Surabaya For Jesus: The History Begin

The Jakarta For Jesus phenomenon that held on April 26-27, 2011 has reach into one conclusion: that God who we worship able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think! Maybe we only have faith for five thousand soul each day, but in total, more than 20,000 people have attend the crusade in only two days, and the sum of soul saved themselves also already exceeded the total seat capacity alone!

Now it’s the time for Surabaya For Jesus. This is not a just another type of event — This is an event that could changes your life forever! Too bad that when Jakarta For Jesus is held, I wasn’t there, so I can’t give full cover of report about what really happened there. But at Surabaya For Jesus, I will attend those full 2 days, from the seminars at daylight, to the crusade at nighttime. We are working hard for this moment, because we know that this moment is very crucial, have a huge impact for the lives of many people. When we held Surabaya For Jesus event, we are not kidding — This is an event we strive to REALLY bring everyone in Surabaya to know Jesus personally!

So, in this blog post, I assure you that I will cover whatever happened in Surabaya For Jesus day 1 and day 2 crusade in proper detail. Choky Sitohang and Christian Bautista will also be present to gives their testimonial, Philip Mantofa will gives the sermon. But, instead of reading my report, why don’t you come yourself at the crusade and experience a life-changing encounter with God?

Check out the details
April 29-30, 2011, at 19.00-21.00 (free)
Kenjeran Park, East Surabaya, Indonesia.

For you who can’t come into the service, you can watch it via online streaming at

Don’t miss it! And experience the unforgettable encounter with God, that will changes your life, forever!

Read Surabaya For Jesus theme song lyrics and download the mp3.

Report Day 1

The Surabaya For Jesus day 1 is very fascinating. When I arrived at 17.30 (that’s 2 hours before the event), crowds already queuing for the security examination. There was two levels of examination, to ensure the maximum security.

Day 1 - The long queue of security check

When I arrived at the place, I spotted something unusual: The stage is decorated like a ship. Wait, that’s normal. But what’s not normal is that a real ship normally have two sides to load and unload people, one on the right, and one on the left. And that’s what this stage is all about. It has two place for audience, one on the right and one on the left. So, from the way you see it, you can approach the stage from either the right side or left side. I even overheard someone calling his friend near the stage asking, “Which one is the real front?”

Day 1 - The preparation of the "double front ship" stage

I take a seat at the right wing anyway. My seat is 10th row from the front, so I got a very great view here. While waiting, I noticed that the LCD displayed the word “Faith, Hope, Love”. When the time almost come, the announcer greets the audience, invited the youngster to come and festive at the front of the stage, and then he’s slipping again to the backstage. By referring to “backstage” I mean “middle stage” because the backstage in this ship-shaped stage is located in the middle of the ship. I was also one of the people who rush to the front. Then the light of the stage is turned off. In the darkness of the stage, the dancers looks preparing themselves to their own designated positions.

Day 1 - Sitting at the attendee seat

Then the 10 seconds countdown begin from the LCD. Wait, it’s not 10 seconds countdown like usual.. It’s 60 seconds! While the countdown counting, the background dance song played. When the timer hits zero, there’s fireworks flashing for a brief moment, and the dance started. The dancer wearing a dance suit with a big blue anchor logo in their back. The dance is a mixture of modern dance and traditional dance, and I can’t really described it. But it turns out very well, and concluded with each of the dancer holding a fireworks flasher in each of their hand.

Day 1 - The 60 seconds countdown

Day 1 - The service begin!

Day 1 - The opening dance

Day 1 - At the end of the opening dance

And then the praise started. The choir comes out one by one (there’s four group in total), all wearing sailor stripes cloth. Then the singer. Then the worship leader, Redo Daeng Badji. Then the worship leader, Kiki Lifetree. Then.. wait. Did I  just said worship leader twice? When I still stunned with this view, Redo takes up the stage in my wing, and Kiki takes up the stage in the left wing. Ohh, now I understand, this is truly a two face stage, with two worship leader, two singer groups, and each its own choir group. I still thinking over about how this service will turned out, but Redo and Kiki both don’t gives me any chance. The first song immediately played, “Allahku Dashyat” with new disco arrangement. Then continued with “Semuanya BagiMu” with Sydney Mohede’s Louder Than Life’s arrangement, “Akulah Bintang” with Lifetree new arrangement, and “People of Passion“, with the original arrangement. While the praise is sang, Redo and Kiki frequently switch sides, so both sides have the equal portion of Redo and Kiki.

