As a member of the Sumbanese people on the West Sumba island of Indonesia, Mr. Kabula Naputenga practiced the Merapu ancestor religion. At 70 years old, neither he nor his wife had ever attended school, and they were unable to read or write.
But Kabula Naputenga wanted more for his six children, so he worked hard as a rice farmer to send his three sons and three daughters to a local Christian school that had a reputation for quality education.
“Many times they asked me for permission to leave the Merapu faith and be baptized as Christians,” Naputenga told Hesron Kentju Limu, the listener-community coordinator for Back to God Ministries International (BTGMI) in West Sumba. “But in the past I always forbid them.”
However, a few years ago Limu gave Naputenga a specialized radio so he could listen to BTGMI’s Indonesian programs.
“Little by little I learned about Jesus,” says Naputenga. “So last year when my children asked me permission again, telling me they really wanted to be baptized, I said yes.”
All six of the Naputenga children were baptized late last year. “When I witnessed their baptism, I felt that Jesus was asking me and my wife to follow him also,” said Naputenga.
He and his wife then met with the pastor and elders of the church. Not long afterward the Naputenga children joyfully witnessed their parents being baptized together.
“Praise the Lord,” says Kabula Naputenga. “Now we are a Christian family. Thank you for the radio ministry; it really helps us to know more about the Christian faith.”