In Indonesia, a Musl*m country, it is illegal for children to change their religion until they are 18. It is also against the law to proselytize children. Christian ministries, as you might imagine are generally unwelcome. So, how does GlobalFingerprints serve children in this context?
A central tenet of GlobalFingerprints strategy is working through trusted indigenous partners. GlobalFingerprints provides the infrastructure and sponsors but a local partner runs the program on the ground. This empowers national Christians to care for their own children in need.
In Indonesia our national partner is a non-profit library organization run by many brothers and sisters in Christ. Many communities in Indonesia do not have a library. This non-profit establishes libraries and runs various literacy programs throughout the week. The library becomes a cultural hub in the community. It also affords opportunities for these Christians to build relationships within the community so they can share the love of Christ.
The library workers regularly hear of families in the community who are having serious difficulties. They reach out to these families and assess the needs of the child. If a child’s need is severe, GlobalFingerprints registers the child and seeks a sponsor. When a sponsor is found, GlobalFingerprints provides the funds to meet the educational, nutritional and medical needs of the child.
Neither the child or the family know they are part of GlobalFingerprints. They are simply told that generous outside donors want to help them. For security reasons, the sponsors do not write the children in Indonesia but the GlobalFingerprints workers provide regular updates about the children they sponsor.
It is easy to see how this helps meet the physical needs of the child, but what about their spiritual needs? As you know, GlobalFingerprints puts a priority on meeting the spiritual needs of children.
There are two ways spiritual needs are addressed in this context. First of all, when a child is sponsored through GlobalFingerprints they are regularly visited in their home. This is a key part of our program. During these visits, the Christian workers are able to speak openly about their faith with the parents. Because the homes are small, this inevitably becomes a family affair. By ministering to the parents we are able to minister to the whole family.
Programs through the library also minister to the children. Although, they are not overtly about Christ, the programs do very intentionally teach a Biblical world view. The goal is to provide fertile soil for the gospel as the child reaches adulthood and can make their own decision.
There are many children in Indonesia who have great physical needs. But even more importantly they need to know the love Jesus has for them. If you would like to sponsor a child in Indonesia or any other country where GlobalFingerprints serves, click here.