Ludwig Nommensen, Ludwig Ingwer Nommensen was a pioneer missionary to the Batak people in Sumatra. He was born in Nordstrand in Schleswig, which was then Danish territory. The experience of being able to walk again after a serious injury in an accident motivated Ludwig to become a missionary.
Native Place: Nordstrand
Country: Germany (Previously Denmark)
Place of Vision: Sumatra Island
In 1857, he joined the Rhenish Mission Society seminary in Wuppertal-Barmen and was ordinated in 1861. A few months later he sailed for Indonesia and reached Sumatra in 1862.
Ludwig’s first mission station was in the Silindung Valley in Northern Sumatra. He served among the natives known by the name ‘Batak’. He respected the people and mastered their language.
Ludwig Nommensen ministry in Sumatra Island
Along with his friend, Lumbantobing, and fellow missionaries, P. H. Johannsen, and August Mohri, he laid the foundation of Christianity in that region. Ludwig believed that the Christian devotion should be an indigenous experience for the Batak people. He worked hard to make sure that New Life in Christ penetrated the Batak life and culture.
As thousands of people accepted Christ, Ludwig established a church order among the believers. He translated and published the New Testament in 1878, and several other Christian works of literature.
However, it wasn’t easy for the Batak converts as many were thrown out of their homes and were ostracized by their clans. To accommodate such believers Ludwig remodeled his mission station into a Christian village which he called ‘Huta-Dame’, or ‘Village of Peace’.
Ludwig mustered all his strength to continue the ministry when his son was murdered by the natives. His grit and determination to work for God kept him going in the face of the death of his wife and three other children to illness. By the time Ludwig was called to glory in 1918, the Batak church had more than 180,000 members led by over 30 pastors and some 800 preachers.
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