Heritage Home is a Christian home for children in Batam, Indonesia. Indonesia is a large country extending over more than 17,000 islands and boasts a population of almost 250 million, making it the world's fourth most populous country. It is also a predominately Islamic country, as 89% of the people are reportedly Muslims. Although Indonesia is rich in natural resources, it is hindered in development by poverty, political instability, regional separatism, and devastating natural disasters. Since large portions of the country are underdeveloped, many children continue to live in poverty with unsanitary conditions and do not enjoy the privilege of an education. With such challenges to face, many children in poverty are subject to poor health, abuse/violence, child trafficking, child labor, child marriages, and a loss of identity/citizenship. Additionally, orphans are faced with the Muslim law that regards adoption as illegal. These challenges and lack of resources keep children in the cycle of poverty and leave them without much hope for a bright future.*
Birth of a Vision
In 2011 John Covert came to Indonesia with his son, Johnny, and his pastor, Milton Atkins, through Harvest Ministries of Roanoke, VA. The country was still recovering from an earthquake and tsunami that had happened in 2010 and many children had lost their families due to this crisis. On this short missions trip, John and Pastor Atkins visited an orphanage and John was able to meet some of these children. He was also able to see how they are at a great disadvantage if they never complete school and never learn to read or write. John was also bothered by how business-like the orphanages were run. Although money and funding is certainly an important aspect, he did not like the idea of taking a child from poverty and keeping them in poverty while those running the orphanage benefited by making a profit. This is when God started working in John's heart, ultimately asking him to start a ministry in order to help children in Indonesia. On the trip, John had met Lisda who was a pivitol part of another orphanage, at the time. John and his wife, Rebecca, now call Lisda their daughter and she lovingly deems them her "Daddy" and "Mom". Lisda has been pivotal in the development of Heritage Home and joining John and Rebecca in showing love to the children in Indonesia.
Fruition of a Vision
In January of 2013, John headed to Indonesia for a month to put his vision into action with the help of Lisda. While there, almost everything John had thought would come together, fell apart. However, the Lord remained faithful and brought John to the right places, with the right people, and at the right times. Heritage Home was started. The home is now located in a safe, gated community. The local schools are called international schools, which are the best type of schools in the country. God showed his faithfulness time and time again in bringing Heritage Home together. John also strives for openness and involvement. He wants people to interact with the girls at the home as much as possible and know what is going on in their daily lives. This is why most of the girls' have a Facebook page (which Lisda helps them with). Lisda also keeps the Heritage Home facebook page updated almost daily. Please, feel free to connect with John, Lisda, and each of the children! Heritage Home will continue to stand on the scripture that God had given to John back in 2010 when his heart was first being conditioned for this ministry:
Filmed on the home's porch. A daily call to prayer (1 of 5) from a Mosque across the street.
Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late,toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
Psalm 127: 1-5.
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Fain Atkins April 14, 2013