Raising a Dream in A Child

Oleh: Hans Geni Arthanto, MA

Raising a Dream in A Child

Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho, a pastor at a largest church which located in Seoul, South Korea, said, “Dream is a language of the Holy Spirit”. When Jacob threatened to be killed by Esau, he left his home and ran out, and when he was Bethel, he fell asleep and dreamt. In his dream he saw a stairway with its top reaching to heaven and he saw God’s angels were ascending and descending on it. God was standing there and said that Jacob’s descendants would be in great quantities, spread out to all directions, and all the peoples would be blessed through his offspring. God even promised that He would not leave Jacob and watch over him (Genesis 28:11-19). By his dream, Jacob then found a courage to continue his journey to Haran to see Laban his uncle.

Joseph was called a ‘dreamer’ by his brothers. He dreamt that his brothers’ sheaves of grain bowed down to his sheaf; also Joseph dreamt the sun, moon and eleven stars were bowing down to him. Surely his brothers and parents became angry because they thought Joseph paced himself higher above them and despised them. On the other hand, the dreams gave Joseph strength and he could survived in facing difficult situations, til the dreams became real.

Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968) was a Baptist church priest in Montgomery, Alambama, who persistently fought for thirteen years, had been arrested and put into jail for several times, until he was assasinated in 1963 in Memphis, Tennesse. In his famous speech that took place in Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC (1963), he said: “..I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” His death and struggle were not for nothing, many significant changes then happened. In 1966, 44% of black people (is it common to call them ‘black people’? or more polite to call them ‘afro-american’?) become intellectual workers, 23% of Afro-American people at the age 18 to 24 registered in universities. They are also into politics, not only to elect but many Afro-American hold positions as high rank government officials. Among of them is General Colin Powel who was a high-rank government official and the State Secretary under the George W. Bush administration (2001), Condoleeza Rice who became the National Security Advisor and the US Secretary of State during Bush’ administration. To top it off, this year 2009, Barrack Obama succeeded in getting sympathy from the majority of the people in US and become the first Afro-American president of the USA. Indeed to make a dream becomes real is not something instantly, it requires such a long time even a life time. What Martin Luther King, Jr had dreamed was actually rooted from a strive against slavery fought by William Wilberforce (1759-1833) in the end of the 18th century in England and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) in America – until he announced he abolished slavery on January 1, 1862, ten months after he became the 16th president of the USA. Imagine, a long struggle, almost two hundred years ago..but finally came true.

One time on a visit to a village in West Kalimantan, when a little boy was asked, “What is your dream?”, the boy was silent, shook his head and said that he had no dream. As long as he is able to read and write then he would quit school and start working to help his parent – just like what other children do in his village. For all he knows is to work to make a living, run a life like most people, there is nothing more to achieve.

On the other hand, many people have dreams but cannot reach them, they take their dreams to their grave, they die not in an ‘emptiness’. Therefore a grave is a rich place because many wishes and big dreams have no time to become real or no courage to make them come true.

It is then very important to encourage children, especially those who live in villages (isolated, far from information access and cannot see many role models), so that they can have dreams they can achieve for a better future. As Jacob dreamt and gained courage to continue his life journey and Joseph dreamt and had strength to face all kinds of life challenges until he fulfilled his dreams; so the dreams of village children can also be a strength and courage to fulfil God’s plan in their lives.

 

Shalom!

I believe you are under the shadow of the Almighty and are receiving His abundant blessings.

God’s guidance upon us is so real, and this has been reflected through what He has done through us, His servants, during 2008. We walked on the year based on the previous vision, “Strengthening Church, Developing Generation”. We wish to give dreams to village children and put our best effort in making their dreams come true. We would deliver them to reach their dreams in the bright future.

As a result of His blessing, of your support and our ministry together, we have been working on more areas and reaching more people. In 2008 the number of children served through formal education had reached 5000 children and the number increases every year to average growth of 8,5%. We even have been sponsoring and educating 427 poor village children by Future Center program in which hundreds of local congregation have given their supports heartily.

Also, together hand in hand, we empowered churches in villages through various of training and seminar. Hundreds of people had been equipped through a training to become kindergarten teachers and child workers with a vision. Christian families who live in villages were strengthened through the family development seminar, and in 2008 there had been nearly 300 couples equipped, and the multiplication was expected to be soon followed. It was estimated that there were thousands of village families had been blessed through this seminar.

Even in the middle of global crisis, we would still be able to give though not in abundance. Tens of children under five in Banyumasan who suffered from bad nutrition had received additional nutrition treatment for the whole two months. And other programs were reported went well with significant growth.

The year 2008 was truly a year of blessing for our ministry. Our prayer is that 2009 will continue to be a year of blessing for all of us, our ministry and we can continue to be a blessing to many people in villages.

God bless you.

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