Temannya Guru Sekolah Minggu – Sunday school teachers' friend

A Living Visual Aid (2)

She did not teach us such a big complicated thing but simple, just as simple as she lived. She always wore the same type of loose dress which she made herself. But she always had a fresh looking with the fresh colour and design of her dress, also her short cut grey hair. She enjoyed our Indonesian food, and I never forget how she licked her fingers when she ate the famous Valencia oranges from Batu.

She was very happy when in 1980 I went to Bible College and took Christian Education as my major. But when our government wouldn’t renew her visa and work permit she had to move to another province. She took her loyal house helper and dog with her. Although we all missed her a lot, we rejoiced that God allowed her to serve in Magelang, Central Java.

Sometimes we saw her again when we invited her to lead a Vacation Bible School in our church. In Magelang, she served from 1980 in the same denomination as in Malang and become an elder of the church until she could no longer get a visa in 1989. I realised how we had missed her big, heartwarming smile and the simplicity that encouraged us to be humble Sunday school teachers. She did not look beautiful physically but the beauty of her heart shined through and made her very special.

This lady is an Australian but she grew-up in South Africa while her parents were working there as missionaries.  So when she had to leave Indonesia, she chose to go to South Africa and lived there. But since then she has come to visit her friends in Malang and especially her old house helper in Magelang two times. And she continued to send money to her faithful house helper, who has since come to faith in Jesus. Unfortunately her old house helper has passed away sometime ago.

She never knew that I have been transferring what she taught me thirty years ago to every Sunday school teacher who attended the Sunday school teachers’ training and workshops. And I have been doing this in Java for almost twenty five years. I applied her lessens to every child who attended children’s revival meetings, vacation Bible schools and camps, whether in churches or schools. My sister has been doing the same in Sydney, Australia. Both of us have been using her Sunday School Teachers’ Workshop handout as our main module.

It is very sad that I lost contact with her. I wish I could tell her how much impact that she has given to my life. I wish I could let her know that the Lord gave me a special vision and mission to serve my own people and country since the government stopped issuing visas to missionaries. The Lord called and sent Miss Beryl Nelson Eksteen as an OMF missionary to serve and love Indonesian people, until she couldn’t get another visa. I don’t need a visa to stay in my own country, so I have to continue her labors in the same field.

She always used simple visual aids she made herself to teach us and help us concretely understand her teaching. She is a living visual aid made by the Lord to teach us of the beauty of Jesus, to make us remember deep in our hearts that Jesus loves the little children – all the children of the world.

I hope that I still have the opportunity to let her know what the Lord has been doing through her loving labor in Indonesia. She will always be a very special model in my heart.

🙂 eva kristiaman

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