Around 1965, GKJTU (Christian Church of North Central Java), especially Salatiga congregation, preached the gospel to the surrounding community, both inside and outside the city of Salatiga, especially in Semarang regency. Gospel preaching in Semarang Regency is done in the slopes of Merbabu, among others, Ngaduman Village, Cunthel, and Gedong District of Getasan, Semarang Regency, Central Java Province.
Some GKJTU pastors want to provide concrete action to help those in need in the villages, in order to spread the good news and improve their welfare.
In the past time, the problem of education and health was a serious problem, so it is difficult for the community to develop, and there was no school yet. Most people there were illiterate. Such a situation became a major obstacle for them to develop. The same state with their children, even more. Thing which came to our concern was the level of public awareness to send their children to school is very low. Going to school was considered as something useless. They thought that it's better for the kids to work in the fields. The view took place from generation to generation, even to this day the opinion is still there among them. Educational outcomes, health concerns are also limited. in general, residents do not have bathrooms, toilets or clean water supply. in some villages there are still people who do not bathe regularly and bath soap is rarely used.
This situation is exacerbated by the habit of storing manure in the house. In fact, livestock (as an important treasure) live in the house without any limitations. Various livestock manure (pigs, cows, goats, chickens, and rabbits) are scattered throughout the room in their homes.
Residents of the slopes of Merbabu generally rely on traditional agricultural produce, and have not been oriented to argobisnis. the results can only be sufficient to meet the daily needs of the family. Although economic conditions can be said to be bad, but when their crops are good and can earn more money, they generally spend it on consumptive things, such as having a large wedding party, a village party and even gambling.
Seeing these conditions, GKJTU Salatiga Congregation moved to preach the gospel and also improve the lives of people on the slopes of Mount Merbabu. The spirit based on the Word of God:
Therefore, in 1973, GKJTU synod cooperated with LEPKI (Lembaga Pelayanan Krsiten Indonesia) in Malang, East Java, implementing a community development project that works in cooperation with local people. The programs include education, health and rural infrastructure improvement. The programs implemented are Literacy Eradication, Family Welfare Education (PKK), Integrated Service Post for under five years (BALITA) with nutrition park, health with pilot projects, healthy houses, widening / road hardening, also participate in procurement funds for the construction of school buildings and procurement of working capital. All projects involve community participation (Swadaya Masyarakat) in the slopes of Mount Merbabu. The implementation team of this program is Mirahingsih, S, Th, Joko Sutarno, Ny. Tobing, Henny Koto, Sastro Harjono and Suprapto.
Established the Foundation
The program was welcomed by the residents and it grew up in 1976. The GKJTU Daily Working Committee appointed Mrs. Mirahingsih, STh (Project Management Chairman) to establish a Christian Social Foundation with legal status. November 10, 1977 stands Sion Salatiga Foundation. The name of Sion is taken to interpret the mission as a mountain of livelihood, such as Mount Zion for the Israelites. The logo or symbol of the Salatiga Sion Foundation are two fish, five loaves placed under the cross of Jesus in the ark, and lie within the written circle of the Salatiga Sion Foundation. Two fish and five breads represent the needs of a whole human life. This is done through charitable, transformative and reformative ministries, and at the same time acknowledges the limited ability of the Sion Salatiga Foundation. The cross represents salvation, blessing and hope that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. The ark represents the means to a better life in a world full of challenges. The writing of the Sion Foundation in the circle symbolizes the identity and compassion that is unbroken.
The service of Sion Salatiga Foundation is inseparable from internal and external challenges, such as lack of fund independency, low quality of human resources, inadequate operational tools, lack of church support, and service locations in rural areas where people live below the poverty line. External challenges that arise are the notion that the Sion Foundation is rich, the decline supports charitable services, religious sentiments, the public perspective that the quality of private schools is lower than public schools, and the low public awareness to develop human resources.
Sion Salatiga Foundation service program spread over 4 (four) divisions, namely:
1. Community Empowerment Division that handles adoption services, women empowerment (mentoring and training), disaster embankment and Health Post Service Lentera Mas
2. Division of Support Unit and Independence / Productive and Independent Business Division that manages various forms of credit, cattle breeding, renting, farming , mushroom cultivation and independence fund raising program.
3. The Education Division manages 2 SD, 1 SMP, 1 SMK and 2 Dormitories.
4. Division of Administration and Finance who is responsible for managing the administration and finance of foundations and personnel.