Raising Cattle and Discipling People

Posted on: 
January 19, 2023

In our journey to work with the Sungai people, I hoped to use my hands-on skills and love for farming to bring the gospel to them. It has been a long journey. We started on visitor visas. We tried doing some nonprofit work, but did not get much interest in the program. Eventually the opportunity came to start a for-profit business, the easiest way to get a long-term visa. We decided my family would pursue cattle ranching.

After looking at various pieces of land, we heard there was a large ranch available. It had been run by a government business, but failed through corruption and mismanagement. For years, the ranch sat empty. The cows got turned loose and ignored. The pastures reverted to wild brush and woods. The buildings were ruined by rain and termites. Eager to have someone take over the ranch and turn it into something productive, they let us use it for three years without rent.

So here we are in a picturesque setting with a big yard, a long driveway, and a creek. We converted the ranch office into a home, and repaired other buildings to house workers and guests. I have hired local men to help clear brush and build fence.

I am amazed how many people want to work for us. I often get three or four applications a week from people who want to do hard labor. A worker told me yesterday he likes it here. He said, “You don't get mad at me.” I shared with him the verse in James that says I should be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get mad.

Having the ranch gives me and my family meaningful work and a legitimate opportunity to live in a Sungai community. We interact daily with neighbors and coworkers.

I am amazed at the cry I hear for good business. There is a sense of shame for how this business sat empty. They want the land to be used productively. By entering the community as a business, we can help raise them out of shame. It seems like business is a wide-open opportunity for God's people to enter communities and live the gospel. If I came here as a gospel worker, I would be met with suspicion. As an employer, I am a respected community member. And I get to share the gospel.

We thank God for the opportunity to live on this land in the very heart of the people group we love, and work with our hands the things that are good so we can share with people who have needs.

—LS in Indonesia

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  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
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  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
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  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10