God story / Santi finds forgiveness

Feb 24, 2010 I got married to my first husband after dating for 5 years. After just one year of marriage I could see his real character begin to come out. He was very temperamental, addicted to drinking, and gambling a lot. I tried to stop him but he would just say, “I provide for you so I can do what I want”. He would often hit me if I complained about his behavior. I never told my family about the abuse out of embarrassment. I also felt guilty that I was not able to get pregnant and give him a baby.

Over time things just grew worse. By January 2016 he would leave for days at a time with no explanation. Then on one occasion I finally had enough. After being gone for three days with his friends without telling me where they went or what they were doing, I told him and he and his friends were fake. Like hypocrites. One of them was a deacon in his church, but outside the church he is wasting all his money on gambling. My husband said, “I reject what you say” and he hit me in front of them all. He hit me many times. Then one of his friends took the dining table and put the leg of the table on top of my hand to crush it as I lay beaten and humiliated on the ground. Then my husband asked me to apologize. But I refused because I was not the one in the wrong. Then his family came because one of the family members lives close to our village. They made matters worse by adding insults to me. They said “you are useless, you cannot even give your husband a baby.” Then they said to my husband, “It’s better that you just divorce her”. After that incident things continued to grow even worse. One day they literally grabbed my hands and pulled me out of the house telling me to leave while many neighbors looked on. But no one stepped forward to help me or defend me. Then in front of the neighbors he slapped my face. I passed out right then and there. I don’t know what happened after that.

Two days later he called my family and told them I had been in an accident. When my family arrived they were confused, asking why I had not been taken to the hospital. So my mom decided to take me to the hospital herself. My body was covered in bruises. The doctor told my mom that the bruising came from blunt force trauma. Not from an accident, but from abuse. I was in I.C.U. for a month. When I woke up from my unconsciousness, I was partially paralyzed.

The worst part is, my husband never came to visit me the entire time I was hospitalized. He never even called to ask about me. So my family made a police report. And the police arrested him.

My doctor advised me to get physical therapy because my nerves were damaged. My mom could not afford to pay the hospital bill. She was forced to sell her house to pay the bill. When I came home from the hospital, I had to be carried to the bathroom for the first week as I was still partially paralyzed. 

One night I cried out to God. Suddenly I saw my bedroom filled with light. God spoke to my heart and said to me, “I know what you are going through My daughter”. That moment gave me strength. The next morning I was able to walk. God was beginning to restore me.

But my ex-husbands family was still angry that he was in jail. They were not apologizing to me, but started terrorizing me and my family.  Then my family decided to fly me to central Java. I stayed there with my brother. I began searching for a job. One day I got a call from Batam Island that they had a job for me. So I flew to Batam and began working as an elementary school teacher with a small salary. Although I was working, I still felt empty inside. I was even beginning to get angry with God. I told God He was not just. I began to rebel against God. I asked God why he allowed all this to happen to me. Then I realized there are many people struggling like me.

It was during this low time in my life that God sent Susan Galbraith into my life. I followed Susan on Instagram. I reached out to her because I did not have many friends in Batam to talk to. I had never met her before, but only knew her through mutual friends. Then one day on February 2017 I opened my Instagram and poured out my problems to Susan. She took time to minister to me even though she never met me before. She told me I had to forgive myself, forgive my ex-husband and surrender everything to God and pray and watch what God will do. Then one day Susan called me to follow up with me. She prayed for me over the phone. I began to cry as God was touching my heart through her. Thank God in August 2017 Susan and Gary visited Batam and I got to meet them for the first time. They were a God-send to me. They listened and prayed over me. Tear of healing poured down my face as they prayed for me. I will never forget that day.

Slowly I learned to pray and forgive my ex-husbands and his family. I forgave them and made a decision to go to Medan to visit the police station and release him from jail. I told the police I no longer wanted to press charges. His family came to the police station and still put me down like before. Then my family asked me to finish my relationship with him and his family.

I was alone, but I believed God would watch over me and restore my life completely. Then by God’s grace, I was promoted to be vice-principal of the school where I worked. God was working. One day I received divorce papers from my ex-husband. I know God allowed all this to happen. I accepted it and gave thanks to God. Then my family began to encourage me more and more.

In March of 2018 I received a message from Instagram. We had a Christian group on Instagram where we could talk to other believers. This guy sent me a message from that group and asked if we could talk and pray together. In June 2018 we finally got to meet for the first time. He brought me to meet his family. We had good communication together. He said I was the answer to his prayers. He really loves Jesus and that is what I love about him the most. He has a beautiful daughter and has also been through a divorce. Together God gave us a new beginning. God sent me the best man who fears the Lord.

One day he proposed to me and I said “YES”! We got married on February 19, 2019. We now live in dependence upon Jesus as our foundation.

My life was once really painful. But God has lifted me up and brought healing in my life. Through all my struggles God never left me. He even sent people like Sister Susan and pastor Gary to strengthen me along the way.

 I found one answer through my problems: The answer is to forgive the people who hurt you. I have seen the power of forgiveness work in my life. God’s plans are good and never fail. I saw His hand at work. He restored my life. Praise be to our God!

