This was a Jaw Dropper
Even though I’ve seen the church at work in many countries and among hosts of tribes, I was not prepared for what I witnessed in Jakarta,Indonesia.
Lily and I were attending the Global Christian Forum, a new and creative venture bringing together representatives of 90% of Christians world wide. En route we visited Kirk and Shelley Kaufeldt, VP of Student Life at a university in Jakarta.
I heard it was a Christian university, but with all of my stereotypes in place, I assumed it to be a typically two-thirds world educational community, struggling to survive, especially since it is located in a Muslim dominated nation, in a nation boasting a population of 245 million, the 4th largest populated nation in the world. I’ve been to Indonesia before and heard the sad stories of Muslim oppression and Christians losing their lives. I couldn’t expect much from such a place.
We drove on to the campus and my jaw dropped.
The campus is stunning. It has over 10,000 students. It is very evangelical. It includes a medical training hospital, Olympic size pools, and a strategy to build campuses all over Indonesia. It has no fund raising for capital. Capital costs come from the business enterprises of the family. It charges a reasonable tuition rate, but not too high for the economy, but enough to insure its students are serious. It is approved by the accrediting authority and has full university status with the Indonesian government.
Following Kirk into the student cafeteria, more modern than anything I’ve seen inCanadaI said, “Well Kirk, so this is your average Christian centre of education in a third world, Muslim controlled nation?”
How did this come about?
A family, begun by a father deeply committed to the spread of the Gospel and the evangelical message, followed by his son, has built one of the largest business enterprises inIndonesia. They have chosen to make education and medical care their primary ministry. Educationally they have primary and secondary schools throughout the islands. The School of Education at the university is reserved for Christians. They are given full scholarships for four years, with promise to spend four years teaching in one of the associated schools upon graduation.
Hospitals are developed, not a money making enterprises but to encourage people to cross the barrier of fear and get medical treatment.
Oh yes, you’d be interested I knowing the university called UPH University (Universitas Pelita Harapan) stands for hope and light.
Here, tucked away in the fourth populated country in the world is a vision driven by a Christian family and their enterprise to engage their world in the love and message of the Lord, focusing on two areas, through which that witness can shine with hope.
A good reminder that the Spirit is ever about his work in places we might despair.