The least of these: serving on the streets

  • Gunar & Lifewords team take the first October weekend to share God’s word with hundreds
  • Bible College Students continue their weekly field ministry training among Indonesia’s most poor & needy
  • Pavement Project gets used among dozens of street children

We reported last year about the dozens of students from the Pelita Dunia Bible College who go weekly to meet physical, spiritual and emotional needs.

These students continue to serve the street poor, children at risk, and those who lack the bare essentials. At Christmas, our “Aussie Mums 4 Indo Kids” campaign allowed these teams to give 1200 Christmas gifts and meals in these locations, and this weekend they will continue to love and serve “the least of these”.

Pak Gunar Sahari (Indonesian Director for SGM Lifewords) said,

“This is all part of what it is to be a Christian presence. The people know we are here to help, to love and bless. They receive our food parcels or noodles or rice, and they are open to hearing about Jesus who is central to our faith and lives. I am very proud of our students, and look forward to seeing many people come to faith through this.”

There are currently 18 Indonesian missionary students being sponsored through our SGM Lifewords sponsorship program. Each week they hit the streets, slums or villages in an effort to meet needs and bring God’s love. These students are just some of those who will be blessed with resources from our “Ends of the Earth” Appeal, as we raise $12,000 for 24,000 Bible booklets to be shared in rural locations of Indonesia. Without your support, they could not share God’s love in this way, so thankyou for partnering with them in spreading God’s love and word.

(Take a quick look at the photo slideshow for an overview of this amazing ministry…)

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PRAYER POINTS:

This long weekend, please join in praying:

  • Gunar and students who are doing amazing ministry on the streets of Tangerang and Jakarta. Pray for their safety, for fruitful ministry and for the message of love and grace to be well received.
  • Please pray that we will receive the $12,000 so that we can continue to supply bible resources to those who most need it. So far, we have nearly $2000, so there’s a long way to go!

I (Dan Hardie) would like to finish this update with a huge THANKYOU to those who have contributed to the “Ends of the Earth” appeal AND those who continue in the student sponsorship program. Through this, students are equipped with Bible Resources, helped with their college fees, and contribution to their livelihood. God bless and please keep praying for them!

Taking it to the “Ends of the Earth”

Our mission is to bring life words to the world.
Words of peace.dscf3409
Words of hope.
Words of life. Both here and abroad, people are coming to know the peace & love of God by simply encountering his word. We keep getting requests in Indonesia for scriptures in local languages, relevant portions, attractive and powerful.

“Many of our partners are in mission outposts at the ends of the earth. They tell me that they just don’t have portions of God’s word to give to the people they meet and minister to. My conviction is: If God’s word contains good news for all people, then we must provide for them.” Ps Gunar Sahari

Can we provide for them?

Well God has been working through SGM Lifewords for 128 years to meet these needs. Together, we can actually be an answer to someone else’s prayers! So…

How many? 24,000.
Where? Towns & Villages far from major cities. Literally, the “Ends of the Earth”.
What? Life words booklets + The Visible Story

If you love God’s word, then you’ll know why we feel passionate about serving them. Here’s where the scriptures are needed immediately:

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Through our “Ends of the Earth” appeal, we will raise $12,000 for 24,000 booklets over the next 12 weeks. Would you join us in providing scripture to Pastors and Mission workers of Indonesia?

You can contribute to the “Ends of the Earth” appeal today!

The worst place to be a child

Miguel lives in one of the most dangerous locations on earth. His life is at risk daily, and the most likely outcome is that he will join a gang for protection and belonging. He is 13 years old and, like many children on the streets of Latin American cities, he is addicted to alcohol. If it isn’t alcohol, it is drugs, sexual addiction, binge violence or a combination of each – anything to offer a temporary escape.

Miguel is known to SGM Lifewords through our Pavement Project. Sitting with a street counsellor he is hard and tense at first, but after going through the process and realising that there is genuine care and attention, he starts to cry as he shares his story. One can’t help but wonder: How did he end up on the streets? Who cares for him? What future is there? Can he find love, hope and redemption?

