A willing vessel
He considered himself a nobody – He was from a small city, attended a small college, and knew very few. But Octavianus Natanael was willing.
“I was doing ministry, what little I could, but didn’t feel I contributed anything of worth,” Octavianus says. Until Haggai.
Octavianus was mission pastor of Elim Christian Church and director of administration for William Carey Mission Theological College in Medan, Indonesia, when he was invited to attend leader training.
He didn’t have a visa, though – and didn’t have the money for one.
“I was so overjoyed to attend Haggai! I expected some friends to provide some support money so I could go to Jakarta and apply for my visa. But nothing came. Almost every day I met with everyone I knew, but no one was willing to help. My financial condition at the time was so desperate – everything I had I was spending on my ministry.
“Then, one day, I unexpectedly received some money, which allowed me to fly there, apply for my visa, and fly back.”
Octavianus soon left for the Haggai Leader Experience.
“I went with a narrow perspective,” he says. “I didn’t believe I could do great works, instead thinking that I was just a simple pastor from a third-world country – that people couldn’t expect much from me.”
By the end of the experience, Octavianus had a renewed vision.
“I set specific goals, including reaching 500 people, training 100 for evangelism, sending 10 missionaries to various places in Indonesia, adding 300 to our church, and much more.
“That was seven years ago. To my surprise and by God’s grace, almost 80 percent of my goals have been fulfilled by the Lord since then.”
Accomplishing Great Things
Today, Octavianus has preached the Gospel to more than 50,000 people throughout Indonesia and abroad – more than 20 countries, in fact – through revivals and secular radio broadcasts. He has also personally trained more than 120 people through Biblical mandate seminars, obtained his doctorate, and witnessed his entire family serve God.
“Through the William Carey Mission Theological College that I now chair, more than 200 theology alumni have been produced, more than 60 master’s of theology and missiology, and more than 25 doctorates,” he says.
“Many of our alumni are also pastors and missionaries, evangelists, and government workers, who served the Lord and became witnesses of the Gospel in every aspect of their working field. We’ve also sent missionaries to Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.”
Octavianus’s time at Haggai changed even his perspective on hospitality.
“From the time I arrived, they didn’t let me carry my bag. I told my staff that is how we should handle our guests.
“I also learned much about communication. I still use the communication PowerPoint I made there, and not only am I teaching students, but by God’s grace, the government always invites me to conduct seminars. When I teach the government workers and the staff of some big offices and big factories, my teaching on communication always helps them.”
Each one, reach one
Octavianus believes God will help him produce even more leaders through the college, impacting Asia especially.
“We are best at reaching other Asians, and I believe in the next 10 years, all our alumni can catch that spirit. I am praying we reach unevangelized people groups.”
To Haggai’s sponsors, Octavianus says, don’t give up.
“The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 11:1, ‘Cast your bread upon the waters, for you shall find it after many days.’ You might not see the result immediately, but I believe whatever you invest in the Kingdom of God, you will see it one day.
“You will see that every investment given to these people of God who come to Haggai International will not be in vain.”
Pastor, William Carey Mission Theological College Chair
Attended Haggai: 2007
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