“Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy Presence?; Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:7,23-24 (KJV)
I came to work in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1982, at a tender age of 22 years, armed with a graduate degree in Economics from London School of Economics (LSE) in England, a Post Graduate degree in MBA, from Asian Institute of Management (AIM), in Manila. I was campus recruited for my first job in Johnson & Johnson, India, a reputed worldwide MNC.
After a rigorous selection process, I was recruited into the largest integrated textile manufacturing company in 1982 in Indonesia, as an expatriate Marketing Executive, with a major salary of 350 USD/pm in 1982. From there, I rose to become Senior Vice President, Marketing, in 1998 in the same Group of Companies in Indonesia, with now a salary of USD 10,000/pm, tax free, big company house, company car, company driver, servants, and Company paid schooling for my children, paid home travel to India, personal security guard, etc. etc.
All this success happened to me, because God was with me all the time. I was humble, honest, helpful, generous, simple Christian, attending Church every Sunday, helping in pew seating, offeratory collection, member of the choir, teacher at Sunday School for kids, leader of Church Youth Group, and participating in many Church Bible Groups. All was heaven sweet heaven on earth, for me. But still, God was not done with me.
Then, in 1995, the devil struck. He became my daily companion and best friend. The devil and me together, we started frequenting bars, discos, massage parlors in Jakarta and such places of sex, drugs, sin and fun. But I enjoyed it, thinking that I had the money and deserved this lustful life. I became very proud and conceited, mistreated people with arrogance, displayed power and anger, as I thought money could buy me anything, including indulging in what gave me pleasure and added to my sins. I was so entangled in Satan’s web, that the spell was extremely difficult for me to break away and return to God. But still, God was not done with me.
Then the fury and anger of God, came down on me in 2005… The company in Indonesia, where I worked from year 1982, suddenly went bankrupt in 2005. The big Group of companies in Indonesia closed down. More than 40,000 employees and me, lost our jobs!
But still, God was not done with me.
Even after these personal disasters, I did not change my old ways. In 2005, went into business and started a garment factory near Ancol, manufacturing garments for exports. That too went bankrupt in 2006. So was I, totally bankrupt, as I had lost billions of Rupiah in this garment business. But still, God was not done with me.
In 2007, my family left me. I never expected it, and was emotionally devasted. But still I did not want to change. By 2012 God took away both my parents. My father passed away in 2010 and my mother in 2012. God had finally finished taking away all that I had, all whom I loved most in my life. My wife divorced me; took away my two angels, my house in Jakarta, all my assets in Jakarta, my beach house in Anyer Carita and other properties. They were all registered in my wife’s name. Now I was completely broke, with no home to live, no money, no loved one. But still, God was not done with me.
I started my years of borrowing money to survive. I accumulated huge personal debts from family and friends. I had to sell my car to pay my old debts. Soon I again went into new debts. This kept me hiding in small dingy hotels to hotels. Life was very hard for me, with no support from family or friends, and only debts all around. I was all alone. The pain was bad. Imagine the economic crash from a wealthy person to a bankrupt pauper. This had its toll, emotionally and physically. It completely destroyed me. But still, God was not done with me.
In 2014, in a small hotel dingy room (losmen) in Cikini, Jakarta, I finally broke down. It was too much for me to handle. I wanted to end my life. All hope was gone. God had left me. There was no more grace nor mercy or blessing left for me. But still, God was not done with me.
I still remember the many days and nights, spent in my room, with no hope, but only my tears and prayers. Out of desperation to survive, I started selling my expensive watches, for as little as 350,000 Rupiah, just to pay my hotel rent and buy one cheap lunch packet a day, from a small Warteg (food stall) everyday. I would have half this meal for lunch and the balance half for dinner. There was no money to afford breakfast. I would wash my own clothes in just plain water, no money for detergents or pay for laundry! No friends or anyone to talk to or borrow money. God had taken them all away, and left me alone to live my life. But still, God was not done with me….
I will share next week on Testimonial Day, the best part of my life. How my prayers were answered by God. All the wonderful miracles that God did in my life. How God finally rescued and restored my life after 5 years of repentance, bible study, meditation on God’s Word, prayers, penitence, extreme godly discipline, sacrifice and a total change of character, values and principles of life.
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came to me, lifted me out of darkness, cleansed me, and redeemed my soul, spirit and life…
How God did it, is another long story for next week. Hope you have enjoyed reading PART 1 of my Testimony. Hope it changes your way of life and always keeps your focus on God. Please do not let the devil entice you and give you hell on earth. God’s love is much better than Satan’s lust and fun… But still, God was not done with me!!
Testimony by : Dan Edwin (Host at BRM)