While I lived in Indonesia from 2003 to 2008, I would, from time to time, send a newsletter to friends which was mostly photos. A picture is certainly worth 1000 words and this “Far Country Photos” shows a slum school project I was involved with in one of the very worst areas of Jakarta. This newsletter was sent to friends in August of 2003, after I’d lived in Indonesia for 5 months.
In my Fields newsletter from February I told you about the street kids’ school that I visited when I was in Jakarta in September of last year. Through the recent gift sent from some kind friends in Austin, I’ve been able to make a first monthly contribution towards sustaining the staff’s brave efforts to provide a local school in one of the worst slums in the city. Our hearts were thrilled to be able to help the founder of this project and his little band of dedicated teachers. I hope these pictures give you a glimpse of what the need is and how your gifts help and make a difference.
The gift that some of you sent means we’ll be able to help these ones through the end of 2003. Part of it will go for needed special supplies. But most will go towards providing some steady income for the 4 teachers who’ve been working as volunteers till now. Our gift to them is a drop in the bucket, if measured by Western cost-of-living standards. But in this 3rd World setting, it’s made a major difference in the teachers being able to devote more time to the kids. As the school becomes more grounded in the community, more parents will be willing to send their children to school rather than to work, beg or steal at an early age, as they do now.
There are many things I’ve been able to be involved with since coming here and this is just one. While not ostensibly coming across as Christian workers in this project, those there know what we are, where we come from and what we represent. I believe that, while our sermons have been few, our sample and actions have spoken clearly. By sowing seeds of love and practical kindness, I feel we’re fulfilling God’s injunction to “consider the poor”. By working with you and representing you who’ve sent help, we’re all working together to share His love and our blessings with the world’s neediest. Thanks again for your help in this.
Your friend, Mark