J.G. Crossley, or more often known by his real name of Nathan P. Suwanto is an Indonesian-born Chinese Christian currently living in Surabaya, Indonesia. He was born in March 1984, is currently in a relationship and is planning to get married in May 2013.
BEHIND THE NAME
The pen name J.G. Crossley that he’s using is an abbreviation of “John Gabriel Crossley”, a pseudonym that he chose for himself as he started writing years ago. It came from his wishes to be a disciple that is loved by Jesus (as was John), a messenger of good news and glad tidings to mankind (as was Gabriel) and also one who clings at the feet of the Cross (the meaning of the namesake Crossley).
THE STORY OF SALVATION
His first meeting of Jesus Christ came during his Sunday School days, but it was not until he was 20 that he finally decided to follow Christ. The feeling of inadequacy that was within him held Him back from making that ultimate decision for years, as he felt that he was an ordinary person, and God would have no use for him. It was not until a fellow believer from the United States sent him a song by Ray Boltz titled “Thank You”, that he began to understand what it truly means to follow Christ and finally took the decision to follow and accept him as LORD and Savior.
THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
During his spiritual journey he came and went into many different churches in different cities, and in each of them he found new values and life-changing experiences that helped shape his spirituality, morality and life principles into what they are today.
The first was the GKA Gloria Presbyterian Church in Surabaya, Indonesia. This is where he first attended church and joined several ministries as a young boy and a teenager. It was here that God granted him the gift of music, that became the love language between him and his God. Under the tutelage of Ms. Lincie Yang in the Agape Choirs for two years between 2004 to 2006, he developed his vocal skills as a tenor that has helped him to express how much he loves his God through many songs, choir performances and musical dramas.
The second was the Orchard Road Presbyterian Church in Singapore – where he learned a lot about discipleship and principles of a Christ follower (learning more and more to be Christlike) and the real meaning of community. This place was also the first one he called “home” and is still his “home far away from home” even until today, with a lot of memories he held close to his heart until this day during his nine months stay there. This was were he found his true brothers and sisters who helped shape him into the man he is right now and also the place where he first felt the desire to reach out to the teenagers so they can know Jesus in their early age and serve Him in their teenage days, unlike him who had no chance to really serve him as a teenager, as he only accepted Jesus when he was already 20.
The third one was the Christ Mercy Center that he joined after he returned to Surabaya, Indonesia and met his girlfriend. This is where he first ministered to teenagers and university students, but in the end, it was not him who taught others, but he himself was being taught a lesson about how to truly love your God with all your being, all your mind and soul – as these youngsters were totally energetic and pumped up about serving and worshipping God, far than he used to be in his younger days. This is where he really saw how much impact teenagers that has known Jesus since their early days can have on their surroundings.
The final one was the International Christian Assembly in Surabaya, Indonesia – which he hopes will be his final destination and his true home after years and years of wandering. This place was where he found Godly people whose hearts are ever looking to know God more and more. Here was were he found a lot of counsel that helped change his life and made his life as it is now. Currently he can be found there ministering in the “GO Wild West” group (a small group community focused on Growth and Outreach) and teaching the junior high school teens once a month. His passion for music are still there and occasionally he can be found singing with the worship team on Tuesday prayer meetings and Sunday services.
ABOUT THIS JOURNAL
With this simple journal, his hope is to bring his life into a testimony for Christ. Testimonies are powerful spiritual encouragers and he has experienced firsthand that testimonies can be life-changing too, if it is surrendered totally into Christ’s hands. He still has a lot of years to go in his walk with Christ, and he hopes that when the time comes for him to be home and be with Christ eternally, he would be able to look back to a fulfilled life that has encouraged many and brought many into the salvation of Jesus Christ.
MUSIC, MOVIES AND POLITICS
Since 2012, this journal has been updated to include his musings on music, movies and politics. Music has been his long time interest since he first knew Jesus, in fact, in his life he felt that music is God’s love language with him, the one way he can hear from and interact with God the most. Watching movies is one of his favourite pastime habits, as it can take him to another realm, and as a writer himself, he just loves good storytelling. Used to be a part-time writer for a video game publication, now he just writes his thoughts and muses on whatever movies that are interesting enough to warrant his attention.
Finally, as an Indonesian who have long seen this country spiraling towards chaos and destruction, his heart cannot help but want to take part on bringing about change to this country, even only from his thoughts and writings. His hope is that one day, this country will finally see the light and rise into a great nation, one that has been a long time coming, but to this day is still unrealized due to many political corruptions and misdealings in the government.