At 9am, a pair of Pavement Project workers meet to pray and plan their day. Every Saturday, they visit an area of Jakarta known as Cideng, a slum community of nearly 3000 people living illegally between a railway line and a waterway. Here, there are hundreds of children who spend their days begging, rummaging the dump and playing in the dirt – certainly needing hope and love from a caring worker.
When PP worker, Risna, first came to Cideng, she was surprised that there were so many living here! The Indonesian government had published figures of around 7300 children living on the streets of Jakarta, but after seeing so many slum communities like this one, Risna would claim it’s over 10 times that amount. Almost all of them have never seen a Bible or heard about Jesus. And yet, almost all the NGO’s working there are Christian organisations. That is why Risna was so keen to be trained with Pavement Project. With this program, she has the tools and resources to counsel children, bring hope and help them see themselves in a different light. And it really works!
“So many of these children have such low self esteem. I love telling them about the Great Teacher who called the children to himself, who healed them, who cared about them and even knows the number of hairs on their head – their eyes open a little wider and a sense of value starts to grow in their tiny hearts! I love this work and I love how PP brings such healing and hope. I’ll be doing this for many years to come. Today might be the only chance these children have to hear about the love of Jesus.”
And so they sit, plan and pray, believing that today will make a difference.
Jesus told his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Matt 9:37-38
In July-August this year, SGM Lifewords will train another group of Pavement Project workers in Indonesia. Please pray that the right workers would join the program and we find partner organisations who hold the same passion and values. And pray that we might find the best person to train up as the head coordinator and leader of PP in Indonesia.
(Note: Names are often changed to protect the identity of workers and children in sensitive environments)