CATARINA (from Brazil)
Catarina was our first volunteer. From Brazil and travelling the world for 6 months, she joined us for 2 weeks. One week with Maria teaching, cleaning, looking after children in a slum area in Denpasar.
Then, a week with Hesti and Dirfan in the Karangasem area. Helping children in an isolated village, teaching our 'River' kids and in a local kindergarten. She even joined in on two of our prisoner support programmes.
A very special lady, whose smile, laughter and beautiful heart for children had many in tears when she had to leave (look closely at her eyes!)
"Through the foundation, Kingdom Children Ministry Asia, I had the opportunity to live one of the richest experiences of my life, when I not only worked with children from different slums in Bali, but when especially I became part of the family of Hesti Posumah, Mary Mary and Neville Marks.
I can not put into words everything I experienced and all the emotions I felt during this period, but it certainly was a great privilege to experience such love and dedication to others.
Thank you to all who made this possible !!"
Catarina Viegas "
Jessica and Victor (from the U.S.A.)
Jessica and Victor came to us as a newly married couple. In their application they expressed a desire to spend one of their first weeks of marriage focused on underpriviledged children. We were so impressed! A very special couple.
They even paid for an elderly woman with a huge tomour on her neck, to go into a hospital. She died soon after but had love and care in the hospital thanks to Jessica and Victor.
We took them to the very isolated village and with tooth brushes and toothpaste packs they bought for the children, they cleaned their teeth for the first time!
The Kingdom Children Ministries Asia was an answer to prayer. Not just for the kids, but for Jess and myself. We had been longing to set off our marriage with a strong precedent by volunteering the first week, and after a lot of internet research stumbled across this ministry. Boy were we lucky.
Although we didn't quite know what to expect, from the moment we stepped off the plane and were greeted by Neville, and it was clear his heart and soul were tied with the children on this island.
We then stayed with a host family (Hesti and Dirfan, and their two beautiful kids Timo and Shanie), who made us feel like one of their own and spent their lives pouring out on the children at the local schools, orphanages, and rural villages. We were able to help them with this throughout the week, and even participate in a bible study at the local prison they were leading.
Next, we stayed with Maria and her son Christopher in Denpasar, and were able to help her with her ministry in the inner city slums. Even though she did not have much and had gone through a lot of turmoil recently in her life, she still responded diligently to the call God had put on her life and it was a blessing just to watch her help those children.
Being able to participate in this ministry was one of the most amazing experiences we've ever been a part of. For the second week of our honeymoon we were able to live in the lap of luxury at the tourist resorts in the area, and I must say that second week couldn't hold a candle to the first. The deep sense of joy one derives from witnessing God work through your hands cannot be matched, and we are deeply hoping we can return sometime soon for a longer stay. We were truly blessed to be able to play our small part in this ministry, and the children of Bali are being forever changed because of it.
Katie (from Australia)
Katie came to help us for a month. She was going to spend 2 weeks working with Maria in the slum area and 2 weeks in the NE. But, she built a special bond with these children, she extended her stay in this area. Being our first volunteer who could speak Bahasa Indonesia, she could obviously converse with the children easily and build a special bond.
Plus staying for a month gives a volunteer real time to build these relationships.
Katie reccognised the real need for a classroom area to be built in this area. At the moment, children sit on cardboard in an outside area. Not going to be possible in the wet season.
Katie then set up a page on 'Go Fund Me' and has raised $1200 towards the cost of building a classroom for these children! Fantastic effort and we are so grateful to her and her friends.
"Thank you so much Maria, Neville, Tante ,Hesti and Om Dirfan!!!! I had such an amazing and unforgettable experience. I am definitely coming back next year. I miss the kids so much! And missing all of you aswell!! Beyond thankful for this amazing experience
Nicole and Peter
Nicole and Peter were two student chaperones who accompanied a group of students from JohnXX111 College located in Perth Australia.) The following was sent by Nicole to the students and their parents)
"Peter and I would just like to thank you for providing us with the incredible opportunity that the mission in Bali was. Truthfully we were somewhat tentative (as I am sure you were too) about participating as we didn’t know too much about the boys, you, or the project and were unsure how this may impact the group and its dynamics. We decided, rather obviously, to let divine providence take over and throw caution to the wind… and we are so glad we did.
Your boys (or rather, your young men) are truly wonderful and you should all be very proud. It was a joy to see them work so hard and interact so well with each of the people in the village and all others we encountered.
