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From Mobster to Minister

For years, Olvi prayed that God would transform her husband, Okta.

He was a man to be feared. Fists like sledgehammers, scarred and bloodied from countless fights. His body a mural of tattoos, old memories of a hard life. 

 As a boy, Okta lived on the streets of Manado, Indonesia. Without parents, his role models were the kids he ran with. Troublemakers. Street toughs. The unwanted.  

Without protection, Okta learned to protect himself. Without security, he learned to live without fear. Over the years, his reputation grew, and Okta decided it was time his skills made him some money.  

He joined a gang, serving as head of security as they extorted businesses for money. Despite several trips to prison, life was good. He was rich, powerful, connected. What more could he want?  

Answering God’s Call to Ministry 

Things began to change after Okta met and married his wife, Olvi. Though Okta continued to work as a mobster, Olvi saw goodness in him. She prayed that her husband—and father of their three sons—might be transformed through the grace of God.

It took years, but finally Okta came to Jesus.  

One day while driving, Okta felt God call them to become pastors. Within weeks of this experience, the family moved to a remote, Muslim-majority community in East Kalimantan.  

When they first arrived, Olvi, Okta, and their sons found a congregation of just four people, worshipping in a church built from plywood. Since then, the family has built a new church and grown their congregation to 70+ members.   

Their new life was not without its struggles. Like many pastors in the area, Olvi and Okta needed an additional source of income to support their ministry. Olvi enjoyed baking, but she wasn’t sure if she could turn her hobby into a business. However, she and Okta held firm to their conviction that God would pave the way. 

Sustaining a Growing Ministry...with Cake

In answer to their prayers, pastors Olvi and Okta attended the PW microenterprise training in 2023, facilitated by Yayasan Wahana Generasi Bintang (YWGB), a local partner of Partners Worldwide.  

Through YWGB, they learned that just as people are called to ministry, so too can people be called to business. Businesspeople have unique opportunities to share God’s truth and love in the marketplace as they serve God and others through the ways they operate their businesses. 

 Encouraged by what they had learned, and surrounded by a network of believers, Olvi boldly announced to her friends and neighbors that she was open for business. She took to the internet, posting pictures of her delectable cakes on social media for all to see. Within just two weeks, Olvi had sold 400 cakes. 

You Equipped Olvi and Okta to Stand Firm in Their Call

Because of people like you, Olvi and Okta have the resources they need to continue their calling as ministers. Thanks to you, they can continue to serve as beacons of hope and joy, not only within the walls of their church but throughout their entire community.