Greeted by the joyful shout of children at play, we emerged from a van to an onrush of curious grade-schoolers at Sekolah Lentera Harapan, Kupang, Indonesia. As we passed through the schoolyard, children scampered out of the way in shy but awestruck amazement at the visitors only to tumble over each other to keep up.
Entering a classroom, a respectful silence fell upon the students assembled, only to be interrupted when an observant student recognized one of us as a subject of utmost hilarity and burst out laughing. This act called forth a similar chuckle from his peers, which soon set the whole room in transports of delight.
The longer we lingered at SLH Kupang, the more the students’ initial reticence gave way to a sense of wonder and joy. They clamored to include us in ball games and jump-rope or posed for pictures.
Sponsored by the Pelita Harapan Foundation, these students receive education from a biblical worldview in one of Indonesia’s more remote and unprivileged islands: Timor. The schools require families to pay a small fee towards tuition to show a commitment to high quality Christian education.
Through education, the Pelita Harapan Foundation is meeting the region’s economic development needs. East Nusa Tenggara, in which the island of Timor lies, relies on subsistence agriculture.
More importantly, the Foundation trains teachers from a biblical worldview. Graduates of the Corban University accredited Teachers College at the Universitas Pelita Harapan teach at schools across Indonesia after attaining a four-year Bachelor’s of Education. They are following Christ’s call to “be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Liane DeHart (Office of the President) and Sam Pearson (Center for Global Engagement) visited Sekolah Lentera Harapan, Kupang, as part of a mission to help Corban alumni make a difference for Jesus Christ in Indonesia. Thanks to the hospitality of Foundation contacts in Indonesia, our visit included Foundation schools and hospitals in Karawaci and Kupang.
The mission and vision of the Foundation, which is transforming Indonesia through gospel-centered Christian holistic education, impressed us with the need for Christian teachers to transform the next generation of Indonesian leaders for Jesus Christ.
Corban supports these efforts through recruiting alumni to teach at the Foundation’s elite Sekolah Pelita Harapan schools while partnering with Teachers College to train biblically-grounded teachers for schools at all levels.
The Lord is at work in Indonesia!
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