Life can be quite hard and gloomy in the villages of West Kalimantan, and hopes for a future are dim for children like Billi. Abandoned to the care of his grandfather at five years of age by his unmarried mother, he was pretty much fending for himself. He has found a new home here at New Hope Ministries in Sanggau, a small Indonesian town in Borneo, together with more than a hundred children, most of them from disadvantaged backgrounds. I believe the mission statement of New Hope Ministries boarding home sums up well what this children’s ministry is about: “providing children with a safe and healthy environment to grow in their love for God and reach their full potential”.
A safe and healthy environment first of all means meeting very basic needs: a safe and secure place to sleep and three meals a day. It also includes a stable, positive social and emotional environment where our children feel accepted and loved. All this provides the ground that allows them to flourish in other aspects of their lives.
As we minister to the children, we endeavor to show in our own lives the freedom and joy that comes with the assurance of God’s love. As we freely share this love, practically and through our teaching, they experience God’s love and in return grow in their love for Him.
Rooted in a safe environment, assured of the love of God, the children can grow in all areas of their lives and reach their full potential: intellectually, in their gifts and talents, and as followers of Jesus, which gives them confidence to reach out to others.
Coming from a teaching background, I like the saying: “Teachers make the world a brighter place.” Jesus, the master teacher, called Himself the “Light of the World” and He calls His disciples to be the light of the world. We use Jesus’ example to teach the children in all aspects of life. As they become followers of Christ and their lives reflect the character of Jesus, they carry His love and shine His light – making this world a brighter place.
By Wolfgang and Heidi Oelschlegel
Ministry Leader involved in training and Evangelism.