Santi - Jogjakarta Indonesia

Posted on March 4, 2019 and filed under God story.

Compassion for Destina

Destina was born in a small village in Nias, Indonesia. She was born with an abnormal condition affecting the brain and bones. Her mom was taking care of her for the first few year of her life. Then her mom put her in an orphanage for two years. After two years, the orphanage sent her back to live with her grandparents. There are several reasons for this rejection:


• Destina cannot feed herself
• Destina cannot shower herself
• Destina cannot clothe herself
• Destina cannot use the bathroom by herself
Destina’s parents left the island and were sending $50 every three months. Then in 2015 her grandma brought her to her parents. But the parents rejected Destina, feeling like she was to much of a burden to bear. Then in 2016 her parents got a divorce and stop sending money for her care. She now lives full-time with her grandparents in substandard living conditions even for a developing country. We cannot help everyone, but we can help someone. Let that someone be Destina today. Let’s show her the love of God and that she is not forgotten but valued by God. Go to gracewave.com/give and write “destina” in the description. Every amount adds up to touch her life.

Keep looking up,

Pastor Gary and Susan

Posted on January 17, 2019 and filed under Compassion.

The secret to Samson's strength

Samson is known as the strongest character in the Bible next to Jesus Himself. In fact, the very name "Samson" means strong or distinguished. Certainly his strength was the distinguishing factor in his life. Samson was the 15 Judge of Israel and showed his strength in many ways. His first display of strength was ripping apart a wild lion. Then he captured 300 foxes and used them to spread fire on his enemies fields. Next we see him use the jawbone of a donkey to kill 3,000 Philistines. The philistines attempted to imprison Samson and he ripped the prison gates off their hinges. And perhaps his most famous act of strength was pushing down two pillars of the pagan temple of Dagon, bringing down upon his enemies and himself as his final act of heroism and strength.

 

So what was the secret to Samson's strength?  It was the spirit of the Lord! The Bible says in Judges 13:24 that "the Spirit of the Lord began to move upon him."  Later when Samson fell into sin with Delilah, his strength began to subside. So the strength of Samson was a supernatural strength. It was God working through him that gave him this advantage of strength. 

 

So it is with us. Without God we can do nothing (John 15:5). With Him we can do all things (Philippians 4:13). You too can do amazing things when you walk in the spirit of the Lord. I have felt and seen this truth played out in my own life. There are times I feel so weak and incapable on my own. Then at others times I feel closer to God and I the same challenge seems so doable. The Spirit of God changes everything. It changes not only what we can do, but why we do it. When we are in that sweet powerful place of walking in the Spirit, we become like Samson. We take on the supernatural ability to face our challenges and overcome them by the grace of God. 

 

So whatever you are facing today, know that you can tap into the same secret power that Samson had. The battle belongs to the Lord NOT YOU. But when you are weak, He becomes strong. In fact God's strength is made stronger in you when you recognize your own weakness. So surrender to the Spirit. Let the Lord have His way in you. And watch your trials become triumphs for the glory of God!

 

Keep looking up,

Gary

 

 

Posted on June 29, 2015 .

SUFFERING

"We all go through our fare share of pain and suffering. Some is brought on by our own sins, some by those who have sinned against us, and some simply from this fallen world in which we all live. Whatever the source, the key is to overcoming suffering is the meaning we attach to it. If we will learn from our pain, gain compassion for others who are suffering, and use the experience as motivation to push us towards the future God has for us, then our trials can turn to gold. The worst thing you can do is blame God for your suffering. GOD IS NOT THE PROBLEM, HE IS THE SOLUTION!. Jesus said,  "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Some of the greatest achievements have come from the furnace of suffering. Why? Because these great men and women found a resolve, a clarity, a purpose, and a determination that can only be forged in the crucible of suffering. So get excited! The pain you are enduring today is the making of a better you for tomorrow. See your suffering as a school not a prison. Learn what God is offering to teach you and you shall be set free to a greater you and a greater destiny.

Posted on May 14, 2015 .

When you feel condemned

“When you feel condemned”

“If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.”          1 John 3:20

Let’s face it, sin has far reaching consequences. Our past mistakes can come back to haunt us in many different ways. Sometimes it shows up in the form of consequences like broken relationships, ruined careers, financial loss, or damages reputation. It can also show up in more internal ways like guilt, shame, or regret. These consequences of our sins can be so far reaching, that it may seem like we will never out live it. A ghost from the past that we cannot shake. This ongoing struggle can leave you feeling like it will never get better. BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS!

 

Jesus is greater than our condemning heart. Greater than our sin. Greater than our past. Although sin can be far reaching, Jesus reaches even further. His grace and forgiveness can turn those mistakes into experience. Experience that has made you who you are today. Experience that can be passed onto others who are struggling with the sins you have now overcome.

 

So the next time your heart condemns you, remember that Jesus is greater than your heart. And He knows all the things that you have done and loves you all the more. Remind yourself that you are saved by grace through faith, and that your sins have been redeemed. God is turning your mistakes into miracles; Your mess into a message; Your test into a testimony.

Keep looking up,

Gary

Posted on May 14, 2015 .