Simun is one of four elders in his Punan church. The believers struggle with being pulled away by worldly desires and the cultural ceremonies which involve heavy drinking. Hear his story.
I was born into a family that did not fear God, actually did not even know God. They truly worshipped evil spirits and rocks and trees. And I was brought up in my family to party and drink and do all that goes along with it.
[But in 1994] I first understood the meaning of God’s purpose in the lives of mankind and I understood that I needed a Savior. I decided to believe God was able to save me through my believing in the blood of Jesus.
Dave Searcy helped to prepare us [the four elders] to serve the Lord. We were truly very enthusiastic about everything that he taught. We went with him everywhere. He taught us about how to teach others. We studied with him and then we went to teach others as well. So we did not just study but we practiced it.
Whatever he had taught us is what we taught to others. From that point there was growth in the church because of the teaching. People were more and more eager to study. There were many people who truly believed in God at that time and we baptized them.
From the time we were ordained, we have continued to consider the responsibilities that God has given us, the responsibilities that the believers have entrusted to us to lead this church — how to shepherd the believers. We helped disciple leaders for several years. Some of them had studied God’s Word longer than we had but at that time they were still hesitant in their desire to serve the Lord. They did not yet have the courage to truly serve the Lord.
As I consider the future, what I am really concerned about is how to dis- ciple people who can take my place. I am already 40 years old and some of my fellow elders are almost 70 years old. If God were to take us home, leav- ing this world, then who would be able to replace us? I am thinking about and searching for those who would be able to replace us ... so that the people will always obey God and will be faithful to build the church. I am afraid it will be like when Joshua lived long ago. At the time Joshua died and others replaced him, it was a very difficult time for the Israelite people. Many of them returned to worship idols and followed after their own desires. That is what I think about regarding our church. How will we find people who truly want to take their part in serving the Lord, who feel a responsibility for this church?