Indonesia, Eclipses, and the Mission

For some members of Catalyst Missions, the eclipse in America will be their second one in as many years. On March 9, 2016, a total eclipse passed through Indonesia while a Catalyst team was serving on the island of Timor.  Catalyst, and more than 45 local pastors who were being trained, took time out of the training to witness the event.  The location was not in the path of totality, but the sun was over 65% eclipsed. 

Providentially, an employee at American Paper Optics heard about the trip during a Catalyst event.  American Paper Optics is a leading producer of eclipse glasses.  The CFO, Paulo Aur, generously donated dozens of eclipse glasses to be delivered to the children who live at K-PACT Ministry, where the training is located.  Special thanks to American Paper Optics for their donation.

When the headmistress of the school, Ester, heard the news she was grateful to God.  “Wow…I’m so excited to hear,” Ester wrote. “I was hoping to get some glasses, but have no idea where to get them and it is quite costly. Praise God for His providence!”

The day before the eclipse a member of Catalyst Missions taught an eclipse lesson in the school.   Bryan Lindley, a physics major who studied astronomy in college, explained to the children the science behind an eclipse.  He also trained the children in the proper way to view an eclipse.  The children were instructed never to look at the eclipse directly without using the eclipse glasses.  They also were taught how to make a pinhole viewer, how to use leaves to view the eclipse shadow, and how to view the eclipse safely in the bucket of water.  The next day many of the children used these techniques to safely view the eclipse while they waited for their turn to use the eclipse glasses.

The school session also provided an opportunity to present the gospel.  The children were taught from Genesis 1 how God controls and orders all things. In Exodus 10, they were shown how God turned the land of Egypt dark to punish them for disobeying God.  At the same time, the people of Israel had light, to show God’s gracious favor over them.  At the cross, the sun also turned dark, as God poured out judgment out on His own Son.  The children heard how apart from Christ we face an eternity in darkness; but they were taught that the death and resurrection of Christ can make a way for us to be right with God.  Revelation 21 says that God is preparing a place that will need to sun to shine on it, “for the glory of God will give it light and its lamp is the Lamb.”  Yet, “nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what id detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”  Catalyst challenged the children that when they witnessed the eclipse they should ask themselves, on the day they stand before God will they be ushered into a world of eternal light, or of eternal darkness.

Last year, Catalyst Missions witnessed temporary darkness in Indonesia.  Right now, billions of souls in the global south face eternal darkness.  That’s why we are serious about ending theological famine.  Please contact us to get involved.