The First Christian Missionary Journey to Mansinam Island

Carl Williem Ottow was born in 1825 and he became interested in becoming a missionary since he was 18 because he was motivated by a preacher’s sermon. After getting permission from his parents to become a missionary, Ottow was later educated by Gossner and was confirmed as a missionary on April 18, 1852. Then on May 14,1852, Ottow went to Zetten where missionaries were prepared to be sent out of Europe.

Johan Gottlod Geissler was born in 1830 in Langen-Reichenbanck. Since he was 14 years old, he has been actively involved in church activities as a member of the German Lutheranchurch. Geissler was very interested in doing evangelical work.

He loves to learn and joined with a group of young men engaged in training activities. It is here where Geissler learned many things and sometimes joins evangelical meetings. Geissler met with Gossner in a “counseling” assembly held for candidates of evangelism. At that time, Gossner motivated Geissler to attend schooling that was later confirmed as evangelism on February 28, 1852 and subsequently assigned as a missionary .

The First Christian Missionary Journey to Mansinam Island

Ottow and Geissler met in Zetten before being sent to the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). After getting theological knowledge (spirituality and skill), on 26 June 1852, Ottow and Geissler and several other missionaries were then sent to the Dutch East Indies aboard the Abel Tasman.They left Rotterdam and finally arrived in Batavia on 7October 1852.

Some were sent to Sangir Talaud and Halmahera while Ottow and Geissler were sent to Papua.However, Ottow and Geissler were not allowed by the Dutch East Indies government (HB) to continue their journey to Papua.

The HB Government does not allow non-Dutch citizens to enterother areas of Indonesia. This was related to security and safety concerns and suspicion of the HB Government against foreigners wishing to enter their colonies.

Ottow and Geissler then lived in Batavia for about one and a half years waiting for a permit from the HB government. While in Batavia, Geissler opened a school in Batavia, while Ottow open eda school for Chinese and Sundanese children in Makassar. Finally, the HB government issued a permit but limited only to Ternate.

The permission was sought by Het Genootsvhap VoorIn-en Vitwendige evangelism, an evangelical body in Batavia that housed delegates from Europe. Ottow and Geissler arrived in Ternate on May 30, 1854 and stayed at the house of Pdt. J. E. Hoveker, who has been the pastor of Ternate since 1833.

The Sultan of Ternate then gave permission to Ottow and Geissler to go to Papua and spread the Christian religion in Papua. The Sultan also wrote letters to Korano (Village Chief) in Mansinam so that the two missionaries were protected and given assistance when there is a food shortage.

On 12 January 1855, Ottow and Geissler left for Mansinam, Papua on a Ternate schooner and docked at the port of Doreh on 5 February 1855. Next, they headed to Mansinam beach using aboat.

In Mansinam, Ottow and Geissler lived in a former charcoal warehouse owned by a ship captain who was highly respected by residents in the coastal area of Doreh bay and surrounding areas.Since then, Ottow and Geissler made Mansinam as the first evangelical post in Papua. Two years later (1857), Ottow opened the second evangelical post in Kwawi, Manokwari.

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