I am here in Bali this week, serving some of the most beautiful children and their careers at Bali Life Foundation. These children and staff just amaze me with their love for life and love for each other.
I have the incredible privilege of traveling and serving with three beautiful 18-year-olds who are just the best. It has been a trip of lots of laughter and excitement as these precious girls have an experience of a lifetime. One has never been overseas before, and none of them have served others less fortunate than themselves before. I am being challenged by these gorgeous girls never to lose that beautiful feeling of wonder and awe of life.
Watching their excitement about the simplest of things on this journey and the joy that it brings to their hearts is a huge wake-up call for me. Of course, we have witnessed many selfies, they are recording every step of their adventure because they never want to forget it, and they want to share it with their family and friends. They have chats about what they think their boyfriends might be up to at home, which as you can have me and my other two companions in stitches just being taken back to what it’s like being a teenager and having a boyfriend.
They love shopping at the markets now, at first they were scared of the whole bargaining but after watching me and learning they are having a ball with it. I think they could teach me a thing or two now. It’s so much fun seeing them grow and develop and watch their confidence grow. They were very frightened about the currency here and were always wanting myself or Bethany (one other more experienced team members) to help them work out the exchange rate and are now four days into the trip completely on top of it all and going off on their own with lots of confidence. It is just so much fun and so exciting for me to see them having so much fun and building on their life experience.
These girls are also doing a fantastic job as we train teachers in a school that our Bali Life children attend. Again this was taking them right out of their comfort zones, however, with a lot of encouragement from us more mature members of the team they are doing an incredible job. The way they have stepped up to the mark and come alongside teachers in the school and loved and cared for the children is just fantastic.
They are only at the beginning of their careers as Educators themselves. However, they have learnt how to teach our reading programme so well they are here teaching Indonesian Educators how to teach English to preschoolers. To watch them all make connections with our precious children in Bali Life Foundation after school playing Badminton, jumping on the trampoline, climbing the play equipment and just sitting and chatting with the children is so heart warming.
As you can tell by reading this little snippet of our time here in Bali, I am so very proud of them all. I also have just the most amazing two mature team members who are total Champions as well. I guess what I have been reminded of these last few days is, with lots of encouragement, creating the right environment and giving the opportunities we can all help others live such a fulfilled destiny while being blessed ourselves.
As parents when we see our children enjoy the simple things in life let’s not just pay no attention thinking it’s all just childish experiences, let’s get in there with them on their level and see the wonder of the world from their perspective.
What new experiences are they having that we take for granted? What opportunities are we missing out on ourselves by not becoming a part of their excitement about the simple things in their world? Let’s not take for granted the excellent opportunities of connection with our children in the everyday childish or teenage experiences they are having, take advantage of them rather than dismiss them.
I am so pleased I have been able to see this trip through the eyes of these wonderful teenagers and the eyes of a young mum who has left her beautiful children behind in the capable hands of their dad for a week. It has given me a fresh outlook and a trip of many new experiences myself even though I do this three times a year. Watching Emma (the young mum) excitedly planning the times to ring her children to say Hi and seeing her mother heart get tugged by the children here while missing her own, is yet another beautiful experience.
Our entire team have stepped out of their comfort zones, putting underprivileged children before themselves, and it has been a beautiful thing to watch unfold.
My challenge to us all this week as parents is to be present in our children’s experiences, the big, the small and in between because we will grow from them, and we can help them maximise what they can learn from each one. Let’s no loose that sense of wonder and awe of all that life brings, let live like teenagers and little children, be excited about the simple things in life.