Duane and Phyllis Morgan
Report- Oct 31, 2018
I have been very busy with many things for months now, not the least of which has been dealing with health challenges for both Phyllis and myself. Basically, we have been staying close to home here in Seremban, Malaysia, for almost six months. During that time, I entered the hospital for just two days with angina and then left for Papua against doctors’ advice. The visit to Papua was exhausting, and we suffered the consequences when we came back to Malaysia for R&R.
That is not to say that we have been inactive. Here in Malaysia, I have been very much involved in ministry. I preach often in the absence of the regular preacher, teach Bible classes, visit church members, and participate in related activities, such as small group devotionals. In addition, I have laid the foundation for congregational outreach through World Bible School locally and across Malaysia. Some of the attached photos show steps being taken to allow for effective outreach and follow-up.
That does not mean that we have neglected the work in Indonesia. While temporarily delayed in being there in person, we have kept up contact with the churches there and have brought some members 3,000 miles from Papua to Malaysia to discuss our partnership in evangelism, church planting, congregational teaching, training for ministry, and related activities.
Day by day and week by week, we have prepared to continue our regular itinerant journeys to Indonesia, from Papua to North Sumatra and points between. However, the exhaustion that we both experienced after the latest almost 10,000-mile circuit across Indonesia knocked us to our knees. The list of physical challenges grows. Within the last three weeks or so, I have undergone tests that revealed that my prostate is more than three times normal size. A large cyst on my bright kidney is asymptomatic but a cause for monitoring. I have a complete right bundle branch block on my heart. November 27th I will be 75 years old. The physicians agree that all the above is not unusual at my age, but they strongly advise me to avoid long travel and vigorous exertion.
As I have been forced to reconsider the way I have always done things, I have prayed to the Lord and communicated with Christians in each place where we have history. That dialog has been to evaluate my presence and practices on this field. The consensus from brothers and sisters has been basically the same: they still ask us to come, but they ask me to simply continue teaching and encouraging them to do what I have always done but no longer have the strength and stamina to do in the same way. In short, they see my senior years as being fundamentally different from the days I walked for days in unmapped rain forests to pioneer.
They get it, and they are insistent that they can do all of that now. Frankly, it bothers me a bit when the brethren are so concerned about my health and longevity that they don’t want me to take any risks anymore. Realistically, though, this is a natural, normal transitional period for all of us. Grandpa doesn’t play tackle football on family picnics, muscle in at the table to arm wrestle with the young bucks, or chase after the preschoolers at play.
This message is the first of three (or maybe four) that I will send to you over the next few days. The others will have to do with the changes from simply walking into the unknown to showing the way to those who sincerely wish to take up the mantle of ministry. Even in this first segment, you see photographs of Samuel Diher, who came about 3,000 miles from Papua (the western, Indonesian half of the island of New Guinea to Seremban, Malaysia. He came at my invitation (and expense) to stay with Phyllis and me and spend time with Christians here.
You see Samuel with Dr. Tjiang Lee, 88 years old, who is a retired gynecologist. Dr. Lee and a Christian couple requested that they might assist Samuel in his church planting ministry in Papua. As a result, they send funds to him monthly, not as a salary, but as a participation in the ministry of God’s grace. Samuel was a student of mine in Papua more than twenty years ago and has been self-supporting ever since. We had a Bible seminar in the village or Broa, two years ago. The whole congregation participated, as well as visitors from the church at nearby Santosa. As a result, Samuel immediately reached out after the seminar was over and I moved out to other locations. He planted a church at the village of Nimbotong, began evangelistic meetings at Nibokrang, preached at Wamho, began teaching some soldiers at a frontier checkpoint where he had to report each time he moved again to to share the good news with those who had not yet heard….
As he redoubled his efforts to share the gospel and edify the believers, he received aid from Dr. Lee, Vanessa and Raymond (the young couple in Malaysia), and others to buy Bibles to share with the hearers. Samuel and I are mutually committed to utilizing WBS in the Indonesian language in that ministry. Those WBS lessons were translated from English into the Indonesian language after I conducted a series of WBS seminars in Jakarta, the national capital with a population of 30 million people in the metropolitan area, and other great cities on the island of Java. It is 2,000 miles west of Samuel’s home village; but the current connection was always part of prayer and planning, since the beginning.
English- Come Study the Bible with Us
The same result has been seen at Serui, on Yapen Island, where there is a well-established congregation of more than 100 adults. Following the same seminar that was conducted at Broa, they immediately began evangelistic outreach to Ansus, Menawi, and Sarawandori. The seminar at Serui was attended by the whole church and was conducted concurrently with visiting church members from house to house. Many of those the members were baptized into Christ by me as long ago as 1990. Many have graduated from the Bible school I started there. Many of the current members are children and grandchildren of the first brought to Christ.
Meanwhile, the attached photos show the list of members in Seremban, Malaysia, who have signed on for WBS outreach. Samuel, the church in Serui, the churches in North Sumatra, Central Java and beyond, almost the length and breadth of the world’s largest archipelago, are united in spirit, and, not coincidentally, praying and working for WBS and other means to carry out the Great Commission.
Meanwhile, Lee Yoon, a sister that I baptized into Christ on October 5 in the hospital in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, is day by day closer to crossing over to paradise. She is ready. Phyllis and I need to go to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow to be with her, so forgive me if the next segment is late.
More of the fellowship in ministry will be touched upon in the next segments of this report over the next few days, but even the photos and names in this brief message show continuity, by the grace of God. More to come….