“My favourite phrase in our school’s mission statement is ‘redemptive restoration'”, explained Tiina Bynum, Kindergarten Teacher and Junior School Bible Lead Teacher at Sekolah Pelita Harapan Kemang Village (SPH KV) to Indonesia Expat.
Bynum continued, “To be redeemed means to be ‘brought back’ by someone from whom we have turned away. To be restored means to be brought into a relationship with someone with whom the relationship has been broken. We want to engage in the redemptive restoration of all things through our educational efforts at SPH. I believe we are all called back to a relationship with our creator and saviour. At SPH, all we want is for our students to know that there is hope and comfort in being redeemed and restored by their creator and saviour, God.
Hi, Tiina! We’d like to know more about you.
Hi, my name is Tiina Bynum and I was born in Finland. I’ve lived overseas for many years of my youth and adult life. I moved to America in 2007 and married my husband, Joe, in 2010. We have three boys who all attend SPH KV with me. Watching my kids grow up, I am reprocessing what it means to be a third culture as my boys’ lives are distinctly American, Finnish, and now Indonesian. We started our fourth year in Jakarta this summer, and are very grateful to be here.
Share with us your thoughts on expat life in Jakarta and the reason behind your move.
Indonesians are incredibly hospitable to foreigners. It has been an honour to get to know this beautiful country and its rich culture and heritage. The people of Jakarta are very welcoming to expats, making Indonesia feel like home to us. We are fortunate that many things that are characteristic of Western living are available in Jakarta; it makes our other home feel like it is closer.
My family moved to Jakarta because we felt a sense that God was calling us to serve families in Indonesia. My husband is a pastor at Covenant City Church here in Jakarta, and it has been a gift for my husband and I to serve the church community at CCC and the school community at SPH KV.
How long have you been a teacher? Are there any challenges?
This is my fifteenth year of teaching. I have had the privilege of teaching in four different countries on three different continents. I have taught in various cultural settings and it keeps surprising me that though many cultures are outwardly different when experiencing life with children, the joys and the challenges are ultimately very similar. In all settings, parents have deep love and devotion toward their children; their desire for them is to succeed and be cared for in the best possible way. There is also brokenness, hurt, and a real need for healing and restoration in every setting.
What does being an educator mean to you?
In a sense, it is a part of who I am. I’ve been called into education in my early twenties and it has shaped all my professional decisions since then. I have been blessed with many different educational experiences that have made me who I am as a teacher. As a Christian educator, specifically, I am called to teach the next generation about the world that God made through the lens of the Bible.
Aside from being a kindergarten teacher at SPH KV, you’re also the Junior School Bible Lead Teacher. Tell us more about this role.
This role has brought me a lot of joy. As a large group of Christian schools, we at SPH teach our students a Christian worldview and the truth of God’s Word written in the Bible. Last year, we launched a new Junior School Bible Curriculum across all of our English-speaking campuses, and it has been rewarding for me to watch this process unfold. We care deeply about our students’ holistic development, especially their spiritual well-being, which this new curriculum helps to nurture.
In your opinion, what’s the importance of instilling Bible studies from a young age?
I believe we learn the Truth from the Bible. As educators, we are called to tell the next generation about divine works of creation and salvation and this coming generation learns of their calling through our faith-based education. Though we live in a broken world, we can be messengers of hope telling this young generation of a lasting peace. That there is someone bigger than us, who loves and knows us, and we want our students to learn and live encouraged by that good news.
Briefly describe the holistic learning at SPH KV.
Talking about holistic education is one of our favourite things at SPH. Part of our school’s mission is to “engage in the redemptive restoration of all things in Christ through holistic education”. Each child is a whole person, composed of parts that matter and ought to be nurtured. We call our school a second home for our students. In a loving home, the whole child is cared for; their soul, intellectual abilities, and social-emotional and physical well-being. We are intentional at SPH about building genuine relationships with our students where they know that their whole person matters to us, not just their intellectual abilities. We are called to support each of our student’s growth in all of these areas, and we hope to do that in the context of a safe relationship coupled with intentional activities in and outside the classroom.
What’s next for you and SPH KV?
To become better! We want to come out of this pandemic phase of education with new strength, new strategies, and a renewed sense of purpose. Yes, the academic content of our subjects’ matter, and we want to continue to thrive as educators. But this post-pandemic educational setting provides a new opportunity to further build and shape our students’ character. We have renewed our commitment to our school’s vision; to continue equipping our students with true knowledge, shaping their character, and all this through our faith-based approach.