. This congregation is doing every
thing for themselves which is the most important thing. They have already
(7)
elected three men from their group as leaders. We do not call them elders as yet,
hut they do take care of the offering money and serve at the Lord's table each
Sunday.
We have been teaching personal evangelism from the very beginning. These
Christians are now going out to others and telling them about Jesus Christ.
One of the men in the congregation talked to his friend, who is a Buddhist, and
he is now coming to the services. After a short time, this man started bringing
some of his Buddhist friends.
The Christians from Pendingan have been instrumental in starting new work.
Soon after their baptisms, they were talking to some of the people in a nearby
village. These people wanted to know more about the Lord and asked if I would
come and talk to them. On Easter Sunday a fellov/ship meal was held in Pendingan
and we invited all of those who wanted to attend from the other village, which
is only one mile from Pendingan, called Sumagawe. I was then asked to start
holding meetings there.
The people in Sumagawe were much better educated than those in Pendingan, so
it was not possible to teach them in the same way. We had to find new material.
Most of those who attended the meetings were young people between the ages of
seventeen and twenty-six. Some were school teachers in the village school and
others were attending a teacher's training school in Salatiga. I felt this would
be a real opportunity for us to train some of these young men to become involved
in the Lord's work in this area. In September of that year, nine people from the
village of Sumagawe accepted Jesus Christ as their Personal Saviour. All were
young people. Although I was very happy with these new Christians, I was a little
concerned that we might have cut off the older people in the village, so a
Wednesday night Bible Study was started along with our Sunday services. It was
felt that if we v/ere to meet in an informal group it would be better for the
older people as many of them could not read or write. Those who could read were
to help those who could not. In this way, we read and discussed the Word of God.
Just two weeks after the first baptism, five more young people came and asked if
(8)
they could be baptized into Christ, I had never given an invitation to the
people in this village. They came to me and requested that I baptize them.
However, the baptizing was done by the fellow who was working with me. It seemed
much better if this was done by an Indonesian.
Among those who were baptized was a young man of 21 years. This young man
had been sick for more than two years. He was not even able to get out of bed
and walk. Tracts had been passed out in this village and one that he had received
told about Christ the Physician. After reading this tract and praying, he became
better and within a few days, was out of bed and walking. All of the people in
the village knew about this man. Because of what they had witnessed, many came
and asked if they could attend our meetings. Later, this young man's father,
mother and grandmother all accepted Christ and v/ere baptized.
During this time, we were approached by a group of people from a village
called Patemon and asked if we could hold weekly meetings in this village. The
people there were already meeting together, but no one who would come on a regular
basis. Although they had been meeting for a year, none of them owned a Bible.
The only one that was used, was owned by a man who came once in av/hile to help
them. Some of these villagers had been baptized by sprinkling. Most of the
teaching that had been done was actually preaching and no one had sat with them
and studied the Bible. It was decided that I would hold meetings with them each
Sunday morning. During this time we would read and study, more like a Bible
school class than a preaching service. Bibles were loaned to them so that they
themselves had the opportunity to read and study, not only on Sundays, but also
during the v/eek.
In November, a seminar was held in the village of Sumagawe. This seminar
was basically one on personal evangelism. Everyone was invited to attend these
meetings. Five of the villagers from Patemon attended each day, along with
some of the villagers from Pendingan. V/e not only taught those who came but
also sent them out in teams to contact those homes where they knew someone and
(9)
invited them to come to the seminar and also the regular meetings. More than
one hundred and fifty people were contacted and given tracts and told about
Jesus Christ during these three days. After the seminar, eighteen people were
baptized into Jesus Christ, five of them being from the village of Patemon.
We continued working in all villages, Ron Ritchey, our other missionary in
Salatiga, took over the work in Pendingan on Sunday evenings while I continued to
hold a Wednesday Bible study and Sunday evening service in Sumagawe, as well as
holding Sunday morning services in Patemon, In December, fourteen more people were
added to the Lord. Eight of them being from Sumagawe and six from Patemon,
We praise the Lord for the way that the work has progressed during this one
year. Two new villages were opened .to the Gospel message and sixtysix people
accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, We are not interested in num
bers for numbers sake, but I do want you to know what has been taking place here
in Indonesia, We are interested in bringing souls to the Lord Jesus Christ and
in order to do this, it does take numbers. We want you to share with us the joys
of knowing that so many who have never before had the opportunity to hear about
Jesus Christ, are now accepting Him as their Saviour,
My family and I are returning to the States for furlough. What will happen
while we are away? Two of the villages have now been taken over by the Nationals
and are continuing to meet each Lord*s Day, We pray diligent,ly that they will
remain strong and steadfast in Christ,
The Lord is opening so many doors for us so quickly. Our work here is only
beginning. Our next step is to train leaders, Christian men willing to teach
others. At this point, all we can do is to pray that the Holy Spirit will lead
these new Christians and guide them as they strive to witness for Him,
This is not the whole story of our work here in Indonesia, but we did want
you to share with us, the many opportunities and blessings we have had teaching
Jesus Christ, and taking the "Good News" to those who have never heard. We are
looking forward to a great ministry here. The Lord is working in Indonesia
today, and we are so thrilled to be a small part of that work.
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1
&ODd
99
Robert D. Sigafoose
Jl, Kartini 1
Salatiga, Java, Indonesia
Forwarding Agents:
Mr. and Mrs. Roy J. Prather
Box 569
Catlin, II. 61817