Beautiful Feet Reaches Rusen Island

by | Nov 19, 2020 | 0 comments

Beautiful Feet Reaches Rusen Island

Remember Elisa and Michael, MSI’s TransformNation students who graduated in July? They have arrived at Rusen Island and have been teaching the students there. Together with MSI Site Leaders, Dean, Jita, and Xavier, they are serving a community of Papuan coastal indigenous people. This is their story:

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It took a full day’s trip to reach Rusen Island. The Rusen archipelago is located in the northern part of Papua. After landing at the nearest airport, we still needed to cross the sea for 3 hours via speed boat, followed by 2 hours of driving to get to the island.

Here, members of our team carry out the vision of reaching out to the children of this island by influencing local leaders who share the goal of improving local education systems.

For the past three month, we have been teaching children in Sadori Village.

Located in the southern part of the island, Sadori village is a very beautiful place. Unfortunately, higher education is something not many locals are privileged enough to have; data from 2019 shows that only 60% of children complete their high school diplomas.

In fact, we found that a large number of children struggle with illiteracy – even junior and high school students have difficulties with reading and writing. There is a wide discrepancy between the provisions of education in the island compared to that of bigger metropolitan areas in Indonesia: here, elementary students are only required to be able to spell, whereas in big cities, kindergarten students are already expected to read fluently as per the Indonesian national standard of education.

Our team has been ministering to the indigenous children. We focus our efforts in building close relationships with them so that they are comfortable in sharing and being open with us.

On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, we serve the children in the orphanage while every Wednesday and Friday we serve the children in the village. We teach them school subjects such as reading and mathematics, in addition to everyday values such as how to keep proper personal hygiene and how to read God’s Word. Nowadays, with the Coronavirus pandemic, we also teach the children about healthy lifestyle and habits.

When it comes to the challenges we face, the biggest one has to be the complexity of local governance procedures. The social restrictions related to the Coronavirus crisis has halted many of our activities. Barriers come in the form of limited facilities available for programs, limited electricity, and poor internet access. Teaching support tools and equipment have also become limited, but as educators we come prepared with a joyful heart, ready to minister at any given time.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring the good news! (Isaiah 5 2:7a, NIV)

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