New Hope Learning Center
One of the main concerns expressed by refugee parents is the education of their children during this period of waiting. Since most children do not get to attend the local schools, we wanted to educate these refugee children for more than just two hours every Saturday. In 2018, we did not have the manpower to pull this off, as most people willing to help worked during the day. While visiting some refugees in June, however, David Paul discovered that some of the refugees new to the Serpong area had been teaching at the detention center in which they previously stayed. And so, by the end of that day, we had already recruited seven refugee teachers to join us in this ministry and start a learning center.
We opened our learning center on Sept 2, 2019 with about 70 kids in attendance and 8 refugee teachers, 2 International Teachers College (ITC) students, and 5 Indonesian volunteers teaching these children. We offered four subjects at first: Mathematics, English, Art, and Indonesian. We hope that we can help prepare these children for their future host countries by educating them. Currently, the in-person NHLC is closed down due to Covid-19 and we hope to restart at the appropriate time.
Some of our initial NHLC teachers
After closing for about 10 months due to the pandemic, NHLC reopened its metaphorical doors on January 28, 2021, with online English classes. This soon expanded to the point where we now offer 8 subjects (English, Math, Science, Reading, Geography, History, Art, and Indonesian Language), all online, compared to only 4 from when we first started NHLC in September 2019. At the moment, we have 70 students, 6-18 years old, from not only the Serpong area but also Jakarta and Bogor! We have been blessed with 30 volunteer teachers holding classes from all across the world (Indonesia, Australia, Singapore, and the US).
Online NHLC teacher meeting on November 14, 2021
Meet Our Teachers
Some of our teachers explain why they volunteered to teach at the learning center.
Angie Kisk, Science teacher
"I've been teaching Reading Class at NHLC since Fall 2022. I love teaching and I've been praying for a ministry. And when a friend of mine asked me to help her teach, it was like an answered prayer.
I love to see the smile and the excitement of the refugee kids every time they join the class."
- Irene Wirjadi teacher
"Teaching with NHLC is a privilege God gave to me to be able to share His love to other people through Teaching Bahasa Indonesia. Before joining NHLC online in the 2022 Fall semester, I joined this Ministry when I was a university student, teaching English to Kids in Gading Serpong. I felt blessed when I heard that the Ministry is growing bigger than before and we can teach more kids.
I enjoy teaching them because they really give their heart to learning in the midst of online teaching. Another thing is, sometimes, they will share about their hopes for the future, and I can bring it into my prayers. And the last thing I really enjoy is how they try their best to learn about Bahasa and they never give up trying to speak little by little.
May God continue to bless our ministry for His Glory Alone."
- Erni Nadeak, Indonesian teacher
"It is my passion to teach, so I took the opportunity to join NHLC in teaching refugee kids, ages 6-8, Art. I enjoy teaching the refugees because they are excited to learn and engage with the lesson well."
- Elizabeth Probst, Art teacher
"Throughout my life I have learned so many things, such as language, science, math and even simple things like learning how to ride a bike. From all these new things that I have learned, there is this feeling that never gets old; the feeling of achievement and happiness. Knowing that many children are not as lucky as I am in getting these diverse experiences and the education I have been blessed with, I just felt encouraged to teach these refugee children. I made it my main goal to teach at NHLC in order to do what I can to help these refugee children feel what I feel and get what I get.
Getting to know my students has been a truly rewarding experience. Some of the things that I enjoyed about teaching these refugee children include watching them try their best just to answer a single math problem, and seeing their interests in exploring new fields in mathematics, and, most importantly, connecting with them and sharing laughs together. They possess the greatest qualities from their humor to their intelligence, which, sadly, in today’s society are often overlooked. With this, I don’t think I will stop teaching these refugee children any time soon. How can I?"
