Some stories from our partner churches across Asia can inspire us in our faith journey. Some can cause us to reflect on similar journeys which we may have been on as a church, while others remind us about what is important. In some ways, this story from Inandangan, a Malaysian kindergarten teacher, does all three. […]
Some stories from our partner churches across Asia can inspire us in our faith journey. Some can cause us to reflect on similar journeys which we may have been on as a church, while others remind us about what is important. In some ways, this story from Inandangan, a Malaysian kindergarten teacher, does all three.
I am a teacher at a Christian kindergarten in Sabah, which is run by the local Protestant Church in Sabah congregation. I believe, for the sake of the children’s faith, it is important for my church to have a kindergarten. My congregation’s story, and the challenges of learning about Jesus, could be the story of many of our congregations.
The Mekar kindergarten in Timug, Malaysia, sits in its local community and provides a link between education for children and the local church. While some of the families who have children attending the kindergarten, worship weekly, they are not necessarily teaching faith in the daily lives of their children. Although some people in the community like to have a Christian status, they do not necessarily participate in Sunday services.
Therefore, although every child who attends Mekar kindergarten is Christian, they are not necessarily worshipping with the church community or practicing faith in the home.
I believe there are three distinct benefits for my congregation running a kindergarten.
Firstly, reading your Bible and taking it to church with you helps you to develop faith and become stronger in your love for Jesus, building hope to help you get through trials. God’s word helps me to love myself and those around me, even when others hurt me.
The children are given their own Bible and are taught Bible verses to share with their parents at home. This has encouraged many parents to bring their Bible to church, a practice that had fallen away. The kindergarten provides this kind of faith teaching. We sing worship songs and teach the Bible. The children enjoy the teachings and want to attend Sunday School.
Secondly, the children are taught to pray. The older generation have commented on the children saying grace before a meal at home. If the parents forget, the children remind them.
The third benefit of a Christian kindergarten is that it is welcoming of students with a disability. We practise social inclusion and those who attend know that Jesus’ love does not differentiate. His love is for all. This is important to model in Malaysian culture.
I know that God has called me into my role here and I thank him for the opportunity to serve in this way.
This story was also published in the August 2021 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.
Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray
Read more stories about our partner churches in Malaysia (Sabah) at https://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/malaysia-sabah/