VIC Branch


We are all one wok – Boundless

David and Margie were cross-cultural gospel workers with CMS, Indonesia 1976 – 1989

Youth worshipping at Medan in Indonesia, 1970's

Youth worshipping at Medan in Indonesia, 1970’s

She was sitting next to me in the front pew of our local church, a little old lady chewing betel nut. When the service leaders filed in and she saw David (who was to preach), she exclaimed “Raksasa! A giant!” (David is quite tall, even in Australia.)

There were challenges and joys of being invited as co-workers in Medan by an Indonesian church. We had so much to learn – and wonderful people to help us!

Initially, I sat in on the Thursday afternoon ladies’ fellowship in the Batak language (not Indonesian, which we were learning). God gave me a great love for these women. I met many who were sellers as I shopped in the market and visited their homes. After a year, the ladies came to me and asked if I would teach their fellowship. My background was in nurse education, not Bible teaching, so I said I would pray about their request. God graciously equipped me with ideas how to teach, such as using drama, and gave us all great joy and laughter!

I realised that these women never got time for themselves – they worked long hours in the market and in their homes! So we organised a retreat to a missionary friend’s home where it was cool. We enjoyed food, Bible study and the beautiful garden – a fantastic time. These women were a constant source of joy.

Later one of them said to me, “You know, I’m so happy you’ve come to us – God has made us all one wok!”

Medan/Babura retreat - Margie in the centre surrounded by 'her ladies'

Medan/Babura retreat – Margie in the centre surrounded by ‘her ladies’


David was teaching at a university campus and helping develop youth ministry across our city and surrounds. Our pastors wisely decided that another missionary and David should preach on a roster each Sunday so that the 70 congregations could get to know them. We also learnt much from what God was doing through a Christian student movement in Medan. Our fellow CMS missionaries Tony and Gaye Doran, were also involved – they had started a year earlier in another denomination.

In a short time we saw youth ministry blossom across the region from the prayers and vision of our church leaders and from youth themselves seeing in others what it meant to follow Jesus.

A youth leadership team was formed for the region, with David and our fellow missionary being mentors to them.

A mass Christian youth festival called Christival was making an impact in Germany at that time. Unexpectedly, Christival proposed to their five sister-denominations in Indonesia to hold a Christival in our province.

Could there be enough trained small-group leaders for the 3,000 youth who were coming?

It was just amazing that what had started 2-3 years earlier in some of these denominations, in tandem with the Medan student movement, had already produced a lot of youth leaders!
Christival’s focus on witnessing and making disciples was quite radical for nominal Christians, but this festival changed many hearts.

One particular outreach by our youth leaders involved showing the film based on the book Peace Child by Don Richardson. It is a dramatic real-life story of the attempts to reach two remote head-hunting tribes in Papua New Guinea. For them, treachery was better than just killing your enemy. The Richardsons intervened in an impending spear-fight between these tribes, and told the story of Jesus as ‘God’s Peace-Child’. The ‘peace-child concept’ was in these tribes’ own culture. They responded by the extraordinary act of each tribe receiving and raising an ‘enemy’ child – a peace child – bringing peace between the two tribes. What an epic event, showing how God prepared a culture for His story! Our youth team took the movie and a borrowed projector to 8 parish centres over several weeks, perhaps the only gospel movie they ever saw. The Peace Child message made a deep impact on many people’s hearts.

Youth at Medan

Youth at Medan

We are humbled by knowing that we were just a small part in the Lord’s greater plan and that we received much more than we gave. We’re thankful for how God brought so much richness into our lives through His people.

We are still in contact with many of them today.

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