By Jon Roberts – Arvada, Colorado … “It’s simply amazing,” Gordon Anic, lead pastor of Arvada English church, expressed enthusiastically of the public acknowledgment and ministry of his co-worker and friend Jani Pungus, pastor of the Arvada Indonesian Adventist church, who was being ordained to the Gospel Ministry.

Attendees at the special service for the Indonesian congregation included 150 in-person, with many watching online. The gathering featured recognition from two conferences and two unions.  Addressing the crowd via video from the Minahasa Conference in Indonesia, Ronald Rantung, president, congratulated Pungus and thanked the Rocky Mountain Conference for recognizing his dedication to the ministry.  Rantung’s sentiments were echoed by the East Indonesian Union Conference administration for Pungus’ work in their territory before emigrating to the United States.

Pungus recalled the journey hasn’t been easy. “My main goal when I left my country was to obtain my master’s degree in theology at Andrews University. However, reaching my goal has never been an easy journey; the reality is far beyond my expectations. But God has been good to my family and me, and being a self-supporting student has surely helped me and my wife deepen our trust and faith in God alone.”

He added, “During my time in Michigan, I was actively involved with the Indonesian community in the Berrien Springs area. From Michigan, we moved to Colorado, where since 2015, I have been serving the Indonesian group. As an ethnic group, we have been growing. We have been doing community service and outreach around the Denver metro area and holding some public crusades on different islands in Indonesia.”

Addressing Pungus and the crowd, in his final act as president of RMC, Ed Barnett challenged Pungus to listen and follow the words that Paul gave a young pastor called Timothy in 2 Timothy.  Barnett challenged Pungus to seek and find faithful leaders who will teach about the hope and good news found in Jesus and focus on the core message of Scripture—love.

“Jani is a fantastic young pastor that will go places in the church. He has great people skills, an amazing family that supports him, and a wonderful church that loves him and supports him in his ministry to not only them but the community,” Barnett expressed.

“Over the last 22 years, it has been a pleasure seeing the Indonesian community grow in RMC. I am so proud of the great work they have accomplished, and I look forward to hearing more about them in the future. I also want to give special thanks to Yoram Tumbarante, pastor of the First Denver Indonesian Adventist church; he has dedicated the last two decades of his ministry to growing the church in RMC and being a beacon of hope for the Indonesian people.”

Reflecting on the service and what it means for the Indonesian community, one attendee remarked that “It was great. The ceremony and music program were nice. This is special to the community to see Jani recognized and appreciated by the Rocky Mountain Conference.”

Accepting the ordination, Pungus stated that His mission was to listen to God and follow His leading in outreach to the community.  He ended by saying Here I am, Lord, use me! Drawing from the words of Isaiah in Isaiah 6:8, he said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Working closely with Pungus over the past few years, Miloš Tomic, assistant pastor of the Arvada English church, commented on the event. “It’s beautiful. It was wonderful seeing the aspirations of somebody who is called by God to be acknowledged by the body of Christ.”

Pungus plans to continue to advance God’s Kingdom in RMC, working closely with his wife Kendy, a partner in ministry for the last 16 years, and his three children: Sky Adrian, 15, Kyla Candy, 10, and KyLynn Cinta, 3.

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photos by Jon Roberts

Jani Pungus and his wife, Kendy
Jani Pungus speaking.