Day 1 - The praise and worship

After praise, suddenly the announcer entered the stage, and welcomed Christian Bautista to the stage. I’m very surprised in fact, because I forgot at all that there was a plan for Christian Bautista or Choky Sitohang to show up at the stage tonight. He comes with a white attire, sharing about how God help him finds his way again after he drown himself in the work overload a few months ago and slowly forgot about Him. Bautista said that God show him His love at the very moment he needed it. And he repented for forgetting Him all this time. Then Bautista sang “Mighty to Save” as he feels the song was very fit to what God has done for his life. He ask the audiences who knows the song to join him singing the song together. After singing, he bows down to each of the side of audience, saying his gratitude, and slipping back to the backstage. (Too bad, the photo quality is too poor because it’s so far away so I can’t give you any photos of Christian Bautista or Choky Sitohang)

At this time, I noticed that the sky has become so cloudy. “Maybe it’s gonna rain,” I whisper to one of my friend who comes with me. He said, “Nope. We have pray so hard for this event to be success. I even tell my workmates that in this 3 days, there won’t be any rain at night!” For your information, my friend’s workplace is an open sky restaurant which is very dependent on whether it’s rain at night or not. If it’s rain, then the restaurant is closed. Then I focused again on the service, and dispelling all my rumbling thoughts about rain.

Then at the worship time, “Let Our King be Lifted High” from the Sydney Mohede’s Louder Than Life’s arrangement was sang, continued with “Surabaya For Jesus“, the theme song for this event. And Ps. Philip Mantofa finally showed up to giving tonight’s sermon. The sermon can be summed up like this:

All the people’s problem in the world rooted at sin. Sin is what that attracts problems in our lives. There’s no one that’s never sin. All of us is a sinner.

In the ten commandment of God, it’s a standard of morals, inner (heart) and outer (behaviour). It’s what God expect us to felt and behave.

Law 1: God wants us to have no other gods besides Him. It also means that we shall not have anything that is higher than His position in our heart that eventually may lead us to “sell” Him in order to gain something in this life. What’s the purpose of gaining the entire world if you lose your life?

Law 2: God wants us to create no statues or everything that may lead us to idolatry. But He shows His loves for peoples who faithful to Him.

Law 3: God don’t want us to speak His name carelessly. Ps Philip shared his moment when he was doing blasphemy to God in the past time. The angel slap him three times that sends him flew in the air and drops with an abnormal heartbeat rate. But everytime, he hears a soft, crying voice that said, “Don’t hurt him, I love him very much.”

Law 4: God wants us to remember the sabbath day. That’s not only meant to going church every week, but really means about what’s your life outside church everyday that count. Do you live rightfully in your everyday’s life?

Law 5: God wants us to honor our parents. God didn’t want us to have an unhealthy relationship with our parents.

Law 6: God wants us to do no murder. But by getting angry at someone, it’s punishment is the same as killing. Ps Philip shared his vision when he’s brought to hell and see a son and a father being forced to bite each other’s flesh by demon, because when they were still alive, they hated each other.

Law 7: God wants us to do no adultery. But by seeing someone and “wants” his/her lustfully, is just as the same as adultery. Ps Philip shared his vision when he’s brought to hell and see an alive burned someone that tortured in excruciating pain as a hell worm spread out from his body (especially his eyes hole and his groin) that eating his flesh, as a punishment for becoming slave to adultery sin.

Law 8: God wants us to not steal. But by copying a copyrighted track in CD, you have committed copyright infringement, and that’s a sin.

Law 9: God wants us to not lie. But by doing “white lie”, it’s also a sin.

Law 10: God wants us to not wanting other people’s stuff. God already considered all of our action a sin even if it’s still just a thought in our head.

But Jesus become human of flesh and skin and died for our sin so that we can be saved. And He will guide us along the way so that we can live met up to God’s expectation bit by bit.

Day 1 - The attendee hearing the sermon

Then Ps Philip giving an altar call that call all the sinners to giving themselves to be saved to the Lord. The response was extraordinary — from more than 20,000 people who attend the service, more than 3,500 people receive Jesus, and at least 400 people giving themselves baptized. I was surprised at how much people coming to the front, and even more excited to think that the count of the people I see in front of me should be doubled up because the same thing also happened on the other side of the stage!

The service is closed by the song “Sorak Kemenangan“, and then “People of Passion” reprise. At the People of Passion, there’s fireworks show to celebrate the moment of many soul saved. And at the end of the fireworks, suddenly, the rain poured down! Quickly, and hard! The attendant is even shouted gloriously because that means the rain was gonna poured down all the time, but God hold it until right at the end of the service! All the glory belongs to God! I’m very excited to for the second day Surabaya For Jesus service. Don’t miss it! Attend the last day service! You won’t regret it!

Report Day 2

The Surabaya For Jesus day 2 was even more phenomenal. This time, I was arrived a little bit late than the first day because of some office work to do.

I arrived at Kenjeran street approximately at 18.30. Fearing that I and my friends would be late, we decided to park my car at te Kenjeran street, and walk down all the way to the Kenjeran Park where the Surabaya For Jesus is held. Why we doing that? It’s because when we arrived at Kenjeran street, the car queue has already overloaded the road, waiting for turn to enter the parking lot, which is also looks very crowded. I give my friends two choice: either we drive there by car with no guarantee that we will be able to reach the place at all, or we go walk by foot that we know it’s far, but we will reach the place, hopefully on time.