A DREAM BECOMES REALITY

When Brazilian missionary Viviane Pinheiro first heard about Pavement Project at a conference in May 2015, she knew it had the potential to make a huge difference in the lives of Guatemalan children-at-risk. On the overcrowded streets of Guatemala City, Viviane and her husband Rodrigo, minister to children living in poverty. They provide food and childcare for hundreds of families in a country where malnutrition affects 4 in 10 children (eight in ten among indigenous families). Guatemala is still reeling from a brutal civil war that lasted over 30 years, and poverty, social violence, drug trafficking and environmental disasters make life for its 15.5 million residents extremely tough. Gangs rule the streets in many areas and children are caught up in the violence. It has been described as the worst place in the world to be a child – physical and sexual child abuse rates are staggeringly high, children are murdered every day, and impunity is a grave issue.

Guatemala has been described as the worst place in the world to be a child

Viviane’s dream to bring Pavement Project to Guatemala became reality a few months after the conference when Carmen Andrade arrived to train the country’s first three PP workers. Alongside Viviane were Pastor Jaime Perez and Nora Mendoza. Together the group spent three days learning how to use the Bible-based counselling tool to bring God’s hope and healing to the children they work with.

BRINGING GOD’S LOVE TO VIOLENT COMMUNITIES

Pastor Jaime works in public schools in the capital’s slum communities. Guatemala City has the second highest homicide rate in the world, and most of the students he ministers to are involved in violent crime and drugs. In these rough areas gang members are heroes in the eyes of children, and the average time spent in school is only three years. Pastor Jaime uses the Pavement Project to share God’s love with 1,200 young people who have grown up around violence and aggression; to show them that God has a better plan for their future. Nora Mendonza works with children-at-risk in a rehabilitation centre. The vast majority are addicted to alcohol which they often use to numb their painful memories, hunger and the cold. Nora herself has suffered the effects of addiction. Her husband was an alcoholic for over 20 years and used to physically and verbally abuse her . He came to faith a few years ago and is in recovery – he and Nora are now dedicated to supporting addicts and are using Pavement Project to counsel the children and their families.

We need to show them that God has a better plan for their future

Miguel is just one of the children Nora has already been able to minister to, through the Pavement Project counselling process.  After being counselled he said: “I feel safe in Jesus’ hands. He will give me strength like a lion to overcome my addiction.” For Viviane, Pastor Jaime, and Nora, Pavement Project is an answer to years of prayer for children-at-risk in Guatemala. As young hearts cry out for hope across the country, we pray that the Bible’s life words will bring healing to children living in the worst situations imaginable.

PRAYER POINTS:

  • Pray for Viviane, Jaime and Nora as they use Pavement Project’s green bag to bring God’s words of healing, restoration and forgiveness to children at risk in Guatemala.
  • Pray for their safety, protection and courage. Pray also that they would be fruitful in their ministry, and see many children experience life change
  • Thank God for work that is happening in Miguel. Pray that it would continue and that he would have the strength to carry on

You can donate toward Pavement Project here or join our monthly support team.

GRAND OPENING – Training Centre in Indonesia

12 months ago, we imagined a Training Centre in Indonesia, where missionaries, pastors, students and farmers could be trained and equipped with God’s word. Last week, we saw the Grand Opening of our Tangerang office and training centre – and it was amazing!!

Within a seminar room that could seat 50 people, we finished with over 120 people squashed into this new training venue (and in fact, right up the stairwell!). The congregation enjoyed enthusiastic worship, prayer, official words, reflections, and fresh vision from our Indonesian team. It was great to have the Board members, ministry partners, students and volunteers join us with laughter and joy. It was evident that the celebration was not about a building, but was about the people who would receive words of life, both for themselves and to share with others. Many people hung around for hours, looking through our booklet range, watching our SGM films, and asking to join a TVS training or even Pavement Project.

Training CentrePak Gunar Sahari said,

“We have been training people with The Visible Story, Pavement Project and Mobile Mission events for many years now. We have borrowed rooms at Bible Colleges, used Church Halls and met in homes. That is sure to continue, but it is such a blessing to be able to offer some accomodation and an established training venue for those who come from afar to spend 3-7 days with us in prayer and Bible training. I can see that this will be a great blessing for many.”

Supporters from the UK and Australia have given generously to establish this training centre, and we’re excited to partner together in expanding the work of SGM Lifewords in Indonesia.

Praise God!

