|Missionary Update: Paul & Cyndi Richardson
Post Date: 2011-07-25 13:11:37
The month of June flew by for us, and on July 18, school will start again at Charis. Paul is already busy with teacher training week which started this morning.
About a week ago, the children and I returned home from our journey to a neighboring island. It was a tremendous privilege for us to visit a childrens home that is sponsored by Mustard Seed and to discover that, from everything we could tell, the home reflects our desire for Mustard Seed funds to be used in ways that bridge faith, hope, and love to Indonesian children. In this email, you can read about a few highlights from our trip.
We took the 32 children and teenagers who live at the home on a day trip to the beach! You can see Katie in the back right, enjoying the amazingly warm water of the Java Sea with her new friends. Mr. and Mrs. K who lead the home put a lot of effort into giving the kids an opportunity to know and follow Jesus Christ; the privilege of going to school; and a healthy, safe environment in which to live. Nearly all of the kids come from remote mountain villages where the people practice animistic tribal religions, and schools in these areas don?t exist.? It was our joy to play with them, worship with them, and hear their stories. I asked Katie to help with this update because she is already wanting to return!? Here is her summary of the week.
I just got back from an amazing trip to the orphanage. Here is a little bit about our?trip:
After a long day of traveling, we finally arrived on Monday night, had a great dinner, and went to bed exhausted on the floor. On Tuesday, our team started to make friends with all the kids there. ?That night, we had fun acting and teaching the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 in their church gathering.? ?On Wednesday, the adults on our team left to visit a village for the day, leaving my brothers and I to spend the day at the orphanage with the kids (there was a leader there, too). I taught a bunch of girls how to make paper snowflakes (they had never seen snow before!). That night, the teenagers taught me a fun game called 'Ampar Ampar Pisang'.
On Thursday, we all went to the beach. It was a total blast! It was so much fun tossing a volleyball in the water and running down the beach passing a soccer ball. Later that day, our team passed out clothes that we had brought for them, and then I helped my mom teach English.
It was very hard to say good-bye to all of the kids on Friday. They were all joking about how they wanted to tie me up so I would have to stay there! (I wish!) Anyways,?I had a spectacular trip, one I will never forget!! Thanks for your prayers,? Katie Skye
An unexpected highlight of the week was visiting a village far into the mountains that has requested help with starting a school.? The full story is long, but in a nutshell, the pieces have come together in a sequence that goes like this:
1. Mr. and Mrs. K visit this village on one of their trips into the mountains; the village elders ask them to please send a teacher because they don?t want to send their children to the city.
2. The village elders are conscious that as history moves forward, their village will probably abandon tribal beliefs and embrace either Islam or Christianity.? They decide that their children should learn to read so that they can study the two faiths and make the best decision on behalf of the village.? The adults in the village are illiterate.
3. Mrs. K identifies a believing high-school graduate as a potential teacher and invites him to pray about moving to the village.
4. Mr. K brings this young man to a Mustard Seed leadership retreat in July 2010, and God inspires him to give his life to this village for the sake of the Gospel.? The village leaders allow him to use the village center as a classroom, with a thatch lean-to on the side for his housing (shown in the picture!).
5. After one school year, this young man has taught 23 children to read and write in Indonesian, their second language, because their first language is unwritten.? The teacher is effective because he knows their heart language as well as the national language used for education.
6. The village leaders agree that this young man should stay, and they are now asking for help to build a school and acquire legal recognition.
7. In the meantime, a man who grew up in the village comes to know the Lord on another island and has now returned, encouraging the village to accept not only the new education, but the new faith.
Would you take the time to PRAY for this village and for this children?s home?? First, for this young teacher as he lives out his faith in the village.? Next, for God to open the elders? hearts to Jesus whether or not they can read.? Then, for wisdom as we discuss how to respond to their request for a school.
For the home, please pray for Mr. & Mrs. K as they serve as leaders.? Pray for each of the children to have a vibrant relationship with the Lord and for Him to direct their future paths clearly.? Many of them deal with rejection because their parents are divorced and re-married, and the new spouses do not want them.
And, here at OUR home, please pray for Paul as he begins the new school year as Director of Charis Academy, seeking to mentor leaders and teachers in their important roles of guiding students in Christ-like character, leadership, and creativity.? In the coming school year, Stephen will start 6th grade, Josiah will enter junior high, and Katie high school.? We are deeply grateful for your support, friendship, and prayers as we continue living in this diverse and beautiful country!
With love from East Java,