Interview by Ryan Lee
Daniel Setiabudi is a World Radio speaker for One Kingdom. He is based in Jakarta, Indonesia and has been preaching the Gospel via World Radio for 15 years. Daniel, along with his wife Naomi, leads a church out of his home and teaches English through studying the Bible. We caught up with Daniel recently so he could share a glimpse into his work and ministry in Indonesia.
What kind of role has the radio played in your work?
Since I began speaking with World Radio, hundreds of people (including most of our church members) have been baptized after first hearing the good news on the radio. Our church members have taken that knowledge and have been spreading the good news, bringing more people to our body. Some of them have come because they want to learn English. But they learned English through learning the Bible and that has prompted many questions about the Bible.
How does Indonesian law affect how you preach?
I have to be careful how I preach, because I cannot proselytize people. But, I can ask them about their background and ask them where they come from. Once they mention their religion, I can slowly approach them until they meet the truth of Jesus. It is very hard, but gaining close relationships first is the best way to go. I just really want to know a person’s story. This can open up a dialogue about religion once we get to know each other.
When I am talking to a Muslim, I want to know how dedicated they are to their faith. I talk to them and ask them questions about their faith—which often prompts new questions—bringing up thoughts they cannot explain. This opens a door to talk about Jesus.
In the Koran, it says that Mohammed follows Abraham’s religion. Often I will ask a Muslim, “What is Abraham’s religion?” They cannot answer this, because Mohammed started Islam and Abraham lived long before. Then I can explain through Genesis who Abraham was and it pokes some holes in what they were taught. I am simply trying to reveal truth to them through the Bible, but without a relationship, this is not possible.
What about your work with kids in Indonesia?
I realized that most members who become faithful in Christianity become faithful because they learn truth as a child. Parents have a great impact, but also working with children is a great ministry to start teaching truth at an early age. I also open up my home with my family to have children stay with us and treat them as my own children, showing them God’s love and grace. I decided long ago that my house should be used for the Lord’s service.
Why do you care so much about showing truth to Muslims?
The only way to have eternal life is Jesus, through the Gospel. I realize that. I have my own experience; I feel joy and peace through Christ. I feel God’s presence on a daily basis. In my life, I’ve experienced God in powerful ways and know He is there with me always. I want this for everyone.
It seems like your church members have a very grateful heart.
I give examples of God’s love at every opportunity. I have been very generous with my brothers and sisters and in turn, they have shown grateful hearts and generosity to others. Christianity is not just theory to me, it is my life. And by living that way, it is the greatest teaching tool I have. People will follow leaders who are sold out for Christ.
How do you see the church in Indonesia growing despite political pressure from the government?
We still have opportunity to spread the good news albeit through small holes. We need workers. Honest workers. There are so many challenges. We need prayer for strength to continue His work. Pray that we can spread the good news, not only in our area, but across Indonesia and every corner of the world.
Thanks so much for sharing with us!