Indonesia, a diverse archipelago, is one of the world’s most populous country and Southeast Asia’s largest economy. However, there has been a widening gap between the rich and poor. Access to public services like healthcare and education has also been unevenly distributed, preventing marginalised communities from leaving the poverty trap.
OM Indonesia has been working in this vast nation for more than two decades, mobilising and equipping local churches to reach out to the least reached communities and supporting the poor and marginalised through transformational development activities.
OM Indonesia’s mandate is encapsulated in “Vision 28” – the goal to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among 28 least reached ethnic groups in Indonesia by the end of 2028, with at least one established community in each location.
One of the key ministries towards this end is OM Indonesia’s Children Ministry, which aims to provide disadvantaged children with academic support and character development guidance.
The Children Ministry ministers to some 200 children in three locations – in a slum, small village and within a national school. These learning and after school centres offer not only English and reading classes, but also loving and caring environments for the children to develop holistically.
After a few months partnering with the local national school by opening one reading and one English class for the school children after their normal school hours, the teachers have requested the ministry team to add more classes for English. The team, however, faced the challenge of fidning enough volunteers to expand the programme.
“I can see that God has answered our prayer for new volunteers!” said the ministry leader when two new volunteers joined the team in September 2019. The next month, a local couple also joined as volunteers, enabling the team to add another English class! It was a god-send as the wife is a private English tutor. In addition, an experienced trainer from another learning centre offered her consultancy services to help the OM team improve. Indeed, God sends the right people at the right time to do His work!
Special Love for Special Needs
From time to time, the team witnesses the workings of God’s love in the Children Ministry. John*, a special needs eight year old boy experienced God’s special care when the OM team provided personalised lessons for him so that he can catch up with the other children. John could not read and found it hard to arrange letters to form words. Due to his slow development in several areas, his parents find it hard to accept him and have been abusing him and treating him differently from his younger sister. With the intervention by the OM team, John could feel the love of God and expressed his willingness to learn from them.
A Holy Revelation
Through the learning centres, the team has been able to reach out to the students’ families as well. Lynn, whose younger sister attends one of the learning centres, suffers from lupus and requires a lot of medication and frequent hospital visits and stays. Her medical condition has caused considerable strain on the family’s finances.
Since June 2019, the team has been visiting the family every week and praying for Lynn. After a few visits, Lynn’s health improved! However, when the team could not visit them, the family did not have the confidence to pray by themselves. So when the team visited them again, they encouraged them to pray by themselves.
One day, when the team visited the family, Lynn’s mother, June*, appeared very anxious. “Lynn has left home and I have not been able to contact her for days!” She confided in the team.
“What do you think you should do in this situation? Complain about it or surrender to God and ask Him to help?” the team leader, Sarah*, asked her gently.
“All beliefs are the same. I have visited a church and temple before. I can pray to any god,” she shared.
“They are different. Do you know the differences? If you believe in Isa (Jesus in Arabic), you will receive the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is God Himself.” Sarah explained.
At this, June exclaimed, “Yes, I believe in God!” After hearing this, the team encouraged and prayed for her.
Since then, she has expressed her willingness to be discipled by the team and even told her neighbour that the team prayed for her. Her testimony made some people from the neighbourhood curious and they also started sending their children to the English class and asked the team to pray for them!
The team has been encouraged by how God works in June’s life, opening her heart to Him and using her to be a witness for Him in her neighbourhood.
*Pseudonyms are used due to security reasons.
Ways to partner with us:
- Pray for the ministry, that Vision 28 will be fulfilled.
- Give to the Children Education stream of OM MTI to reach out to children through education.
- Give your time and expertise by volunteering with us if you have relevant experience in Children Education.
If you would like to partner OM MTI in the Children Ministry stream, like the ministries in Indonesia, to be a light in the lives of poor and marginalised children, please contact us at email@example.com for more information.