Wednesday, 14. June 2017

Children’s Service in Toraja Church in South Sulawesi in Indonesia

Rev. Mega Kamase Sambo reports


The origin of the Toraja Church

Toraja is located in Mountain areas of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It has beautiful nature views and unique culture.

The Sunday school in Toraja Church has actually started since the "Zending period", 100 years ago. In 1913, 20 school children got baptized in schools opened by the "Zending" - this was the forerunner of the Sunday school of the Toraja Church. Students, who attend school on weekdays, go to school on Sundays to hear Bible teaching, later called "Zondaag School" or Sunday school. School on Sunday continues until the Toraja Church stands as an independent synod on 25 March 1947.

Children's Service is split into different groups

The Sunday school of Toraja Church is spread out in 1067 congregations, 93 church districts in 13 provinces of Indonesia, consisting of 5 classes as, namely: Baby Class (0-2 years old), Toddler Class (3-5 years), Basic Class (6-8 years) Intermediate Class (9-11 years), Youth Class (12-14 years old).

The number of Sunday school children is now estimated at around 300,000 children and served by 6,000 Sunday school Teachers. Based on this ratio, many children cannot attend a children's service because it is still a lack of Sunday school teachers. This condition is influenced by geographical factors, of which more than 60% are located in rural and inaccessible areas with vehicles.

They worship every Sunday, all Sunday school teachers have a similar reflection book which is used in every congregations of Toraja Church. So the teachers can prepare the same Bible story. This is a real beneftit for the Sunday School Students: All Toraja Church Sunday School student - no matter which congregation he / she belongs to - can share and discuss the Bible stories with each other.

Activities and trainings for children and staff

There are many activities and trainings that held in our church for Sunday School Children and also for teachers: The children meet during the week for several activities: choir, modern and traditional dancing, sport (Football, Vollyball, etc.), Bible story telling, Poetry, Bamboo Music and Bible Study.

The teachers however do have basic training, CeriA training (a follow-up training to practice telling Bible Story); training of Activities and display tools (namely advanced training to train skill make activities and props that support learning); stage puppet training, child psychology training, ethnomusicology training, which is further training to help teachers integrate Toraja music in Sunday schools.

Jamborees - the annual meetings for kids

Toraja Church Sunday schools also have some annual activities: Regional Jamboree and National Jamboree. On June 2017, 4th National Jamboree of Toraja Church was held in Marintang Congregation, Tana Toraja. 3,000 children from all 93 church districts in Toraja Church attended this . The requirement to follow the National Jamboree is to follow Jamboree at the regional level.

We send you our warmest greeting from Toraja! We will be so happy if we can have friends from all over the world. Where we can love, share and play with each other. Also support each other through prayers.

May Jesus Christ be with us all.

Yours Mega