Jochebed's Hope Blog

Refreshed Hearts



 Welcome fall to the United States!  We were  fortunate to visit one of our supporting congregations in Melbourne, Australia on this trip, and in September, spring was just beginning there.  It was an incredible opportunity to spend time with brothers and sisters, and share details of the work in Indonesia.  In addition to being a part of the Sunday worship with Belmore Road, Scott was able to reunite with a childhood friend from the years that the Cate and Tabalujan families worshipped together in Jakarta.  Seeing Benny and Pauline, and spending time with them and their children, was a highlight and a glimpse of heaven as we consider the deep connection we have as members of God’s family.  The years and the miles  became insignificant for a few days as we enjoyed their company and their encouragement.  We are so thankful for the time we were able to spend with them.

Another incredible joy was to worship in one of the villages of Nias on a Sunday  morning.  We traveled four hours, two by car, and two more in the back of a four-wheel drive pick-up truck, to a remote village that lacks electricity and running water.  It is also the childhood home of Budy, one of our children’s home employees.  He was excited for us to worship with his home congregation, and we were humbled and amazed by the enthusiasm and hospitality that greeted us.  Their singing was fantastic! After worship, we were treated to a special meal prepared in our honor.  What a delight to be together knowing we are all one in the Lord.

Despite the difficulty getting to the village (the  roads are steep, rocky, and muddy-treacherous in comparison to what we are accustomed), there was no lack of perseverance or anticipation that accompanied the challenge of the journey.  The length and difficulty of travel is common to them, and did not deter eight others from graciously joining us up the mountain.  We returned to town about 12 hours after we left.  Sore from bouncing around in the back of the truck, but so filled by the gracious community that received us and worshipped with us.   

   We visited two schools where our children from Jochebed’s Hope attend classes.  We were greeted like celebrities by both staff and children! We were humbled and inspired by their welcome! 

We are excited to introduce Tiur.  She is our newest staff member at the children’s home.  Being a graduate that lived in the dormitory while in high school and university, Tiur is also a school teacher, and is a wonderful addition to the Jochebed’s Hope family.  The children clearly adore her, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have her working with us.

Selin, who works to oversee all of the operations concerning the children’s home and dormitories, was married to Ofrel on October 27.  We are so happy for them, and pray for God to bless their marriage and the work of their hands.  We were very pleased to be able to meet Ofrel when we visited Nias in September.

It is truly a gift that we receive when we travel to Nias, and we marvel at the goodness of God that we are able to serve in a capacity that allows these interactions with our family across the ocean.  Our job then, when we return, is to communicate this to you, the donors, who create an avenue for continued service.  We are fortunate and thankful to let you know that generous, directed giving provides specifically for all administrative and travel expenses, which allows all other donations to benefit the children and the churches on Nias 100 percent.  All of the donations are used to feed, clothe, and educate the children, purchase fabric and sewing machines for the vocational sewing  classes, and assist village congregations when they are in need of roof repair to their church buildings.  The church we attended on Sunday was one of those we have assisted.  Scott visited another congregation high in the mountains on another day, and we will also assist them with repairing their roof, as the salty ocean air corrodes the tin roofs, creating holes that leak, especially during the rainy season.  Not only do we thank you for your involvement, we get to pass on the affection and appreciation that is communicated to us when we are with them.  Please know that they are thankful for your generosity that provides opportunities that they would not have otherwise, and they are grateful for our presence and our visits.  They know that we travel very far and for very long.  The island is isolated, and the greetings that we receive make it very apparent that they are gratified to know that they are not alone, and that they are worth the effort it takes to meet them face to face.

Thank you so much in joining us to engage with the children, families, churches, and communities on Nias.  Below you will find a list of categories, and the dollar amount that has been used in each area so far this year.  It takes many loving individuals to make it possible to provide services and opportunities such as these.  For the needs of the children to be met, there are a variety of expenses.  For example, we keep two vehicles in good repair to be used for transportation for children, as well as  for picking up food at the market, hauling sewing machines, etc.  We are able to tell you that the burden we share is met with gratefulness that warms our hearts each time we visit.

Food:  $12,056.63

Student stipend:$2,739.28

Utilities: $8,077.66

School supplies: $4,672.83

Medical:  $987.78

Sewing program:  $6,993.86

Farm supplies: $4,672.83

Automotive: $3,681.78

Salaries: $34,853.65

Repairs:  $13,855.12



So, again we thank you, and leave you with this from Paul to Philemon in verses 4-7:

“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus.  I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” 

Follow us on social media or on our website at the links below.  We post pictures sent to us by our Nias staff members.  You can also donate online at


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We will be visiting Nias soon!

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 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!” Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21.

Greetings!  We are always thankful for your support, and anxious to tell you of the good things happening in Nias.  As we prepare for a journey to the island soon, we covet your prayers.  We pray for safe travels, to be an encouragement to the people there, and for God’s work to multiply and touch many lives.  We are so thankful for the individuals on Nias with whom we get to work.  God is working in ways that we cannot understand or imagine, and we are grateful to be a small part.  Sharing the lives of people across the sea with friends, some whom we have never met, is a special privilege that helps us to appreciate the bond we have as  humans and as followers of Christ.  Thank you for your part in this story.

Some of the activities taking place on the island lately include the application and interview process for children to begin or continue in the children’s home and dormitories, purchase and distribution of new school uniforms, and the beginning of a new school year.  We have several children that have already received recognition this year at school for doing an exemplary job in their schoolwork.  We are proud of their hard work, and grateful to be a part of sharing this educational opportunity with them.  If not for your support, these children would not have a place to live in town and close to a school, therefore making the idea of an education nearly impossible.

We have also been involved in helping the congregation at Botohilitano put a new roof on their church building.  The old one was leaking, and on our last visit we were able to go to the church and meet some of the leaders and members to discuss replacing it.  We supplied the tin for the roof, while they were responsible for the beams and supports.  The men of the congregation completed the work, and the roof looks great. 

Our work is focused on helping children, and not  long ago, the world was focused on 12 children in Thailand. The whole world watched anxiously to see if the young soccer players and their coach would lose their lives deep in a water-filled cave, or if they would be miraculously saved by the efforts of many selfless people from all over the globe.  I would imagine that you know the story.  We are so thankful that it has a happy ending!  What an incredible response to a grave and intimidating situation.  Around the world, people watched in wonder as the hours, days, and weeks passed, and finally, all of the boys, and their coach, were brought out of the cave, alive…Sadly, one who was willing died in the effort to save that group of boys.  The world applauded his selflessness and bravery, and as they should.  Saman Kunan gave his life in an effort to save the youngsters and their coach.  The respect shown for his sacrifice was well deserved; the sacrifice, more than appreciated.

Our lives are full of opportunity to do that which makes a difference to someone.  Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be saved, but also so that we could offer a lifeline to someone else.  The pain of this world is grave and intimidating at times.  We may not be so well trained technically to be on a complicated life-saving mission like the cave rescue, but we should be well trained in loving others so as to communicate their heavenly worth, and let them know that Jesus saves.  Jesus said that the poor would always be among us (Matt. 26:11)—but that we are charged in serving and helping them, communicating their worth.  Ultimately, Jesus is the rescuer, but he uses us to communicate the life-saving, life-giving messages he needs the world to hear—you are worth our time, our financial support, and our interest.  We want to pay attention to you because you have heavenly worth.  And though we are not featured in the news, it is still true that the world is watching.  The world is watching to see how Christians respond to hurting people.  Do Christians respond to the turmoil the same way everyone else does?  Or do they exemplify love, courage, and sacrifice?  Do Christians stand out for loving people in a way that involves giving something of themselves?  We get to choose how we will respond to the pain in the world, and there are many options to choose from.  Will we choose the boldest and bravest option, not giving up on the seemingly hopeless? The best part is that  we can choose to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  Glory be to God—the world is watching!

We introduced you to Selin in our last newsletter.  She has become an integral and important part of our operation on the island.  She oversees the employees in the children’s home, as well as serving as a liaison to the community and to the teachers at the school.  She communicates all repair needs, as well as provides documentation of completed repairs.  We are thankful for her hard work and assistance. 

We have added another member, Budy Boel, to our staff.  He, like Selin, graduated from high school while living in one of the dormitories.  He works closely with Selin, providing support for the children, and assistance to Selin.  Budy’s father is one of the two preachers on the island.  We are thankful to have his help, and look forward to his growth in a leadership role. 

The sewing class generates a great deal of interest, and we have recently added a men’s tailoring class.  We had eight gentlemen in our first class!  As we have mentioned before, each student completes a three month course, leaving with a Singer pedal operated machine to take home with them.  

We are preparing for our next trip to Nias at the end of August.  We look forward to spending time with brothers and sisters there, offering encouragement and support, communicating the care and interest of others around the world.  We will be anxious to share news of our latest visit when we return.  In the meantime, please consider following Jochebed’s Hope on Facebook or Instagram.  When we are not visiting, we are sharing photos sent to us by Selin, so that you can see some of the day to day life on the island.  It’s a beautiful life, a loving opportunity that God has given us, to share in the lives of others.  Let us take a risk and engage—the world is surely watching!




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