He is at the Door of His Future
Eka, his mother, held his mouth to keep him silent. Hiding in a room of the head of their village. Christian’s family was in serious danger. This was the beginning of the conflict in the North Maluku region of Indonesia where organized militias were going from village to village looking for those of the Christian faith. Lody and Eka, Christian’s parents, were the only Christians who lived in a Muslim village. They had friends in the village, and thankfully the head of the village risked his own safety in hiding them. Christian does not remember that day, but he remained silent and the militia members left.
Shortly after this terrifying morning they tried to get to the safe region near Manado. This would require them to get passage of over 100 miles by sea to get to the refugee camps near Manado. Christian’s parents found temporary safety at the army compound. The compound came under attack while they and hundreds of others were being housed there. They spent several terrifying days and nights there waiting for a navy boat to transport them to the refugee camps.
Christian and his family spent the first three years of his life surviving in refugee camps. They lived in the deplorable conditions of those camps. There was limited food and contaminated water to drink. Imagine trying to raise your child in those conditions. His parents did the best they could to provide a loving and nurturing life for him. Raising a child is tough enough, but after everything they had been through they were doing the best they could.
It was during these days that Lody and Eka deepened their faith in Christ. This was a huge turning point for them. They grew in their faith and began serving the other refugees. Lody and Eka are gifted and amazing people. They joined the efforts to provide help for those who were in the camps with them. They worked with Hohidiai/IFC when the work served the refugees as they returned to their home island to rebuild their lives. Lody worked as a leader, and Eka was a general medicine nurse. Christian grew up watching his parents give everything to help others. He was a happy but quiet boy. I watched him grow up into a hardworking and kind person. He would always help where he could and never complained. After all he and his family went through, he focused on living a good life and helping others. He was growing into an amazing person. I think he was around 12 or 13 years old and I asked him, “What is your dream?” He looked at me and said, “I want to help people and become a medical doctor”. I told him to keep himself away from the distractions and stay focused on schooling. Christian went to a public school that was a challenge. He studied and applied himself. He kept away from the wrong crowd and grew in his own faith. We are all very proud of Christian. He graduated from high school and volunteered to help in the Hohidiai Elementary School. He was such a blessing and invested in the children in his class. Christian is fluent in the English language so he could help the children advance their education.
He had a dream to go to medical school. He needed to take the standardized entrance exam to see if he even qualified academically. Christian not only passed the exam, he scored in the top group. He was offered a partial scholarship to attend Maranatha Medical School in Bandung on the island of Java. He accepted the opportunity to attend and committed to return to the work of Hohidiai/IFC and serve as a doctor once he graduates. He is a very bright young man who has his values and faith in the right place. He is giving his life to help the poor and suffering. I know his parents and he is following the example they have been. They have given up good paying jobs to serve those in need. Now Christian is committing his life much like his parents.
Christian is what I consider one of our heroes. He had a dream and never acted out but lived a disciplined life. He is at the door of his future. He was born in a tragic time, and he and his family had been protected by the compassion of the leader of their village. They lost their home and struggled in refugee camps but they took the noble road. Christian’s future is bright and I so admire his choices. He will need some others to stand with him. Please pray for him and maybe some of you could help support him while he goes to medical school. This is a great investment.