Empowered by You: One Volunteer's Path to Higher Learning
In the peaceful northern region of Timor, Indonesia, the future can often feel predetermined for young women like Sandi. Many may marry early, working as domestic helpers or farmers just like their parents did. However, if we look back in time and ask Sandi about her dreams during her early high school years, her answers may surprise us.
Sandi is one of seven children in her family and grew up in a small rural village. When she was ready to start high school, she enrolled in a Christian school almost two hours away from her home. She lived in the Sekolah Meneggah Agama Kristen (SMAK) dorm in Timor, Indonesia. SMAK is a three-year high school that aims to educate and train young people for ministry, higher education, and to become Christian citizens wherever they go.
Sandi adapted well to life at SMAK. Even though she was not raised in the Lutheran church, she decided to become a member of a local Lutheran church in a nearby village after learning about God's teachings in her classes. Sandi was a modest yet ambitious and hard-working student who earned the trust of her teachers and administration. She took on additional responsibilities throughout her three years at SMAK.
Left to right: Coral Cady Metcalfe (Southeast Asia Field Manager), Sandi (Martin Ntambo Leadership Development Scholarship recipient), another recipient, and Dan Schwartz (Asia Regional Director).
During her time at SMAK, Sandi got involved with Kingdom Workers by attending health workshops and taking part in different projects and training programs designed for high school students., like installing the gutter system on the school buildings to capture rainwater. Her experience with volunteering for Kingdom Workers helped her realize how she could use her unique abilities and talents to help others as part of her love for Jesus. In addition to this, she also cooked food for guests at her school and taught Sunday School at a nearby Lutheran church.
I've been talking to Sandi about her plans after high school since the start of her senior year. She's very interested in math and would love to use her accounting skills to offer financial and organizational support to SMAK by getting a job in the school administrative office after graduation. Sandi also wants to further her education so that she can pursue a career and motivate other students in their faith and future.
Kingdom Workers highly regards our volunteers and is committed to nurturing and developing their God-given abilities to enable them to serve and love their communities while spreading the gospel. Supporters like you have helped fund many post-secondary journeys through the Martin Ntambo Leadership Development Scholarship. Through this competitive opportunity,Kingdom Workers volunteers in developing countries who wish to pursue higher education have the financial wherewithal to make it a reality.
After being accepted into a university in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta, Sandi applied for the scholarship in early spring. She filled out forms and obtained letters of recommendation, and the scholarship committee reviewed all the applications. In late April, Sandi received the fantastic news that she had been awarded the scholarship.
The committee was impressed by her commitment to others through volunteering, her resilience, and her desire to give back after attaining her degree.
Knowing that Sandi had several things to prepare for, we started communicating more frequently in English, as her university conducts some of its classes in English. Sandi also joined a special English class offered by her university. Additionally, Sandi had to take an airplane for the first time and travel alone to the nation's capital and largest city, which was a new experience for her.
At a large university in the big city, challenges are academic and personal. For the new scholarship recipient, the campus and unfamiliar surroundings can be overwhelming. Another scholarship recipient attending the same university who went to high school with Sandi has taken her under his wing, helping her adjust the cultural differences and balance university life with faith. Together, they demonstrate the power of the Ntambo Scholarship and give hope to other students looking to continue their education.
Sandi is slowly getting used to university life. She's making new friends, improving her English language skills, and starting her new coursework. She’s also been attending Lutheran church services in Jakarta where she's met some wonderful brothers and sisters in the faith who have been very welcoming. She's grateful for this opportunity and requests your prayers as she studies at university and plans for her exciting future.