- Kenzie Liem, Math teacher
"When I was a freshman in college, I went on a short-term service trip to St. Louis, MO, where I volunteered at an organization that helps refugees settle down in the area. After graduating from college and returning to Indonesia, I learned about NHLC, and my interest in helping refugees was rekindled. My favorite part about teaching my students has been the discussions we have in class. My students ask me difficult, thought-provoking questions about the stories we read, then they come up with answers that even I was unable to think of. Their insight and eagerness to learn have brought me much joy. I leave every class feeling energized and refreshed, and I always look forward to the following week when I can meet my students again. I have been blessed greatly through teaching at NHLC!"
- Yovela Belicia, Reading teacher
"I chose to teach in NHLC because it is by far the most meaningful thing that I've done. In school, we would learn about the theoretical ways we could make an impact, but here I am able to truly do so in a practical way. It is such a joy to see the kids I teach learn and engage in the different things we discuss. They always seem so curious and eager to learn every time we are in class."
- Divo Harsono, Math teacher
"I chose to teach at NHLC quite simply because God has called me here to fill a need. It's not noble or magnanimous. The Holy Spirit said go and I went. I’m a Calvinist, so I don’t even get to take credit for any obedience. Teaching at NHLC is God’s gracious gift to me to have the opportunity to share the love of Christ by giving to the wayfarer and meeting their needs, and leaving the fruitfulness of the endeavor in the hands of the Living God, Jesus Christ, the creator of Heaven and Earth. I most enjoy sharing the things that I have in common with these refugee children, the love of homeland, the beauty of creation, and our juxtaposition in time and space. Geography is a great subject to explore these sublime things."
- Warren Baker, Geography teacher
"I am pretty excited about the opportunity to teach at New Hope! Something I so appreciate about NHRM is how organic it is. It can be messy at times, trying to teach someone who does not speak very much English, but it provides an opportunity to really cut through all the noise and clutter of performance-based education and perceive the true core of learning: as educators, we are shaping our students — we are planting seeds. And with time, patience, and a little love, it is amazing what even the crudest forms of education can produce in a student over the entire course of his or her life.
What initially drew me to NHRM is that it reaches out to those going through difficult circumstances. This is both something I can relate to and the vehicle God has used in my own life to bring the truth of the Gospel in a way that has fundamentally transformed me. Elyse M. Fitzpatrick writes, 'I am more sinful and flawed than I ever dared believe, more loved and welcomed than I ever dared hope.' I never knew how much God loved me until I was at the end of my rope. I never knew the truth of Fitzpatrick’s quote until God showed me by allowing me to experience failure, rejection, and suffering. It was pain that opened my heart to the healing power of the gospel; and disappointment that made the love of God so irresistible to me!"
- David Stark, Science teacher
Amelia Jukita, Indonesian Language teacher
"When one of my friends informed me that there was an opening for volunteer teachers for refugees, I was really interested. And, I was happy to hear that I can join as an Art teacher, especially working with children.
Teaching refugee kids are the same as teaching any other kids. They are bright, talented, and eager to learn. I enjoy sharing my art experience with them."
- Pungky Yudieaty, Art teacher
"I moved to Jakarta from the U.S. this past September. I heard about NHLC through my church and wanted to help support their ministry, so when I heard that they needed an English teacher, I started to pray about it. Although I haven’t been teaching at NHLC for very long, I’ve already been surprised and delighted by the joy that my students have and their passion for learning. I’m so glad to have the chance to help them continue learning and improving their English, even during a pandemic!"
- Ariadne Lewis, English teacher
"Since I heard about Refugee Classes with Auntie Bee and Uncle David since 2018, it became my priority to help through volunteering as a teacher, praying consistently, and connecting constantly with the Paul family. Then, the first Refugee classes was established last August 2018 which I am honored to be part of. My role as a volunteer teacher was put on hold when I started my first year as a professional teacher. Nevertheless, the pandemic gave me an opportunity to rekindle my passion to teach in NHLC.
I am grateful and energized whenever I see my students learn with enthusiasm. I hope for each kid to progress and transform their learning into action. Every Saturday, this is one of the roles that I most look forward to do!"
- Llana Rose Legario, English teacher