Happy New Year! And what a year it is turning out to be. At the Women’s Centre we had two weeks break from lessons to refresh and prepare for our new year. We believe this year is a year of growth and reaching even further into the community as a Centre. So far we are seeing growth in all our areas. I was concerned that if we stopped classes over Christmas, we’d find it difficult to get people involved again. It has turned out to be quite the opposite. When we started again, the women and kids were eager to come back. Through word of mouth, more women and kids have come to join lessons at the Women’s Centre. We are so blessed to be reaching even more people this year. We see this will grow even more as this year unfolds. Sometimes people ask me to describe a typical day at the Centre. There is no typical day, but a typical week is what we aim for. We made a schedule for lessons and activities for women and kids.
I have now been teaching women for 7 weeks this year. Each week we have seen growth and new women joining, eager to learn. We have a new learning environment, using the main area of the house. Thank you Opa Rob for the new whiteboard mounted up. We also had to get more desks for our students as we quickly outgrew the nine we had available. We now have 18 women coming to learn each Tuesday evening at our centre.
Goa Gong English
Women learning in Guagong
Each Tuesday afternoon we also continue going to the community at Goa Gong and teaching women there. Last year we started these classes and had 5 women to teach. This year we are continuing those lessons, and more women are coming, as more move into the neighbourhood and they invite their friends along. Last week we had TEN women learning in their home. It is exciting to see how our classes are doubling this year, and it’s only February.
Learning Reading, Writing, Arithmetic
Children’s Education Class
Through our lessons at Goa Gong, we met 7 years old Luis, who does not go to school. We invited him to come and learn to read, write and learn some basic mathematics with Feny, our Women’s Centre coordinator. He was so shy at first, but now he comes in with a huge smile on his face. He told us about another friend of his who doesn’t go to school. So we had a desire to help this little boy and that one-on-one tutoring has grown. Now we have 3 boys, between 5 and 8 learning on Tuesday and Friday afternoons.
Sewing Teacher for Sewing Classes
We are so excited to have Junio (JP), join our team at the women’s centre. She comes each Thursday to teach our women sewing skills, now we have two lessons each Thursday afternoon. An early one with women learning basic sewing skills with Ibu
Ndari, who began learning at some other sewing workshops we had, and another class after that with JP, with women learning more skills, soon they will be learning to make some skirts, and “Days for Girls Packs” (women’s hygiene pads) that we can then give out to some of the women we work with in low economic situations. Read about the packs here: www.daysforgirls.com
Women’s Centre Bali Life
Workshops and a Safe Place
On the last Saturday of each month we hold a workshop where we have guest speakers come and share some skills with the women. In January we had a makeup workshop and 24 women came. Our February workshop was focused on craft, and the women had the opportunity to learn how to make some accessories, such as hair ties, they are
excited to learn skills they can use to make and sell in their homes.
In these workshops, I run a kid’s program, (aged from 18months- 8years old), with games, stories and songs, while their mums are learning. Through these workshops, Sue also shares about our other classes and our live-in program, to help women with difficult situations have a safe place to stay and a chance to learn and find work.
The evening after our workshop in January, we had a woman show up with her two children very upset because of problems at her home. She stayed with us a week, then decided to go back home to her husband, she continues to come each week to learn English, sewing, and have counselling as she builds trust and shares with us. Her son also joins the class each week with Feny We continue praying for her and her marriage, that she may make amends with her husband and they can have a healthy relationship.
BaliLife Women’s Centre
KidZone English, Bali Life Foundation
Our KidZone English classes took off running and now we have 50 kids on our attendance list! We definitely enjoy classes in the bigger space and Thursdays are busy, fun and full of energy at the Women’s Centre. In March we are splitting into two groups, Grades 1, 2, 3 first class (2.30-4pm) then afterwards straight up for Grades 4, 5 and 6 (4pm-5.30) to create more space for learning as the kids continue coming and inviting their friends.
We originally started KidZone by inviting kids from a school around the corner from our centre, handing out brochures to them and their parents as they were leaving, but through some of our other programs, we have grown and a lot more kids are coming from another school nearby and others from different schools in the area as kids share with their neighbours and friends and we continue growing through the great testimony of word of mouth.
Each Friday we also have about 30 kids coming for KidZone games. We use these opportunities to share stories and songs and just have fun with the kids. We also have a volunteer, Tanya, from Russia here teaching the kids some painting skills. She is showing them new ways to make patterns and designs, the kids have enjoyed that this past month. They also enjoyed a couple of weeks with some volunteers from Norway. This team was able to teach us some new games. The kids loved them and even now continue to request to play. We hope to continue providing more activities as more volunteers come sharing their skills and fresh ideas.
Bali Life English
BaliLife Foundation English Class
Each week I also go to the Children’s Home to teach English to the kids there. We farewelled Melanie in February, who has been here teaching our highest level teenagers as well as our staff each week. On a Saturday mornings I teach four classes with the kids in primary – middle school and two high school students as well as on a Monday afternoon teaching some other middle-school teens. Each Friday evening at Bali Life Open House, there are a few kids who constantly ask, “Aunty, besok Inggris?” which basically means, “Do we have English tomorrow?” They are growing more confident and I am seeing that as we get visitors and the kids that used to be shy or not understand, can now understand and have a small conversation with our guests, which is exciting to see.
I would like to share that this year I have had some health issues, which I have never had problems with in my times in Bali. First I had an upset tummy and dizziness one day, not usually a big deal, but it is just another thing that isn’t right. Then I burnt my foot on a motorbike which gave me a big blister for a week and the skin is still healing. After that I had an unexplainable rash for about a week, which wasn’t itchy, but as the rash started to disappear, itchiness started and the rash returned. Then it completely disappeared as unexpectedly as it started. I also had a minor accident falling from the bike, next time I’ll make sure I break left before right – for those of you who ride motorbikes, you’ll know the importance of this. I was not going fast when I fell and I praise God I only got a huge bruise on the top of my leg for about 3 weeks and a scratch on my heel and nothing worse, all healed up fine now. Currently I am experiencing joint pain in my fingers, toes and knees, as it hurts to grip things, type, or even walk up and down stairs at times. I am not saying this to complain, I just share this to ask for prayers covering me with God’s protection and renewed health so that I can remain focused and strong for what he has called me to here in Bali.
*Classes are growing and we are seeing more and more women and kids each week
*GPS – this is a funny one, but so far I have never completely lost my way driving around Bali, Google Maps always takes me to the main road again, and for that, I have to praise God. Getting lost is scarier than falling
*New sewing teacher
*Safety and protection as I ride my NEW motor bike, praise God I have one for my own use now
*Friends and amazing staff and volunteers I get to spend every day with at Bali Life Foundation
*Sponsors and Supporters – I thank God for each and every one of you who remember me and support me, whether that’s with prayers, financially or a simple message letting me know you are thinking of me, it all works to encourage me to keep going each day.
*Health is renewed to as it was before, no more pain or illness
*Visa approval continues so I can continue serving here
*Volunteers to help with KidZone on Fridays with the kids
*Volunteers to help teach the advanced levels and staff at the Children’s Home now that Melanie has gone, as my time will be even fuller as I work out times to take on these classes again
Check out more info at www.balilife.org
Or their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/balilife
Blessings in Christ,