I could say so much about each of the boys because they each excelled in SUCH different areas and complemented each other beautifully, supporting one another whenever it was needed. The boys were always looking out for one another and worked, for the most part, very well as a team.
Whilst there were a few (somewhat) difficult/trying times, these were shadowed in the light of the great work, laughter, food, games and friendships that were shared.
It was rather interesting seeing the boys wash their clothes by hand and digging holes/smashing rocks, but they took to it all very well and immersed themselves in it from the outset. Some of the boys were rather tentative about the “showers” at the beginning, but by the end they were asking each other who was ready for “buckets” and all went off in a big mob together, embracing the whole expereince.
To start the boys found it difficult to communicate with the villagers, but they worked so hard to try and communicate (whether in Bahasa, body language, gestures or a combination of things) with everyone and learnt the catch phrase Jangan khawatir very quickly.
I’m sure Neville has many other great things to say about the boys and the project and he will share them with you too. Neville is a truly dedicated, passionate, funny and caring man who worked so hard to ensure that all of our needs were met and the projects went off according to plans. Hesti and Dirfan were absolutely beautiful and cared for us all so well, devoting so much of their time and energy to us. I really could say so much about these beautiful people because they were such a blessing to us, and such beautiful examples of Christ at work. I look forward to sharing more about them with you in the near future.
I have uploaded my photos to dropbox and you can access them all by following this link- enjoy having a look through!
It would be great if we could catch up again soon as I have a list of other small projects and ideas that we discussed whilst in Bali and Peter and I would love to talk to you about them, and catch up with you all in general.
Thank you again, we will be forever grateful and hope that your boys have all learnt something valuable from the experience.
Love, best wishes and blessings…
Peter and Nicole
PS. There is a great video (very poor quality) of the boys singing the afl theme songs at the farewell- they were fantastic!!!
PPS. Neville there is a great video of you dancing on there too ;)"
Gabe (Student from JohnXX11 College in Perth, Western Australia)
"Along with five of my peers and our two chaperones, I was fortunate enough through the help of Neville and his team at Kingdom Children Ministry Asia to take part in a ten day visit to Pekarangan, a remote village in the north east mountainous regions of Bali. Prior to departure I was both excited and unknowing of what to expect but upon arrival I was blown away by the warmth and welcoming nature of both the locals and the team. Us six boys had already raised approximately 7 grand in our own time to go towards the construction of a brand new classroom in the village and a couple other projects. Our standard day to day movements would be to split up into two groups whilst one half assisted the men at the building site and the other half tended to their rocky and unlevelled playing field. This work stopped at a halt usually around mid afternoon once the children arrived home from school where we would spend the remainder of the afternoon playing with and mesmerised by the endless energy and laughter possessed by the kids. Despite the language barrier, there were a few things we found to be universal between us such as ball sports which was showcased in the evening to see which nationality would come out superior in a match of soccer. By the end of all this we were left filthy and sweaty so the day was always wrapped up by showering - Bali style! Cold buckets thrown over our heads in the one concrete toilet block shared by the whole village. The living conditions were not what we were used to and it certainly was not five star but it opened our eyes to a different way of life and made us more appreciative to what we have in our privileged lives. The experience was made complete by Neville, Hesti, Dirfan, with his ripper cooking, and our new mates at Pekarangan whom in our short stay we formed unforgettable relationships with. I hope to be back again one day. "-Gabe
Conor (Student from JohnXX11 College in Perth, Western Australia)
"Working with Neville in the village and being part of Kingdom Children Ministry Asia has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. It's great to have been given such an amazing opportunity to see a different side of Bali and the opportunity to make an active difference in the lives of the villagers who are less privileged than us. With Neville as the leader, everything went smoothly and according to plan and I am extremely grateful for the hard work his team put in to make the experience all the more memorable. I would highly recommend Kingdom Children Ministry Asia to anybody seeking to make a difference in their life and the lives of others."
Harry (Student from JohnXX11 College in Perth, Western Australia)
"Going to Pekerangan village was an experience like no other. All the kids are always happy and the adults are always willing to have a laugh despite there being a language barrier. The money that my group of friends and I raised went towards building a classroom for the village and also to improve their water supply. It is a feeling of great happiness to see the faces of the children in the village when handing over a bag of clothes to them. Something so small to us can be so big to them. I built up great friendships with many of the kids and adults and wish to one day return."
Jack (Student from JohnXX11 College in Perth, Western Australia)
My pilgrimage to the small village Pekarangan in Bali, was a very fulfilling experience.
