This past academic year has been fruitful for me. I am finally able to read Hebrew! Thanks to Dr. Beckman, a few sleepless nights, and a whole lot of coffee. I am sure that the Biblical languages that the professors at Bethlehem taught me will serve the church well when I enter the ministry. I have also enjoyed studying (and arguing) under Dr. Naselli in his systematic theology class. Going through all the major doctrines of Christianity has certainly made me amazed at the greatness of God and how unsearchable are his ways. Moreover, my time apprenticing under Dr. Tomlinson has been fruitful. Not only did I get a chance to preach and teach in a local church, in Sunday School classes, and at different venues, but I was also able to learn from Dr. Tomlinson, how I can be a faithful husband and kind father.
This past academic year has also been a special and precious year for me, for not only did I go through this year with my wife, whom I married last summer, but I also have the privilege of being a father to a beautiful baby girl, while being a full-time student. Felicity May Tamosee Ariel was born on 25 February 2023. True to her name, she has been a joy both to me and her mother. It is both my and her mother’s prayer that she will even be more true to her name, that she will be truly happy in her God, and that there will not be even a day in which she does not know her Savior. It is my hope that she will come to faith through the gospel, that God the Son took on flesh to live a perfect life and die a sinner’s death, being damned by the righteous wrath of God, on behalf of sinners like you and me, with the result that if she were to exercise faith in Jesus, she will be saved. It is my hope to one day share the good news with her that the same God the Son also said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
What joy it is to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord even during infancy, for they truly represent our helpless nature before the Lord, being unable, in and of ourselves, to repent, believe, or do anything good. Yet Christ did not despise his helpless ones, but willingly suffered for these little ones. Truly salvation is of grace, for if it is not by grace, we would have something to boast about. But as it were, we have nothing by which we can boast.
It is for the sake of this gospel that I am currently studying at Bethlehem College and Seminary. It is my hope that God will equip me through Bethlehem to go back to Indonesia, if the Lord wills, in order to plant a church in my own hometown, Lippo Village. It is my hope that there will never come a time that my hometown will be bereft of the presence of the gospel. The same gospel in which I have found all my hope, even eternal life.
As I am preparing for my last year at Bethlehem, please pray for me that I will stay true to God, his word, the gospel, and the faith once delivered to the saints. Pray that I will present myself “to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” Pray that I may finish well and that I may not look back as I have placed my hands on the plow.
To all the donors who have given me the opportunity to pursue further theological education through Bethlehem College and Seminary, I want to express my thankfulness and deepest gratitude for your generous gifts.