This Quarter – Students build a Learning Centre in a slum; celebrate the World Cup with street football; share God’s love through The Visible Story to 80+ people; and give food & education for children in poor communities.
There are now 18 Indonesian missionary students being sponsored through SGM Lifewords. Each week they hit the streets, slums or villages in an effort to meet needs and bring God’s love. Without your support, they could not do all of these things, so thankyou for partnering with them in spreading God’s love and word.
This quarter, we offer an update on what they have been doing and how the Lord has been using them to bring his light and love to those who need it most. If you’re short on time, take a quick look at the photo slideshow for an overview…
LEARNING CENTRE IN CIDENG: The slum community of Cideng, Jakarta is home to a few thousand people. Real numbers are impossible to know, but dozens of students from the Pelita Dunia and Moriah Colleges go weekly to meet physical, spiritual and emotional needs.
Over the past few months, they have been building a small, simple Learning Centre so that students can run education classes, worship services and conduct Pavement Project counselling. A box of SGM Lifewords’ booklets can be locked up in a cupboard so that students are always able share God’s word and offer a gift to those whom they meet. Students, like Valen, Yostan and Nelson, were even involved in the building of the Centre. Pak Gunar Sahari (Indonesian Director for SGM Lifewords) said,
“This is all part of what it is to be a Christian presence. The people know we are here to help, to love and bless. They receive our food parcels or noodles or rice, and they are open to hearing about Jesus who is central to our faith and lives. I am very proud of our students, and look forward to seeing many people come to faith through this.”
The learning centre provides an environment out of the elements, so that rain, hail or shine, the student ministry can continue.
EDUCATION & LITERACY: It doesn’t sound like “Bible work”, but when our teams of students go into poor communities and offer help, it shows that Christian faith is not just a belief, but a holistic practice of bringing God’s Kingdom to earth. The past 3 months, there have been 2 new learning environments created by students to give poor children the opportunity to learn reading and writing. Jeffrey, who leads one of these new initiatives makes the observation,
“Most of the children leave the community to attend school, but if school comes to them, they are mostly willing to come. We always give food parcels, milk and rice. We teach them Math, reading and writing. We will also use Bible booklets to help them to read God’s word and understand who God is and what He has done for us all.”
Please pray for the students as they continue this weekly task.
FOOTBALL BRIDGES THE GAP:
There’s nothing like a bit of fun to bring a connection between two different communities. To be honest, many of the College students find it difficult to strike up friendship and conversation with total strangers. So when a ball is produced and a few sticks are erected as goal posts, the connection becomes so much easier! Throughout the June World Cup, students have been playing weekly games of football with teens on the streets, building a bridge and offering drinks and nibbles afterward.
THE VISIBLE STORY: All students get trained in how to use the SGM Lifewords picture-presentation called, The Visible Story.
The purpose was to have a visual aid that would help preachers tell some of Jesus’ parables in a way that the illiterate listener would see and remember. The program offers a little twist on traditional preaching in that the listeners are invited to inject feedback, their own examples and engage with the story. When we created the program, we didn’t realise that it would also have another effect: It brings confidence to students who would otherwise hesitate to enter a God-conversation or make a sermon to unknown persons. All of a sudden, quiet, hesitant students take the colourful flipchart and say, “Hey, can I show you something? It’s a story you might enjoy.” Then children and adults alike become interested in the pictures and the story, and suddenly a group of people are engaged with God’s word in a way that would not otherwise happen. During the past few months, students have told of numerous people hearing and accepting Christ through the sharing, and they feel increasingly empowered to share God’s word with others. The success of The Visible Story is actually surprising us!!
I (Dan Hardie) would like to finish this update with a huge THANKYOU to those who have jumped on board with our student sponsorship program and are offering $55 per month for a student to be equipped with Bible Resources, be helped with their college fees, and contribute to their livelihood. God bless and please keep praying for them!
Providing help for street children isn’t easy. Many children are traumatised by their life on the street or the experience that put them there in the first place. They are often alienated, have low self esteem, and are wary of accepting help.
You can take the child out of the streets, but you can’t take the streets out of the child.
Pavement Project: how it works
This is where Pavement Project comes in, providing a tried and tested way for workers to encourage children to talk about their deep-seated fears and hurts. Through prayer and Bible stories, children can receive healing and affirmation. Workers say that this allows them to understand the child in a much deeper way than before, and to draw alongside them more effectively. Pavement Project demonstrates the power of the Bible’s life words that speak of encounter with Jesus.
Pavement Project aims to raise the self-worth of a child and restore a sense of hope for the future. The Big Green Bag is a key tool used in the process. It was created by child psychologist/trauma specialists, following four years of child-centred research into the needs of street children and the traumas they have experienced.
The Big Green Bag is divided into sections of interactive picture cards, games, and activities – all designed as a process called Picture Me, a carefully planned therapeutic tool to be used with individual children.
Creative Counselling: Picture Me
Street workers are trained in the Picture Me process before getting access to a Big Green Bag of their own. Once they are trained, workers join a support network of other workers and facilitators who help to make sure that Pavement Project is well used and monitored.
Picture Me is a holistic approach that means children can take God’s Word seriously – seeing his love in action around them, and meeting him through the workers themselves, as well as the stories they tell. Pavement Project is not just talking about the Bible’s life words … it’s living them.
Pavement Project: Numbers
The figures behind Pavement Project might help you see its effect on children-at-risk.
