Martin and Sayaka Kadir
(Matthew 19:13-15, 5:13-16)
The past, the present, and the future of Isaiah Institute Indonesia
Our main goals standing before you are now being to provide a brief overview of what we did, what we are, and what we will do through Isaiah Institute Indonesia. I think half of the people here today never heard of Isaiah Institute Indonesia history. It is a good thing because it is a proof that so many newcomers in your church.
First of all, let’s open one part of the Bible that became the basis what Isaiah Institute hold on to (Matthew 19:13-15)
13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
A picture of this passage had come up in my mind. I may just be one of the fathers who did the same thing to send my son to Jesus.
Why not the adults or parents? Why did Jesus call children receive his blessing?
Imagine these children. They had no doubt to Jesus. They just wanted to be closer to Jesus. Children saw Jesus was there so they just run to Jesus.
One thing that is the most important thing from my sermon today.
Jesus loves children, Jesus loves their purity, their ignorance. The disciples tried to stop children when they run to Jesus. But Jesus didn’t say don’t come to me to children. I guess it is normal what disciples did. We adults try to behave politely when we see someone like a teacher. The disciples thought Jesus was busy to talk to people. The disciples thought children bothered Jesus.
But Jesus was the one who wanted to hug and bless the children.
The story in this passage ends with a very wonderful scene, in which Jesus hugs, putting his hands over them and bless the children. We can see how precious the children are for Jesus! This is the foundation of Isaiah Institute Indonesia.
I guess I need to share a little bit more about Indonesia first so that all of you can draw a line connected from Isaiah Institute Indonesia and Indonesia. There are 5 official religions in Indonesia (87.2% Islam, 0.7% Buddhism, 1.7% Hinduism, 2.9% Catholicism, and 6.9% Protestantism). One of country’s foundation tells that ‘the divinity of the one true God’, signifying that we are Indonesian people value matters related to God. It is pity once a country holds the basic principles of God turns that to the most sniper tool to divisive and build the walls dividing among different religions until now. I can say that I am an example of ‘victim’ of a country that holds the principle of ‘Divinity’.
I came from Bandung city in Indonesia. Bandung is the capital of West Java province, located about 180 kilometers southeast of Jakarta. Bandung is the third largest city in Indonesia by population with over 2.4 million.
I was born and raised in a multicultural Christian family, my dad an Indonesia of Chinese descent and my mom a descendant of Japanese-Chinese-Indonesian. That is why I have a brighter skin color than common Indonesian people. There are two ‘types’ of Indonesian citizens, original citizens or descendants of other citizens (Arabian, Indian, Chinese, etc.). Born and raised with a lot of advices on who I should be friends, my religion is superior, yours are bad, etc.
These things have rooted in my heart, made my heart harden and this is not true. I began to feel there was something wrong as I grew up, the more relationships I make with friends of other religions and races, but I don’t find anything terrible with getting along with anyone.
Although there are indeed conflicting between religions and races in Indonesia. Even my family doesn’t agree with what we are doing for the Muslim community.
When we started the project of Isaiah Institute Indonesia, I admit I would deal with many different tribes, races, religions, and social status directly. There may be a lot of people would have been suspicious about the activities we were initially associated with the ‘social’ thing. They are concerned about what I am doing is just a tricky tool to Christianize them as most Christians in Indonesia do. That is wrong.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them. To love the world, yes, that’s our only reason. Now what we all do through Isaiah Institute Indonesia that has been running more than 7 years, every event, donations, prayers, everything we do based on to love them like Jesus loves them.
Jesus never chooses who is more superior or who is less superior.
For Jesus, we are all equal.
Now I would like to get you closer to the history and what are the things we have been doing so far through Isaiah institute Indonesia.
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami struck. Our best friends Alex and Valerie Garza were visiting the islands of Thailand when the Asian Tsunami struck the area, this incident totally changed their lives and because of this experience they desired to help the tsunami victims in Sri Lanka.
2005-2007 Isaiah Institute established in Sri Lanka. Isaiah Institute started helping Tsunami victims and focused on children. Providing educational support and medical aid. Dental & Medical camp, offered free dental and medical screening for over 300 children in Sri Lanka.
2009-2010 Isaiah Institute Indonesia started working for street children in Bandung City-Indonesia. Visited some organizations in Indonesia. The first project for PAUD Nurul Huda provided school supplies.
2011 Isaiah Institute founder Valerie Garza passed away unexpectedly and left many things had not completed yet. For this reason Isaiah Institute Sri Lanka couldn’t continue it’s works. On the other hand, we desired to focus more on Indonesian street children.
2011 -2016 PAUD Nurul Huda project provided school supplies and office supplies and field trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken, play land, Hoka-hoka bento Japanese restaurant, and swimming pool.
2014 Provided a building and supported PAUD Nurul Huda to register officially at the Indonesian ministry of justice and human rights.
For many of you might know our plans to move to Indonesia. One of the reasons we are planning to move back to Indonesia is to be there, we believe the scope of Isaiah Institute Indonesia will be more extensive.
Isaiah Institute Indonesia will continue to work for street children in the city of Bandung generally live in the slums. According to the research, the number of street children in Bandung has reached 4000 children (2012).
Nurul Huda is taking a responsibility of 167 kids now. 70% of street children in Bandung dropped out from school because of economy matter. Most parents let their children go out to the street to work as a beggar because kids get more money than adults. The age range of street children in Bandung is from 5 to 17 years old.
Our next goal is to find a better place so they can have a new spirit instead of their current difficult conditions. The passion to change things not becoming the same with the current situation. They can have a secure and enough place to get support for their physical and mental development. People in this community or representatives of these children can also get benefits directly from such shelter. Lastly but not the least is we want to urge local government to involve more to support these communities.
We highly appreciate and thank you so much for the cooperation that is created so far. Please continue to pray and support children in Indonesia in the future as well. It’s the first week of Advent today. We would like to remember people in need in this Christmas time. Thank you.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”. (Matthew 5:13-16)