 

Billy Graham insisted on this one thing…

I recently read that whenever Billy Graham would preach, he would insist that the scriptures were handed to every person who would make a response. He didn’t rely on his words to stay with people, but encouraged them to go on and read the Bible for themselves.
These days, most preachers deliver their message and hope that the listeners would go away and remember something from the sermon. We hope that they will take the initiative to remember some references and go and find it in their personal time. This might be ok for a few of our most committed followers, but guests and visitors will rarely follow up on what they’ve heard unless we actively guide them.
This Easter, many visitors will join our church services and events. This presents an opportunity to not just preach the Word but to actually leave people with a portion of God’s word. Sure, many people will be reading the scriptures on their phone or tablet, which is great. Some will just look at the screen where the scriptures are often provided during the service. But how much better if we are deliberate in giving them a gift of God’s word!? How much more impact if we can hand them a portion of scripture, a gospel or booklet that provides some relevant guidance for the season?
SGM Lifewords is passionate about providing God’s word to those who will rarely encounter it for themselves. We’re providing The Way to Life as a great gift of Scripture this Easter. It takes people on a journey to knowing God, and would be a great companion to give at Easter services this year.

 

 

Some of the faces blessed by Aussie Mums!

The Aussie Mums 4 Indo Kids Christmas campaign was all about sharing Christmas generosity with children and the city poor who never get to experience Christmas. So many of you added some children to your Christmas list, providing a present, lunch and a care pack to over 1250 kids in Indonesia! Here’s some of the faces of those who were blessed. We’d like to say THANK YOU and we hope you join us again next year!

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Giving Christmas to kids who never get one!

2015 was the first year of our Aussie Mums 4 Indo Kids campaign where over 140 Aussie Mums - Christmas lunch ran out_KFCreplacementAussie Mums gave so that Indonesian street children can get Christmas. These kids watch as the middle and upper class celebrate Christmas among themselves, and our Lifewords team thought it was not good enough to enjoy Christmas knowing that these kids go without. Surely we can make a difference – and we have!!

 

AussieMums - Christmas gifts2Over 1250 kids were blessed because of the generosity of Aussie Mums, who really know how to give great gifts at Christmas. In the Western world, we often make the mistake of circulating generosity among ourselves and forget those who have nothing! Not this year. $11,000 was raised to share with Indonesian Kids, and we’re sure that this is just the start. These photos show some of the kids who received a Christmas gift, lunch and a Care Pack containing toiletries and hygiene kits. When they received their gifts, so many of children were overwhelmed with the thought that people in another country would care for them and make Christmas special for them.

“I didn’t know I would get a present this Christmas. But them Mr Gunar came and we sang some songs with the group, ate lunch together and then received a present. It is my first present.” Assa, 12 yrs old

AussieMums - Christmas Gifts_GunarGunar (pictured) has felt so blessed that Aussie Mums would think that his ministry is valuable enough to support. They would honestly work with thousands of people living in shanty towns and city slums, and for them to be able to provide Christmas is a HUGE blessing to their ministry. And although the goal was originally $12,500 for 1250 kids, our team were able to make the $11,195 spread to still reach 1250 kids, even if the last few ended up with KFC boxes! But they were still happy, as it was the first time they had every had KFC!

One final thought: Our Lifewords team know these kids by name. They work with them week-in, week-out. They regularly bring rice and milk as they run education programs, outreach events and weekend ministry. To provide Christmas is like the icing on the cake to a fruitful year of ministry and hard work. Thanks so much for being part of it!!

 

AussieMums- Christmas gifts4

Aussie Mums for Indo Kids – Christmas Campaign

LAUNCH DATE: Monday, 9th November!!!

Aussies are generous and love giving gifts at Christmas. There’s plenty of feasting, gifts and happiness – and it’s great! Our Lifewords team in Indonesia are working weekly in poor communities, spreading that same love & generosity to street kids and orphans.

Last year, our Indonesian Director, Gunar, and a team of students wanted to bring Christmas joy to those who never get to celebrate. They took whatever funds they could muster up and bought gifts and lunch for the city poor who have to watch on as everyone else does Christmas. And, wow, what an impact for that community! The reality is that if Gunar and team had more funds, they could do the same for so many more. Here’s where we step in…

With a team of volunteers and a bunch of generous Aussies behind them, we can join Gunar and give Christmas to 1250 of the street poor who would be blown away by the love shared with them. It’s not that hard for us, but would mean the world to them!

