Tamba Tua Naibaho was born in Indonesia, not the easiest country for Christians to call home. Bombings by Muslim extremists cause ushers to have to scour pews and fellowship halls at Christmas and Easter before worship begins. But the names “Tamba Tua” mean “Blessing upon Blessing.” And that is what Tamba, a missionary to America, has been.
Ordained in Java, Rev. Naibaho served several inner city churches and brought Christ to disadvantaged youth in Jakarta. In 2000, the Batak Church sent the young man to New York City as their missionary. At first he ministered among Batak people who had emigrated or were in New York on business. Then he was called to the West Coast.
The people at Redeemer Church in Ontario, California called him to be a missionary with them. He works closely with Dan Grabowski, the Anglo pastor at Redeemer. They see the church as one, as does the Lord. Tamba is a bridge builder – building relationships between the different ethnic groups at Redeemer, and bridging the gospel into the community around Redeemer. He regularly goes and sits and reads his Bible at the local Starbucks. Many Batak people come in and they sit and talk with this Christian pastor. Now they call that place “StarBataks.”
During Epiphany we remember the star that brought wise men from the east to lead the world in worshipping the child Jesus. This epiphany we thank God for Tamba, who came from the eastern hemisphere, leading people in worshipping the Christ, a wise bridge builder, a gift of God to the church in America.