School of Change
29 Aug 2017
There is a village tucked away on an island in Indonesia that is hidden from most of the eyes of the world. It is off the beaten track, secluded and poor. The people living there refuse to sell their village land to the plantation owners around them, and so have not received the payoff benefits, like a school for their children. They still hold onto the animistic beliefs of their ancestors, unswayed by the other major religions in their nation. But the eyes of the Lord are on these people, and His heart is inclined towards them.
Teachers, Ashton and Fiona*, are working in Indonesia in an inspiring and strategic teaching ministry. The vision is to train teachers, empowering them to transform the schools and communities where they will serve. Students come to the project training centre from all over Indonesia, especially underdeveloped regions, to study to become teachers. They commit to an eight-year program. Firstly, they complete four years of study including mentoring in what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus. Although the students usually come from Christian families, many become true followers of Jesus in their first year of the course. Once they graduate, they are sent to needy areas to work in a school for four more years, not only to teach, but to live out the gospel.
This coming June 2017, the first class will graduate and be sent out to schools across Indonesia. This is an exciting stage in the development of the ministry, as all the hard work that has gone into the training will at last result in this first consort of qualified Godly teachers in schools and influencing the lives of children and their families.
So what of the village that is hidden away? Two years ago, a local pastor came upon this village, and his desire was to be able to share the gospel with the people there. For a long time he was rejected by the village, they did not want anything to do with him. Yet the Lord gave the pastor a deep love for these people, and he persisted building relationship with them. At the same time, the teaching team came to know of this pastor, and some of the staff including Ashton went to visit the village. The chief has now welcomed the training centre to start a school there and, out of the first graduating class of June 2017, two teachers are being placed in this village to start the school.
We’ll have to wait to see what God is going to do in the hearts and lives of these precious people, but we know that Jesus is the Great Redeemer, and that God will complete what he has started.
Why not take a few minutes to pray for this ministry, for their study centre, the students and teachers. Pray especially for the students soon to graduate, making the huge transition from the protective Christian environment of the training centre, to the challenges of being teachers in remote locations. Pray also for the people living in spiritual darkness in this village. Pray that the light of the gospel would bring transformation.
*Names changed for privacy