Yes, the Sungai Field Is White

Posted on: 
November 1, 2020

A year ago as I moved my family into the cultural center of the Sungai tribe in southeast Asia, I remember looking around and feeling awed and overwhelmed at the dominance of Islam in this region. I saw huge mosques, little mosques, training centers, and devout Muslims all over. I wondered why God was sending this weak little Anabaptist Christian family into the middle of such a visibly powerful empire of Islamic tradition and presence. I formed these wonderings into a prayer and asked my Heavenly Father about it. I soon heard the gentle reply from the Holy Spirit of God. “That is what you can see. But I said, ‘The fields are white unto harvest.’” I was reminded that we walk by faith and not by sight.

So we moved in right across from a very loud mosque and concentrated on living: washing clothes, cooking food, practicing language, meeting neighbors. Using the unique gifts that God has given our family (namely a swing, some tools and toys, 5 children who play, a mama who keeps house, a daddy who likes to keep bees and chat about agricultural possibilities), we began to develop a handful of deep and meaningful friendships. It seems like all the important things that happen here happen in context of relationship, and all relationships for me happen in the context of real everyday life.

One of my best friends here is a young man we will call Hans. Soon after we moved here he would come over to watch me working on a beehive or to play with our children. Hans is fluent in three languages: the national language, the tribal language, and the international language English. We spent many hours together playing with bees, going on family outings, shopping, learning to drive, and just hanging out. I have enjoyed teaching Hans many practical life skills that his father never taught him. While we are together being friends, we talk. We talk about dating, working, family, language, religion, motorcycles, etc. I have had many many opportunities to speak the Word of God into Hans’s life. I and my team mates have spent many hours in prayer for Hans that God would open his heart to receive Jesus as his Lord.

Recently a local Christian friend of mine invited Hans to follow Jesus. This has been a huge and difficult decision for Hans. He knows that this could mean separation from his family. He has been searching diligently for the truth. He has been studying about the life of Mohammed and comparing it with the life of Jesus. He has finally concluded that Mohammed is not the example he wants to follow. He says Jesus is better. He says Jesus is worth following. As I watch God changing Hans from someone who fights and curses to someone loves his enemies, I realize God was right when he said, “the fields are white unto harvest.”

Please pray for our team as we continue to live and work among the Sungai people. A large people group like this doesn’t turn from darkness to light overnight. But they can and do turn slowly, as they see the light and hear the truth.


Visit the Sungai Project page

Meet the Sungai team Tuesday evening! Email [email protected] for information about watching this live update, Nov. 17, 7:00 pm EST.

  • “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
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “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
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “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