So to all that have read my blog, let me start by apologizing for not keeping up with it! So the big question is what has my life been like since I last posted? It has been a time of great change for me.
What have I been up to???
That simple question has been one that has troubled me for some time. How do I articulate the changes that have taken place in a few months? How can you explain events that have had a profound effect on you as a person and do those events justice? I don’t know if I have an answer, but will do the best that I can and hope that what I write will be a good start.
So let’s start by talking about life in Cow Kit. Since I last posted the home schooling program has come to a close for the “summer holiday.” My role has shifted to more of a caretaker. I spend most of my days simply hanging out with the kids at both centers. This has provided me a chance to get to know my little brothers and sisters on a more personal level. The kids at PAKK, our center for 7-12 year olds, keep me busy as I am the human jungle gym bringing smiles as they climb all over me swinging from my arms like Tarzan. The guys of course like to attack all at once to try and wrestle me to the ground; this is fueled by their love of WWE. I have had some close calls as roughly 7 kids coming at once can be a little hard to handle. My language skills are a work in progress, the kids have started teaching me some new vocabulary which has been a fun process, and slowly I am learning more Malay. My work at the KLKP, our center for the teenagers, differs as the number of kids that come in changes on a daily basis. I was able to attend the 2013 Refugee Talent Show, with some of the kids and teachers from KLKP. The show was put on by UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency here in Malaysia. It was a chance for the children to come to a auditorium and perform in a talent show. They competed in a dance and vocal category with the top three getting some pretty awesome cash prizes. The joy on these kids’ faces will be forever in my mind as they performed on a stage in front of a large audience.
My work at Dignity for Children took a different approach, I decided to work maintenance. I have been doing odd jobs around the complex. One of the bigger projects I have done with Dignity has been to help decide which contractor to use as we move forward with major renovations. They will be moving out of the current building and into a new location. There was a lot of work to be done and I spent a day breaking down the two quotes given to us and determining which gave us the best deal. Now that the renovations have started my work has become pretty busy doing jobs around the complex and also helping the contractors as needed. Part of the renovations has been tearing down some of the doors that won’t be used any more, and I discovered I like demolition work.
Now I will try to describe some to the changes that have occurred in me. This year has placed me in the minority for the first time in my life, and that alone has been extremely eye opening. Working with the refugee population has put names, faces, and personal feelings towards immigration reform that I was ignorant about. I can see how their struggles affect them in and outside the class room. The kids that come for homeschooling face the chance of being detained or moved by the UN to Australia or American. Either way their lives are changed dramatically. The majority of the children in my centers are enrolled in the relocation program with the UN, from what I have been told they can be moved any day without real notice. Being with my brothers and sisters here at Yayasan Chow Kit have showed me how I have taken for grant just how great I have it back home. I never had to face the tough situations that my kids face on a daily basis, I was just a child running, playing, and going to school. As I got older I had to figure out college all with no real pressure or fear. I lived a life that was pretty easy, and at the end of the day I have the utmost respect for all my kids and the challenges that they face on a daily basis. They face all of these challenges, all while working to improve themselves through schooling, and chasing their dreams relentlessly.
So there is a brief update of my life here and what my call to global mission looks like. I am thankful and blessed to be here in Malaysia. Until the next time stay safe and I hope the holidays are treating you all well.