On Wednesday we went to visit a school about two hours away in a town called Keningau. There is a big wood mill there that employees mostly Indonesians. It's not good to be an Indonesian or Phillipino in Malaysia. They are treated very poorly and make very little money. A good paying job for an Indonesian at the wood mill will pay Rm500 per month, about $175 US. The government of Malaysia will not educate the little children who are here, whether legally or illegally, with their parents. We met a lady named Kathryn who has undertaken the project of setting up schools in the mill towns and palm oil plantations to give these Indonesian children a chance for an education. She is doing a wonderful service and hopefully we will be able to partner with her and provide school supplies, hygiene kits, games, etc. for these special children.
On Saturday the branches had an "Adopt a Highway" project. We cleaned the highway running in front of our church. Service projects are kind of a foreign idea over here so we are trying to teach them to give service to their community and each other. Saturday evening they came over to our condo complex and had a swimming party. It was fun for all. We will do the same highway clean up in another three months.
I am also back in the piano teaching business. Right now I have about 5 students. They are all at least 14 years old and they all seem to want to learn. I was able to get them some free keyboards through the Harman Family grant so that will help them to be able to practice, which has been the biggest obstacle in their learning to play. They can't afford pianos of their own and it is very hard for them to get to the church to practice, so the Harman keyboards are so welcome! We'll see how many of them actually stick with the program. If they don't complete the program and do everything it says on the contract I had them sign, then they can't keep the keyboard.
We are enjoying our time here in Malaysia. It is a beautiful part of the world, one we knew nothing about. But we are finding that there are wonderful people wherever you go! We love you all - keep the emails and comments coming.