During the massive eruption of Mount Merapi in the fall of 2010, Fr. Marcus and Fr. Alexios started to reach out to the people of that area, first in their physical relief efforts, later in their spiritual. While they were delivering relief supplies and housing refugees, they were also spreading the gospel.
A small seed that has since flowered. Fr. Markus had been talking to a shaman of the area whose wife, Kartini, was very sick and had been paralyzed for many years. The shaman, Pak Mulyoto, wanted to know if Jesus Christ could heal people; he had tried every other type of healing powers. Shamans in Indonesia, and this one in particular, believe that they have a great power for healing, but he could not heal his own wife.
Fr. Markus assured him that indeed Jesus could heal, but it was faith in Jesus Christ that brought the healing power. The shaman said that he believed. Fr. Markus said that Jesus wouldn’t heal his wife while he was worshiping his own power and magic. He couldn’t worship two gods, which is a very common thing in Indonesia where people often practice many religions at once. Pak Mulyoto gave Fr. Markus all of his magical implements, not keeping even one back.
Fr. Markus went and burned them all and then he prayed for Kertini’s healing. Suddenly, the woman could move her head and talk. She asked for a spoon so she could eat. She was healed and was hungry. The former shaman and all of his family were then catechized and baptized, along with many other people of their area who had witnessed the miracle.
A mission then started in earnest on the slopes of Mount Merapi. There are now about 40 people in the mission, and they meet in the house of one of the elders of the village who also converted. The church is composed mostly of flower farmers, the main industry of the region.
Fr. Markus goes to visit this new community almost every Sunday after services are over in Solo. Fr. Alexios often lends a hand, especially in teaching all the new converts. Mount Merapi is not far from Solo where both Fr. Alexios and Fr. Markus are stationed. The community is growing fast. Praise God!
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