Goodby, Pastor Benjamin. This past week an international friend of Catalyst Missions passed away after a long illness. Pastor Benjamin Sanam served at House of Hope, a children's home on Timor island in Indonesia. House of Hope is run by K-PACT Ministries. When Catalyst Missions makes oursemi-annual trips to Indonesia to train pastors, we stay at K-PACT. This is where, in 2015, we met Pastor Benjamin. Pastor Benjamin served with his wife Nining as a house parent to over 60 children. Some of these children have no parents at all. The majority come from families who cannot afford to care for them, often because their fathers have abandoned their mothers. At House of Hope they are loved and cared for, taught English, and hear the Gospel regularly. Pastor Benjamin played an important role in caring for the children’s physical and spiritual needs. Every night he would sit with the children and help them with their homework, just like any father would. However in his case he was aiding dozens of children each evening. His love and compassion towards the House of Hope children was just as obvious as his love for his own daughters.
The school age children of House of Hope attend Kasih Karunia, a theological school located on-site at K-PACT. Over 200 children, grades K-11, attend the school. Each year the school is growing in number, adding grades, and constructing new buildings. It is a gospel ministry to the community. For many Indonesian communities the best schools are Islamic schools. K-PACT aims to offer education as good, or better, than the Islamic schools while teaching students a Christian worldview. In 2019 Kasih Karunia will graduate it’s first class of seniors.
The presence of so many children make K-PACT a delightful place to serve. One of our trainers described it as, “Maybe the happiest place I’ve ever been in my life.” Words do not do it justice. Children playing. Children working. Children studying. Children singing. Everywhere children, but always laughing. If you travel with Catalyst to K-PACT you can leave your alarm clock at home. By 5:00 AM you are awakened by the sound of the children singing their morning devotional songs. (Or occasionally by an early riser practicing the drums!) At night the children gather for evening devotional. Older students take turns leading the songs by guitar and calling out whose turn it is to pray.
During the daytime hours all the kids at House of Hope have chores. Everyone at K-PACT chips in to do the work of the ministry there. You will see children as young as 5 sweeping. A group pre-teens routinely gather to peel garlic. Older kids make a weekly trek to the river to wash clothes. Students learn valuable life skills such as gardening and cooking. All of it is done in peace and joy.
This week the joy will be mixed with sadness. Pastor Benjamin will be deeply missed. For many children at K-PACT he is the only father they have ever known. We grieve for House or Hope. Still, we do not grieve as those who have no hope. We know that in addition to being healed of all his infirmities, Pastor Benjamin has heard the words of the Lord, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” We thank God to have known him.
On March 2 a Catalyst team departs for Indonesia to train pastors in Church History. This will be the 7th Module at this location. Please pray for our team. September will be the graduation trip for this group of trainees! The leaders of K-PACT have asked us to bring a large team that can teach the students so that the school teachers can attend our final training. We need teachers! Consider joining us. This trip is one of our family friendly locations. One of our pastor trainers routinely takes his spouse, who teaches choir to the students. Middle and High School students have traveled with us to serve in House of Hope. Opportunities to serve this fall include teaching English, Bible, arts and crafts, music, and sports. The possibilities are as endless as the needs. Will you consider joining us? To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.