There are many picturesque islands with tropical beaches and coconut trees located in the East Timor province, however, people face many challenges living in these isolated settings. When Melati and Kemala arrived to minister on one of these far-flung islands, they found the children had limited access to education. Even some eleventh-grade students couldn't read. They also found that many people did not yet know Jesus or share their faith in him.
However, Melati and Kemala weren’t discouraged. Having experienced God's blessing firsthand, they travelled faithfully to share it with others. The impact of that blessing was beyond their expectations.
Melati and Kemala are fourth-year students at the Christian Church Theological School of Indonesia (CCTSI), an international church partner of GMP. CCTSI offers theological training with an emphasis on practical mission.
The two CCTSI students travelled to the island, taking almost two full days to get there from Java. Melati and Kemala embarked on their adventure to share the good news, to participate in children’s ministry and to bless the community as part of their church planting practical assessment. Hery Susanto, CCTSI Director, says, "They mostly work with local people while sharing the gospel with them”.
Melati and Kemala are passionate about improving the education of children. So, laden with resources, the two women travelled by plane, a local boat and then public transport to arrive at the village. They brought things like books, pencils, and bags. It is difficult to get school supplies from other islands.
Melati and Kemala are also passionate about sharing how much Jesus loves children. CCTSI distributes thousands of Christ Comic books all over Indonesia. So, Melati and Kemala used the Christ Comic books to share the story of Jesus with the children. “Sharing that Jesus really loves them, and Jesus wants them to be saved,” Hery explained. The Christ Comics help children gain an understanding of Bible stories through pictures. They have been a real blessing.
Children weren't the only ones who benefited from Melati and Kemala's presence on the island. As they shared their faith, it inspired others to do the same.
Because of Melati and Kemala’s faithfulness, three young men from the island responded to God's calling for their lives. Now these men are enrolled at CCTSI! Hery says, “This opportunity is something beyond their imagination”. They now study abroad, gaining new experiences and enlarging their worldviews.
These men received the blessing of Jesus and now study at CCTSI where they will learn to share that blessing with others, just like Melati and Kemala. And God’s blessing will continue to be shared with the people of East Timor province through them. “Local people have a better understanding of the islanders' worldview,” Hery highlighted. “In the future, we will send them back there to develop their own people. It is a double blessing for both sides.”
At Easter we remember the greatest blessing we have received. That of eternal life with God, through Jesus’ sacrifice. We are blessed to know God and his deep love for us. And we are called to share that with others. We are blessed to be a blessing.
Your support of GMP International Church Partnerships, enables people like Melati and Kemala to continue to share God’s blessing and inspire others to do the same. It can help provide theological education and training for local people throughout Indonesia and neighbouring countries to equip them to minister to their own communities.
Melati and Kemala completed their mission assignment and returned to CCTSI for further study. Both women will graduate in June 2023. Until then, their passion for children’s education and sharing the gospel is being expressed locally on their home island, where they continue to develop their practical ministry skills.
You can also share the blessing of Jesus this Easter.
When you give to Walk for Hope you can help people like Melati and Kemala to share the love of Jesus. Your support will help train faithful Christians so they can spread the gospel and be a blessing to the people around them.