Akong first heard the gospel of Jesus Christ when we arrived in the unreached village of Biang in Borneo’s interior in early 1979. Biang was a neglected village of about 300 families with no access to electricity, telephone communication, or roads to the outside world. Even in a remote village like Biang, however, Akong faced challenges. He was physically stunted with less than five feet of height, spoke with a high-pitched voice and even displayed some feminine characteristics. It would appear that he had little hope in this life.
But Akong was drawn to our home to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ in our gatherings. The Holy Spirit worked in his heart, and he was among the first in the village to accept Christ as His Lord and Savior. He faithfully came to hear the word of the Lord, and grew in faith and in the knowledge of the Lord.
When later in the early 1980’s we moved on to a larger and more challenging area called Batu Ampar, Akong followed us. There he was discipled, and began to serve the Lord with us. The Lord used him to heal the sick and bring souls to saving faith in Christ. He become one of our first eight cell group leaders. Even though his appearance and bearing were most unimpressive, he was honored in the Church for his faith and fruitful service.
Below are two photos which include Akong—the first taken in 1986-1987 of our very first cell groups leaders, and the second in 2013.
1986-1987: Akong is the first on the left in the back row
2013: Akong on the left
As of 2013 Akong had moved to the town of Sekadau in the interior of West Kalimantan to stay with his brother-in-law and his niece A Te and her husband A Pin, all of whom had moved from the Biang area. Other believers from the Biang-Menjaya area, some of them family relatives, had joined them as well in Sekadau.
A Te and A Pin on the right
A Te’s older sister A Song and her husband now pastor the congregation in the Biang-Menjaya area. A Song is the daughter of A Kong’s older sister, also one of the early believers.
Above: some of the believers who had moved from the Biang-Menjaya area to Sekadau
1979: the original converts to Christ in the village of Menjaya, just upstream from Biang. A Pin, then sixteen years old, is fifth from the right in the back row.
1979: A Kong standing second from the left in the back row along with the other original believers in the village of Biang just downstream from Menjaya. A Song, who now pastors the two congregations with her husband, is kneeling in the second row second from the left directly behind the little girl in the red dress.
1979: A Kong’s older brother A Min Ko, the first elder we appointed in Biang
Back to the present
As of 2013 A Kong was helping a servant of God named Brother Felni to plant a new church in Sekadau. They invited us to teach The Elijah Challenge for them. During the Training, people with infirmities were healed as the disciples ministered to them according to the Scriptures.