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!