Jochebed's Hope Blog

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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Be the Light (New)

Greetings!  Scott, Steve, and Brett were in Indonesia in February—taking a break from the cold weather that has covered most of the US for quite some time!  Wherever you are, hopefully you are seeing hints of spring and new life!

As with anything worthwhile, there are joys and challenges with every trip, but most important are the sweet souls we are privileged to be associated with, and the connection that we have with them in our efforts to fulfill Jesus’ command to care for the poor and those in need.  Our goal is not to only meet basic needs, but to empower and encourage children and adults who will become lights in their  community.  We want not just to donate physical resources, but we strive to know the people as well as possible in our time there.

We have added an important staff member to help oversee general operations whom we feel is especially equipped to increase our ability to communicate with the team and stay continually apprised of daily campus activities and needs.  Selin cares deeply for the children.  She has a genuine appreciation for the work in Nias, as she graduated from high school while living in the girls dormitory.  She also has a deep appreciation for the grace that comes from God, and a strong desire to share that with the children at Jochebed’s Hope.  She is working with the younger children to teach basic English, and coordinating the services of others on the team who work with children and students at two different locations in town.  She will be an indispensable help to us as we are in communication with her almost daily.  We are excited to have her as an integral part of the team!  Please join us in praying for Selin as she takes on new  responsibilities that are so helpful to us.

While we continue to report on physical improvements, we remember that our primary concern is the souls of those whom God loves—our neighbors, everyone we have contact with—we want more than anything to reflect His love while we go about caring physically for those who have very little.  We want to introduce to them the Greatest Gift that is Jesus.  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers of this dark work and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph. 6:12 We have such a gift of opportunity to come work beside our neighbors in Indonesia, many of whom are also our brothers and sisters.  There is no better way to combat the darkness than to share the love that comes from the Father! What an amazing way to make a difference; so therefore “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Eph. 6:18  We are thankful for prayers that our presence in Nias will be fruitful.

Thank you for joining hands and hearts with us and with our team in Nias! “Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” Eph. 6:23-24

 

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Posted by Tracey Cate with

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