Heaven's Kids: Therapy for Children, Christ for Parents

Jan 01, 2003 01:31 PM EST

SURABAYA, Indonesia - Heaven's Kids, a learning center for autistic children has tripled its capacity. The center offers therapy for 40 children of different religion, economy and demographic backgrounds. Here, the children of poorer families, whose fees are subsidized, stand beside children of government officials and other affluent families.

Whether rich or poor, parents are introduced to the gospel while seeking help for their children.

"We're seeing results. Parents are accepting Christ and integrating into the church," said Jeff Hartensveld, Assemblies of God missionary, who planted River of Life in 1996. "The idea is to give something to the community that blesses people no matter what their religious background."

At Heaven's Kids, trained Christian professionals provide occupational therapy for the children and pray with them. Hartensveld said physical improvements have occurred in several children, from longer attention spans to speech development. Therapy will be available to nearly 100 children once construction of the new facility is complete. Hartenveld estimates 20 people have accepted Christ through Heaven's Kids.

"Heaven's Kids is ministering to a felt need in Indonesia's children," said Nathan Turney, director of Asia's Little Ones. ALO supplied the first $5,000 to Heaven's Kids for the new building. "It is also opening opportunities to share God's message of love and hope to parents."

By Paulina C.