A Wedding Story

Norberth (Norberthus Analau) was a Charismatic Christian who came from a long line of Pentecostal believers. He is of Chinese descent from the village of Dobo located on a small Mollucan Island southwest of the island of Papua, New Guinea. His family moved to the capital city Jakarta on the island of Java, a six hour non-stop flight from his former island. One of Norberth’s brothers is a Pentecostal pastor.

Norberth felt that he needed a deeper spiritual tradition and more grounding and stability in theology in order to grow in his Christian faith. After considerable searching he stumbled on some of the writings of Fr. Daniel Byantoro, the founder of the Orthodox Church in Indonesia. It was the first time he encountered the Orthodox faith. Norbeth contacted the St. Thomas Orthodox Church in Jakarta and met Fr. Boris Setyawan who introduced him to Fr Daniel.

Fr. Daniel catechized Norbeth and in 2010 Norbeth was baptized. At that time Norbeth introduced Fr. Daniel to his girlfriend Widya, a beautiful Chinese-Indonesian young woman also from his home village of Dobo. Widya came from a Buddhist-Taoist-Confucianist family but had converted to Christianity and joined a Pentecostal Church. They were engaged and Norbeth asked Fr. Daniel to marry them.

Widya was hesitant to leave Pentecostalism and embrace Orthodoxy. She objected to a second baptism if she was to become Orthodox. Nevertheless, she attended Divine Liturgy every Sunday with Norbeth. Fr. Daniel counseled Norberth not to pressure Widya or push her into becoming Orthodox.

Finally Fr. Daniel performed a mixed marriage ceremony of the Orthodox Sacrament of Matrimony. The wedding was performed in a big hotel in Jakarta with some Orthodox people and many non-Orthodox family members and guests attending. Widya is now expecting their first child. They still faithfully attend St. Thomas Orthodox Church in Jakarta where Fr. Boris Setyawan serves.

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