What a difference a year makes!
It was just a year ago when I wrote about this orphanage in Batam. It was in such a bad state that we left there with a heavy burden of wanting help but clueless of what we can actually do to make a difference. A year later, we find ourselves standing in front of a brand new orphanage! We are simply amazed at how God brought like minded people together to build a new home for the kids!
First of all, I would like to congratulate our friends from Project Huios for a job well done. The team from Project Huios, led by Jesudas Menon were the ones on the ground who worked tirelessly to make things happen! Thanks for allowing the ieatishootipost community to participate in this meaningful building project.
It is so satisfying to see the change we can make with what little we can do! I am reminded of the story in Gospels where Jesus used a little boy’s contribution of two little fishes and five loaves of bread to feed five thousand people! The moral of the story: It is not how much you have in your hands, but what you are willing to give that matters.
Allow me to share a few stories of people who have come alongside to help.
- The kids now have a stack of bug free new mattresses which were contributed by the Salvation Army. Along the way, one lady contributed to the transportation of the mattresses over to Batam!
- The interior tiling work was done by a local contractor who volunteered to do all the tiling work at a super discounted rate! He has now assumed his role as their “on-call” handyman!
- We have a couple who used to be caterers who have volunteered to look into how to provide nutritious, balanced meals for the kids.
- Another lady and her Lion’s Club team came alongside to undertake the cost of transporting the kids to school everyday.
- One restaurant owner invited all his associates to his restaurant for a meal and contributed the proceeds to the building fund.
These are just some of the many stories of people doing what they can to help out! The moral of the story, again: It is not how much you have in your hands, but what you are willing to give, that matters.
Video shot and edited by James Tay
We had the privilege of handing over the keys of the new orphanage to the director last weekend and celebrating the opening of the new home with the kids. They are as joyful as always. I am sure that they much happier now that they don’t have to get up earlier in order to use the toilet! (The 70 of them used to have to share 2 toilets!) It is good to know that a few of the kids have already started university and are doing very well.
Looking forward, there are still many challenges. These are the areas of need:
1. Food and utility bills that need to be paid every month.
2. School fees which are going up every year as they progress to institutes of higher learning.
3. Transportation costs to and from school
4. They are thinking of generating some income by selling cup cakes but need someone who is willing to teach them.
If you would like to be involved, do write to Jesudas Menon at [email protected].
Thanks to all our friends who have contributed in one way or other! May God bless you for your generosity!