We would love it if you joined the cause and helped make it happen. The action step is super-simple: $10 gives Christmas to an Indo kid. $100 = 10 kids. You get the drift. You would bless those kids MASSIVELY!! Better still, we’d love you to become an advocate and sign up for a “personal fundraiser page” in the top right corner here! Pick a target goal for yourself and get family & friends to join your cause as you become an Aussie mum for an Indo kid this Christmas.

View the campaign and join at www.aussiemums4indokids.causevox.com

UPDATES


 

WE’RE AT 200 KIDS!!! PLEASE JOIN US HERE

 

The passing of a supporter leaves a significant financial gap

We have been blessed to have amazing core supporters who give to our organisation monthly in order to see the general ministry continue. This is the part of charity work that is not glamorous – keeping the bills paid, the staff on board and the government happy. However, a number of people believe so much in what we do and the impact we make that they support the general work of SGM Lifewords so we can continue to do our mission after 127 years running.

Sadly, last month we lost one of our longest supporters of the SGM mission in Australia. This person was not highly verbal, nor did they want to be named as a financial supporter. They just wanted to see God’s word advance and liked that we had such a rich legacy of sending millions of scriptures around the world to areas that need it most. They gave us $250/month to contribute to our general funds, which helped immensely! That is so important for us at the moment, as we have been re-establishing our work in Australia and building up our support so we can not only be self-sustaining but also be a resource hub for the Asia-Pacific region!

Over many decades, the Lord has raised up different people to see his work continue. We have faith that as some go to be with the Lord, he will see the baton passed to the next generation. We are praying that God would stir people to support our work. Even the unglamorous of supporting us organisationally. We want to be a healthy organisation. We want to keep publishing scriptures and getting them to the thousands of people who can least afford them. It’s an exciting time for SGM Lifewords, and we are really taking ground. Our prayer is that you would join us in the mission and consider becoming a core monthly supporter, continuing the legacy that our dear friend has left for others to take on.

If you’d like to contribute monthly, please write an email with the subject “core support” at australia@sgmlifewords.com 

How does an Indonesian Bible College graduate get a job?

Imagine studying for 5 years and then having no job to go to!? This is the situation for many Bible College graduates who have a passion for reaching the lost and making an impact in their community.

Pak Jimmy studied theology for 5 years, feeling a call to do church planting and reach out to the poor. Last year, he graduated from the Moriah Theological Seminary and was teaching part-time at Pelita Dunia, the sister college that focuses on mission to the poor and church planting. He didn’t study his degree to teach in the College though; his heart is for those in the village areas who never receive the gospel.

“When I found the Lord, my life was changed. Jesus Christ changed my whole perspective and outlook on life. And he has called me to bring this same good news to others. I think of the people in the village I grew up in, and I just want to reach people like them. So many have nothing and not much hope, but I can bring hope in Jesus.”

Earlier this year, we wrote to you about Pak Jimmy, asking if anyone would support him as he starts a ministry in the area of Bumi Indah, Tangerang. In faith, he had already started a small school for primary-aged children who can’t get to a school. He had no money to even start that, so Pak Gunar Sahari (SGM Lifewords) and our team gave support to help him make a start. 4 College students are spending their “field ministry” year with him, teaching daily classes which now have 110 children attending. Now they have started a mid-week Bible study group with 40 adults attending, and Pak Jimmy is now ready to move his family into the community and work full time.

When we launched a student sponsorship program 2 years ago, we wanted to get alongside College students who were actively putting into practice the things they were learning. They are active every weekend with outreaches that reach and serve the poor. Most students are from poor communities themselves, and so we still actively support their work as we fulfil our SGM Lifewords mission to bring God’s life words to those who need it most.

Pak Jimmy was one of our first Lifewords’ sponsored students.

Now he is a mature graduate, the oldest in his class and a man with passion and authority. The amazing thing is that some Aussies have really got behind the vision and we praise God that a number of people made a response to the story and request to support Pak Jimmy. It’s exciting to think that we can have a part to play in a new generation of church leaders who are planting churches which are growing and reaching the lost and bringing hope to those who need it most!

Thank you for sharing this mission and burden for the lost. We see thousands of Bible booklets shared by these students and graduates. There are 5 more graduates who are starting ministries in the coming months, so if you’d like to join the mission, please don’t hesitate to contact dan.hardie@sgmlifewords.com to get on board.