Sunday, August 5, 2012

Beautiful Children

On Monday night we closed on our project for the children at Bukit Harapan.  We took the YSA with us and we had a wonderful night.  It was so fun to see the YSA interacting with those special children.  The children at BH were so happy to have them come.
This is a picture of some of the items we took to BH.  We had them all stored in our spare bedroom.  You can see some of the toys and the boxes of Hygiene kits we had.
This is a picture of little Mei Lin who is about 9 years old.  She has terrible feet and it hurts her to walk and run and play, but she always, always has a smile and is so glad to see you when you come.
After she was fitted with her shoes she could jump for the first time and not have pain and not land funny.  She is a doll!
The children of BH with their educational toys.
The YSA passing out the hygiene kits.
Our group who delivered everything and got to meet the kids and play with the kids at BH.  (Natalie, see David Lieu second from left back row.  He says to tell you "HI".)
Some of the children of BH with Elder Read.  We don't think we will ever forget this night and all the joy these children had.  They have so very very little in life and are so thrilled with whatever you can offer them rather it be toys, or shoes or just a big hug and a kiss on the head.  They have truly made a change in our lives -- a change for the better.  We love them!

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.
In the kindergarten class.  Kathryn is the lady on the right.  She is from New Zealand and has spent 30+ years of her life in education.
Some of the children and their teachers.  I taught them to sign "I LOVE YOU".  They are such darling little innocent children.  They just need a chance to have an education.  They can do so much and go so far if they are just given that chance.  Sadly, so many children take an education for granted and don't fully appreciate it.  We think we have a good chance of getting this project approved as the area authority seventy, Elder Subandriyo, is from Indonesia.  We had a skype meeting with him after we got back from meeting the children and he seemed excited about it.  In fact, he even told us an Indonesian song we could learn to sing and gave us a you tube address where we could go to down load the song with the words and music.  Pray that this project will be approved too.

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.
E/S Read


  1. Good job! The children are cute and they look thrilled.

  2. What a wonderful post! You can tell you guys are doing such amazing things with your time. We miss you though!! Good job helping out so many of God's children!

  3. A couple in our ward is serving in the Philippines and she also teaches piano lessons to the members down there. She actually had 2 that are now able to play the simplified hymns after only 6 months of lessons. I'm sure some of your students will be just as fast. How blessed we are to have education so accessible.

  4. Margaret, is there anything either the Relief Society sisters can do for a RS Mid-week meeting or the Activity Days girls? Since I plan for both I'm always keen on service opportunities.

    I sure enjoy reading your blog. You're doing great work and I enjoy seeing what the church is like somewhere else.