5 of my friends and myself raised money to help build a school for the village and helped with the construction for 10 days. During this time I gained memories and friendships that I will never forget, and this whole experience exceeded my expectations.
The children in the village were so happy and full of energy despite having almost no material possessions, which really emphasised the quote 'money doesn't buy you happiness'. The Kingdom Children Ministry Asia team: Neville, Hesti and Dirfan were all great people who have a clear vision for their lives and I really recommend doing some mission work with these great people.
Kathryn & Evan Salt
(Jonathon Salt's mother and father, who contacted us first about students from John XX111 College in Perth, Australia, sent this email to the parents of the other boys in the group after a return visit with us.)
"Good morning all,
Well I hope the boys all had a good nights sleep in their own beds. Jon between going to work managed to tell me a fair bit about what they all did and got out of this last experience back in Bali.
I was just hanging out Jon's washing and reflecting on his year and how together we have made what was initially a major disappointment (when the school did not accept them into the pilgrimage program ) into such a major turning point in their lives. They are all richer young men for what they have achieved and looking at them yesterday they have each grown and matured so much in the last 6 months.
So to the parents that took this on board, helped fund raise, trusted your son was up to the challenge - thank-you.
To Neville and the team in Bali - we can never thank-you enough for what you have give our sons; a different perspective on life, the opportunity to live and be accepted within another community, the opportunity to learn another language, new cooking skills (discussed but yet to be practiced) and above all the greatest gift anyone can give a young person - resilience. You have laid a solid foundation as they enter the next phase of their lives.
So from the very bottom of our hearts - thank-you.
Merry Christmas and may 2016 be a fabulous year for us all. If ever a group deserved it it is you!
Kathryn and Evan
(Mother of Alicia, 16 Yr old Student Attending Townsville Grammar School)
"As a parent you want your children to experience more than what you can provide, more than what they are given or get to experience on home soil.
As an Australian soldier who has visited many areas and helped on humanitarian tasks I wanted my very mature daughter to experience a little of what we can give to our wonderful world.
When I had looked into the Kingdom Children Ministry Asia and talked to Neville Marks (Australian and School Principal in Australia, China and Fiji, I knew at once that this is the volunteer group that I wanted my daughter to be part of.
My daughter Alicia had the most amazing, cultural, and life learning experiences I can’t even put into words… and I am sure she will explain in a more extensive way.
As a parent flying over to meet her and to see firsthand what part she played to make this world a better place … I could not of been prouder as a mother. Of course as parents we want to hear that wonderful feedback… but to get to to see it firsthand, to see just how much they can grow and learn.. in a real world way and not just in a classroom.
Kingdom Children Ministry Asia not only gave Alicia this experience but they took me for the journey as well. Communication and calming me as a mum was top notch!! Neville understood my concerns as a Mum but more importantly he also understood the journey Alicia was about to take and how much she was going to take away from her experience and the kids and host family in Bali.
I can’t thank Neville for this experience or all the hosts who gave Alicia this wonderful experience enough… Money cannot buy this.. Our children need to see it firsthand. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Kingdom Children Ministry Asia, we look forward to seeing you again soon.
"Having the opportunity to work with Kingdom Children Ministry was such an amazing and rewarding experience. During my first day in Denpasar, the children are ecstatic and so excited to welcome you. As Neville and I pulled up to the house these kids live in, they ran up to us and introduce themselves. The particular week I was at the shelter, the students were learning how to say body parts in English. We spent the rest of the day going through the lesson plan and playing games with the kids. Kingdom Children Ministry makes the experience extremely hands-on and even had me lead a group of kids through a lesson as well as a song and dance.
This was one of the most rewarding experiences I have encountered. It is extremely eye opening seeing how these kids live and having the opportunity to spend time with them. Even though some of these kids have so little, they are so happy to be around their friends and family and even more estatic when a foreigner is introduced to them.
Neville and Maria were extremely accommodating and friendy during the visit. Neville went out of his way to pick me up. Maria is such a great liaison between the kids and I and an amazing role model for them.
Saying goodbye to the kids at the end of my stay was not easy. One of them asked when I would be back and I wish I could give them a definite answer but spending those days with them was extremely rewarding."
Rahel and Fabienne from Switzerland
The two weeks we spent in Bali were amazing! We got to teach different groups of kids, serve the kids at the orphanage, visit some prisoners and live with a local family, who all welcomed us very friendly. What touched us the most was seeing how simple they live, yet they choose to share everything with us. We experienced and learned a lot! And we got to eat Jenny's food every day, which is the best!!