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Light and Hope Kindergarten Amazing Journey

1. The challenge of running a Christian school in Indonesia

Indonesia, with 87% Muslims, has a strict Islamic education. Loudspeakers are hung high around Batam island, Indonesia, and information is broadcast every few hours. The sound is even more potent during Ramada (Ramadan) and is heard day and night. Islamic temples are everywhere. The shopping malls that we walked to have an ample supply of Muslim clothes. From children to middle school students, everyone wore them.

Indonesia and other Middle Eastern countries have different beliefs, and Indonesians are allowed to practice religions other than Islam. But if you want to run a Christian school, it must be private. Public schools can be subsidized, and children who accept Islam can also apply for a job as a civil servant in a government agency, which is considered a family honor! 

The Chinese and the more affluent Muslims prefer to send their children to private Christian schools. They can learn English and Mandarin. In addition, Christian schools have short-term mission teams from time to time, which can broaden children's horizons and communicate more with overseas personnel.

2. Why do we set up Light and Hope (L&H) kindergarten?

The Indonesian government needs to attach more importance to kindergarten education. If a child who has not received kindergarten education wants to enter primary school, the teachers will tutor the child, which is also a special "extra money" for the teachers!

Since Christian private kindergartens are less regulated by the government and have more access to parents, isn't that an opportunity for us to preach the "good news"? If children have a relationship with Jesus and know how to pray from an early age, that is the purpose of our kindergartens!

3. The L&H kindergarten was established in 2020

The school was primarily completed at the end of 2019. We agreed with the missionary's suggestion to serve the renovation workers, so we held a love feast before Christmas. At that time, volunteers sang hymns, an alternative "good news" sharing.

At the beginning of 2020, we would like to thank Elder Chan Shui Hon for coming to share his message for the school. Unfortunately, there was a minor episode when entering the country, and some inbound personnel asked Elder Chen to apply for an official entry visa because he was wearing a suit. Fortunately, a Christian sister from Singapore was with Elder Chan on that day. Under her efforts, Elder Chen didn't have to pay any fees, and he could enter the country!

4. Be grateful to the teachers

To promote the school, teachers continued to distribute leaflets in nearby areas during the epidemic and even went to Muslim orphanages to teach children health rules. The mission team also delivered food to poor households and ventilators to places in need. The good deeds of the mission team and teachers have made the school a good name in a short period.

5. God bestows wonderful blessings

A missionary's referral led us to visit a principal. The principal was retiring from her post due to a severe illness. Later, God healed her, and she wanted to be thankful for God's grace, so she was willing to come to our school as the first principal. Because of the principal's connections, all the staff are now Christians, except that one of the night guards is Muslim, but he will find a missionary and her co-worker to pray for him occasionally!

Unfortunately, when the epidemic broke out in 2020, many parents were reluctant to send their children to our new school. The Health Bureau requested an inspection and later issued a certificate of satisfaction. A journalist arrived, and she offered to advertise for the school for free.

Even more impressive is that no one believes the school can obtain all the licenses in two to three months. Many people who have experience in running schools say that it takes three to five years, or even seven years, to get all the licenses.

During the epidemic, we heard about thieves and stealing from time to time, and God protected the school, and we didn't have any property loss!

6. Since the establishment of the school, there have been Muslim children enrolled in the school

If a Muslim child enrolls in our school, the Muslim parent needs to sign the confirmation that the child can listen to the Bible. In addition, the school has a daily morning meeting to teach the children to learn to pray. The mission team also held fellowships for teachers to draw closer to God and build morale.

Since 2021, many Muslim children have been enrolled in our school. There is also a parent who has relocated to Batam from a strict Islamic area and sent his child to our Christian school!

Missionaries and teams visit families from time to time to cheer up their children and invite parents to join the school fellowship group to prepare for the future church.

7. Plant a church in Indonesia

Planting a church in Indonesia is not easy, but we see new hope. As Batam is a tourism and accessible trade area, it is more advanced and safe. There are several churches and seminaries in Batam that can prepare for future pastoral care. In addition, Indonesia's new president, Prabowo Subianto, has close ties with former President Widodo and hopes that the new president will maintain an open-door policy. Now that China has built a high-speed railway for Indonesia, and Indonesia accepted the correct name of Jesus Christ in September 2023 [ML1], we hope that in the future, whether in China or Hong Kong, there will be more and better believers in Indonesia, and we hope that Indonesia will accept more Christians. Amen!

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