Indonesia Pp 0720 22 274x300Alfian is a 50-year-old pastor in Indonesia. He was recently trained on how to use Project Philip Bible studies in his 30-person church. “This training is vital for my ministry,” he says. “I can see that the program will help me share the Gospel effectively and disciple my members in a much better way. My ultimate goal is to grow our church, not only in quantity but in quality.”

The pastor shares his gratitude to Bible League International, but also to God. “I am thankful He entrusted me with this ministry, despite my previous life,” he shares.

For years, Alfian was known as the “Street Champion,” a name he earned because he was always causing trouble in the streets. He also kept an amulet on him at all times. He thought this charm would protect him from evil.

One day, he met a pastor who began to tell him the Good News, but Alfian had no desire to hear it. “At that time, I was drowning myself with alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes,” he says. “I actually offered cigarettes and alcohol to the pastor as we spoke.” Despite Alfian’s bad attitude, the pastor persisted and invited him to church. Alfian happily accepted because he knew several pretty girls attended.

While the allure of attractive women is what brought him in, Alfian kept attending each Sunday because he felt accepted. “Somehow I found peace and happiness every time I was in that church,” he says. “The experience gradually made changes in my heart. I slowly quit all of my vices.”

However, he only felt that peace within the walls of the church; as soon as he arrived home, it was gone. To experience that peace more often, he started going to church every day and praying to God.

But one thing didn’t change. He still had his amulet, a small bottle of oil with a whisker of a tiger.

One Sunday, Alfian was annoyed, even angry, as he listened to the pastor preach about the evils of black magic.  Still, when he got home, his heart was heavy. He realized he needed to surrender everything, including this idol. It wasn’t easy.

He recalls, “The spirit inside the bottle would speak to me, saying, ‘I have been nice to you, I protected you so many times. Please do not throw me away.’” So it remained in his pocket. But God’s voice was louder. In the coming weeks, the pastor’s messages continued to focus on black magic.

Alfian finally surrendered. After praying to God, he threw the amulet on the ground, shattering it. “Believe you me, it shattered like a bomb,” he says. “Whatever it was, I’m sure that God saved me from absolute physical and spiritual danger.”

Today, decades later, Alfian still feels that peace in his life—and wants others to know it, too. Since surrendering his life to Jesus Christ, he’s faithfully served the Lord, and has been a pastor for more than 20 years. “Glory to God for setting me free! I am happy to serve Him and happy He sent Bible League to train me!”