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Called to Serve

Ince is 24 years old, passionate about Jesus, and head teacher of a kindergarten school in Bumi Indah. She is just one of many young people who feel called to partner with Lifewords in Indonesia, to share the Bible, serve the community, and reach out to children.

Home to around 3,000 families, Bumi Indah is a small subsistence community on the outskirts of Jakarta in Indonesia. It’s the hometown of some of the Bible college students who serve with Lifewords. It’s here that some years ago, Gunar Sahari, Lifewords Indonesia Director, built a kindergarten to serve the community. “The vision was to have a ministry outpost where the students could spend a year in the field, learning the different skills in outreach, church ministry, teaching, and serving the local community,” says Gunar.

The Bumi Indah Rainbow Kindergarten is now well established as a three-story centre of activity, enabling up to 10 students or alumni to live in this community. Each week, they run daily kindergarten activities, children’s ministry, and church services. Many of the children who come here would not normally go to school.

Ince is a full-time teacher at the kindergarten and is also head teacher of the school, handling all of the government compliance, registration, teaching standards and curriculum. She has a heart for evangelism and children, and leads the extra-curricular children’s ministry every Wednesday and Saturday with two other Bible college alumni and one current student. Here the children can choose to come to extra classes to learn more about Jesus, and engage in music and song. In the learning sessions, Ince and her colleagues use Lifewords resources to share the Bible with children.Children crowd around Ince as she opens a box.

Ince is from a poor family on Sumba Island. During college, she was one of the best students. She was bold, brave, with natural leaderships qualities, wanting to make a difference. She did her practical ministry in Bumi Indah, and really loved the people, children and community. “I try to follow God’s will to serve here,” she says. “The children are full of life and have so much ahead of them. I love our motto: ‘Children Today, Leaders Tomorrow’ because I believe this is the impact we can make here. We also impact families as many parents will join our programmes. Some will even learn English with us, as we teach the children.”

It’s a challenging role for someone so young. “Sometimes I feel inferior because I am still young. I am only 24 years old and I have to deal with parents who are older than me, and also government officials and administration. It can be a lot.” But this is why it feels important to receive the support and encouragement from Lifewords and to be part of the network of the wider Lifewords children’s ministry in Indonesia. As she meets others who are doing the same work in many different places across Indonesia, Ince feels part of something bigger. When she gathers with other leaders and volunteers for additional training or gains access to more booklets, she feels more empowered and equipped to do her ministry well.

Long term, Ince wants to go back to Sumba Island to serve children in her home village. “There’s a lot of children there, but no kindergarten, so children need to travel a long way for school. Starting a kindergarten will give us an opportunity to serve the families and be part of the community, be a light.”

Ince smiles and puts her thumb up. In the background are the kindergarten school and some children.

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