After a short silence, we then decided to walk on foot. We get past so many car in the way, because the queue was extraordinary long. By foot, we finally reach the site approximately in 30 minutes, and we still had 10 minutes left to catching our breath before the service was started!

Then the service started after the 10 seconds count down. The opening service was schemed in percussion mixed with hip hop style, a genre which I usually not fond of. After that, Redo comes in with the singer and choir, singing “Sorak Kemenangan”, followed by “Bersorak-sorai”, “Betapa Dalamnya”, and “People of Passion”.

Choky Sitohang then entered the stage, and sharing his testimonial. He shared that he once was signed in for reporter job before he’s in entertainment job like now. At that time (2004-2006), he’s a hard worker reporter. 3 hours sleep a day is a daily routine for him, and he’s not maintaining good food. He also rare to check up his condition. As a result, in 2006, he felt unhealthy. Then he checked up his blood sample. When the report returned, how shocked he was to read the report that he got Hepatitis B in his liver, which was already in serious condition. His liver already shrink, and all the indicator in blood report which indicated the disease all risen up in alarming rate.

Shortly, he has to stay in hospital, and his mom come to taken care of him. At that time, his heart was broken to see his condition: his mom is not working, he has two siblings which financially also depends on him, but he’s now bed rest in hospital and only has 2 million rupiahs left at the bank account. That’s not a big number compared to the going-to-be hospital bill. All he can do all day is only read Bible and pray, read Bible and pray again, because he chose a class-3 room which he shared with 5 other person, with a very minimal facility. There was even no television there. Later at night, when everybody has already asleep, he can only cried silently, when suddenly God greeted him that night. He said “How I miss you to be close to Me like this.” Therefore, he suddenly realized that God has took him from the overloaded job, into an isolated condition so that he can realize that he needed God.

Finally, he prayed to God that he has to depart from the hospital at the 10th day because that’s what all his 2 million rupiahs money can cover, while the doctor said that for this type of disease, he has to stay at hospital for 21 days. Miraculously, he departed from hospital at exactly the 10th day, and has to be bed rest for over a week. But this has become his lesson to not abandon his relationship with God again, and urge the youngsters and elders at the service to also not repeat his mistakes again. He asked each one of them that night to come closer to God. He then close his testimonial with song “Api KemuliaanMu”. Redo then showed up again with all the singers and choirs. They sang “Kau Ubah Hidupku”, “Surabaya For Jesus”, and “Haleluya Bagi Anak Domba”.

And now it’s time for Ps Philip to give sermon. Before Ps Philip gave sermon, however, he wanted to pray for all the attendee which never baptized by Holy Spirit, to be filled. He prayed for 3 times in a row, where the 3rd time he also asked for all the other people to pray for the people who pray for the Holy Spirit baptism.

After that, he started to give sermon, which can be summarized like this:

I was at that time still a youngster, and a new born-again Christian. At that time, I was in Canada, at my friend’s home, playing cards at night. Then I feels there’s an invisible hand stroking my head so softly, but firm. At the first stroke, I suddenly feel love. Then the hand stroke my head again, right now I feel joy. Then it stroke again, now I feel swept out, and I know I’m going to shed a tears.

Suddenly I hears voice calling him “Philip, My son.” For my entire life, I never worship a god which called him directly with my name and giving me predicate of son of God! Then I postponed the card play, going at the back of my friend’s house, kneeling and looking upon the sky, and raise my hands, worshipping Him. At that time, I sing one song that frequently sang on my local Church:

Bila kupandang bulan dan bintang
Ajaib dan mulialah karyaMu
Ku jatuh tersungkur, di bawah kakiMu
Kusembah Kau Tuhan, kusembah Kau,
Kusembah Kau Tuhan, kusembah Kau.

Literally translated as:
When I see the moon and the stars
How beautiful and glorious your work
I bow down before Your feet
I worship You my Lord, I worship You
I worship You my Lord, I worship You

I was 18 at that time, a prime age in prime young power. I even coming from a harsh background, and like to rebel. But who knows that deep inside, I need, very need to be loved, to be loved by God. Give yourself to be loved by God tonight, and God’s personal touch will changes your life.

That night’s sermon was pretty short. But not with the response. Before he’s finally giving altar call, there was peoples already queued to giving themselves to be saved by Jesus! This time, even the official report of the count of soul saved that night only able to say “countless”. Praise God! The service is then closed with fireworks celebration again and praise medley.

Day 2 - The closing repraise

Then, after the service, we take photos together as a memorial of these historical days!

Day 2 - After the service


  • At SFJ day 2, Redo almost sang all his song, except for the song “Holy Spirit”.

Another great stories out there

4 comments on “Surabaya For Jesus: The History Begin

  1. Hi, I would like to know some information from you about the congregation by Philip Mantofa, was the congregation free from charge ? any one collect some money as ussual we do in the church as some giving for the Lord ? please send your answer to my email at thanks. My friend said no money colletet at the congregation from the begining till the end of the congregation for The Lord. thank you so much for your reply

  2. Con artists and poor victims..

    Real reflection of Yesus is humble, poor and warm.

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