- 29,000 – number of children who have already gone through the Pavement Project process
- Over 1,000 – number of workers trained world wide
- 177 – number of organisations working with Pavement Project
- 15 – number of countries where Pavement Project is being used
- 10 – number of languages in which Pavement Project resources and training are available
We get our most feedback from people who are working with teens and finding it difficult to get them to engage with scripture. So many tell us that the Little Book of Help is such a blessing to them. Here’s another one from Elyse Atkins of the Salvation Army who just ordered 200 books for upcoming events…
“I adore the little book of help because its so useful when you ‘need help’! The books will be on hand at our youth events for anyone who needs one and some will be given out to leaders for them to pass onto their youth. It has helped me alot in my own youth ministry and is such a great tool to turn to when you’re stuck for the right verse to share so thankyou!”
That’s why we exist. To help people share God’s word in relevant, creative ways. Keep sending feedback and testimonies of how God’s word is a blessing in your ministry!
Late last year, SGM Lifewords launched a program to sponsor missional students who just couldn’t do their mission or study without financial support. This is not actually new for us: For many years, we have partnered closely with missional Bible Colleges who send students to the mission field. We have resourced them, trained them with our programs, translated into local languages and joined together in Mobile Missions.
The problem was, we are giving Bible resources to students who couldn’t reach their mission field or continue their training because they had no funds. So we thought it logical to expand our partnership to enable Australian sponsors to provide beyond just the Bible resources. We praise God that many Aussies have a heart for the gospel and for reaching Indonesia! We have seen dozens of students funded for their mission work!
One sponsor, Nick, said, “I want to give to something that is making a difference. When I see the photos and video of those slums, I think, “Man, I should be there with God’s word. But I can’t. So I’ll support those who can.”
We didn’t know if people would financially support this type of ministry, but already dozens of students have sponsorship for their ministry. Aussies want to make a difference and now dozens of Aussies are serving the Lord with their generosity… Thankyou and Praise God!
If you want to join our sponsorship team, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re interested in your approach to Easter, where God’s word fits & how we can help spread the message. Would you take 90 seconds to talk to us?
Our Indonesian Director, Gunar Sahari gave us this report:
“Last week we sent a lot of booklets to Pastor Sukarli. He serves among people who live near Kelud Mountain whom errupted and killed some and made many homeless. He is going to visit many villages to distribute the booklets, especially to people who face difficulty because of Kelud Erruption. Please pray so that all the people who received the booklets will find help and comfort through the Word of God.”
We also sent booklets to Pastor Yoppy Muskita who is the coordinator of the Pastors Fellowship in Tulungagung, Kediri and Blitar. This will supply 20 other Pastors with Picking up the Pieces, and our prayer is that many people will receive comfort through the living word of God.
The problem is, we are running out of booklets and would like to print and send more. Here in Australia-New Zealand, we’ve decided to set up a “Disaster Relief Fund” so that we are ready to print booklets the moment a natural disaster strikes. Within 48hrs, we could have God’s word in the hands of Chaplains and Pastors if we are ready.
Would you give to our Disaster Relief Fund?
On casual Friday, people turn up to work in jeans and a smart shirt. But very few would even think to bust out the iconic Aussie thongs (or better known to our international friends as “flip flops”). But this summer, Christians are on mission in a unique environment where it wouldn’t be out of place to don the Aussie thong.
During the summer break, thousands of holiday makers turn up on NSW beaches looking for sun, sand and surf. With the hottest year on record, there’s no better place than beside the rolling waves at one of hundreds of our beaches. Amidst the caravans and tents, 52 Scripture Union mission teams set up marque tents and put on holiday programs for children and adults alike. Their hope is to be a blessing to the campers, adding fun activities and creative events to their holiday schedule.
Many times, people are interested in knowing more about what they are doing and why. It’s the perfect opportunity to gently share God’s Word in a relational context. Most times, our SGM Lifewords’ booklets are the perfect gift to leave with people. One mission worker told us,
“The Little Book of Help is my favourite to give. No one has ever rejected it, and most are keen to flick through and read more. It looks great and is packed with truth.”
Younger ones are given You Matter while some of the young adults might be given the more artistic, modern version of the prodigal son story shared in the Suppose booklet. The impact is obvious with their testimonies:
“Previously I had nothing to give out after a God conversation. Now, I don’t need to know all the right things to say – I can let God’s word speak for itself! The booklets help me have a conversation about what God’s word actually says.”
We were really blessed to be given a grant to print those necessary booklets, and next year we hope we can raise more funds to print booklets for the ongoing Summer mission. Why not contribute something toward this cause? You can donate here today.
This week, dozens of mission students will return to Jakarta from their Christmas break. Most have been visiting their home villages, seeing family and loved ones for the first time in a year.
But the new year kicks in quickly as the need never goes on break. So many of the city poor struggle through Christmas while the western world spends up big. Village dwellers brace as the monsoon rains brings extensive flooding and ruins crops. The less fortunate need hope in this season and students will resume their mission from Day 1.
In a recent initiative, SGM Lifewords have made it possible for individuals to sponsor these mission students. Our sponsorship program began in November 2013, and so far half a dozen students are now having their burden lifted as we provide support and training. These are the first of 70 students that we’d like to support as they bring God’s word, healing and hope to poor communities around Indonesia.
Would you pray for them this week? Pray that they would arrive safely back to College. Pray that they will have their needs met this year. Pray for fruit in their various mission fields. And perhaps you may consider sponsoring a student? Let us know at email@example.com and we’ll send out a pack.