Before our Bali Training Center opened, A Heart For Children’s main focus was assisting Christian orphanages with funds for food, medical attention, housing and education. This was all done within the protective environment of the orphanages, where we could share our common faith openly and without fear of outside religious or political reprisal.
Here at The Training Center in Klungkung it’s a different culture. When enquiring about our programs, people would say to my wife Tati, “This is a Christian school… Christians will catch people and try to make them Christian.”
Bali and local government officials as well as the Hindu village chief and neighbors have been skeptical of our motives over the past 2 years. Slowly and with genuine concern for the future and welfare of their children, we have gained their confidence and are now an integral part of the community.
Out of the 178 students registered in our programs only one has had prior contact with a foreigner. When the children first started attending classes they were extremely shy, some would even cry and run away when they saw me. They would not look at me when I spoke to them. Even if they understood the message to respond, they were afraid to answer. And when they did speak, it was so soft I could not hear them. In short, they were frightened of me.
I have worked on making eye contact…..worked on my facial expressions and soliciting verbal responses… showed them how to use a Western toilet…..lifting the lid, flushing it… and not standing on the bowl. I’ve worked at perfecting body language and mime skills to compensate for my lack of language speaking skills. Thankfully it has not been in vain.
For the parents to bring their children to the Training Center ….it is a great honor for our organization and for our Faith. They trust us.
Parents tell us there has never before been anything like the Training Center …..because we give and do not take from them like others do. They tell us that their children talk about the Training Center day and night and want to be there.
We thank you all for your prayers and for your financial support, which makes The Bali Training Center and our other ministries here in Indonesia a reality for the children we are caring for.
Blessing to you all,
Kindergarten class in session. They meet 6 days a week from 7:30 AM until 10:30 AM
Komang is ready to leave her mom’s motorcycle and start class.
Grade 1-4 students meet together before being divided up into beginning and advanced English classes.
Outside the green walls of The Center, the parents wait to pick up their Kindergarten children.