“Being a teacher with MAF is so much more than a day job,” says Steve Bilimek, who serves at MAF’s Peningki Hill School in Tarakan. “It has been a tremendous blessing to not just be a teacher to these kids, but to be their uncle, coach, teammate, mentor, and friend. We get to do life together in every way.”
Steve, his wife, Lindsay, and their three children arrived in Kalimantan, Indonesia, over three years ago. Right away, their MAF teammates told them they’d prayed for teachers to come—there had been no teacher for a time.
“If we hadn’t come when we did, quite a few families were ready to leave and go somewhere with consistent schooling,” said Steve. “Doing life here in Tarakan is hard enough without trying to homeschool your children.”
Daily life in Tarakan is already a challenge for MAF staff. MAF wives make most of their foods from scratch. Shopping takes time. The power goes out. The heat is a constant energy drain.
“The stress of the wives adds to the stress of the husbands, and it can just keep going from there,” explains Lindsay. “Teachers help protect family life, marriages, and the team in that way.”
They also free up the wives to do ministry outside of the home.
And the children have access to a great education.
“Steve has a God-given ability to understand teens and know what they need, even if they themselves don’t realize it,” explained Lindsay. “He isn’t so concerned with their grades as he is about their hearts.”
“There has been much laughter in my classroom, but also many tears as we talked about the hard issues missionary kids face,” said Steve. “We opened the Bible together, learned together, and supported each other.”
Steve and Lindsay have seen firsthand how vital the teacher’s role is to the MAF Tarakan team being able to carry out the work of the ministry.
But now the Bilimeks need additional ministry partners to continue serving in Kalimantan.
“Trying to raise funds from overseas is a difficult process,” said Steve. “To have people commit to pray for us and support our ministry financially would be one more way God demonstrates His love and plan for us.”
To join their team and play a part in bringing the love of Jesus to isolated people in Kalimantan, visit maf.org/Bilimek.
This story ran in the Fall 2020 edition of FlightWatch. Read the entire issue here: