Sumba Island Orphan Mission Report
Reported By Craig Muller
Indonesia is the country of millions of orphans. Many many of them are being taken care of.
Even those who are forced into indentured servant positions may be generally safe. That does not mean they are thriving in a normal childhood, but they are far from starving.
But the fact remains that there are still tens of thousands of orphans that are unattached to any parent figure. Children who have lost their parents and live on the streets or within the villages are victims of
slavery, prostitution, disease or other gruesome situations a child should not have to face. None of this is their fault. The fact that they are not been taking care of, is our fault.
Child lead family units are common in many of these villages. In some cases older siblings are taking care of multiple younger children.
My sense was that in most cases the children are doing fine. However, there are cases where there is a clear lack of parenting.
For the last year or so, Disciple Makers/ Mercy Ministries, our partners on Sumba Island, Indonesia, has been concentrating on helping the village of Galimara meet its needs.
This small building is used as a meeting place, as a school, and a worship center. At the heart of this fruitful work is a young lady from the village, who is affectionately call Mama Ida.
Mama Ida's small meeting building is merely a thatched hut with wood planks for seating.
Villagers from the Galimara Village do not have any transportation. Mama Ida can be their connection to the outside world. After teaching, helping with the sick and reading to the ones in the village, Mama Ida takes on her role as a bus driver.
The village itself has the characteristics of a faraway place, as one might see in National Geographic. Smoke slowly rising from highly raised thatched roofs give the huts a hospitable feeling.
The center of the village is lined with megalithic burial tombs which are a witness to their beliefs and focus on ancestors.
Between Mama Ida's meeting building and the main entrance to the village, there are many more megalithic tombs. All these evidences portray that Sumbanese are engulfed in a culture that is spiritually connected to its past.
One of the village leaders brought out some traditional clothing, and the kids got a big laugh out of seeing me wear them.
In this particular part of the island there is an abundance of food during the rainy season. Malnutrition did not seem to be an issue, but a key issue faced by many of the orphans in the area is that - they
have to work for a living as servants or field hands. Neither do they have opportunity to go to school nor do they have time to play with other children.
Compassionate villagers see that young roaming orphans get fed. Many of the kids are existing, but they are not thriving. We can be of great help to these kids.
Some of the children are orphaned because of compassion. Their parents may be sick or just very poor that they can't take care of their children.
In these cases, many of them were dropped off somewhere with the hopes that someone would give them a better life. We make every attempt to reunite these kids with their parents or with extended family.
If that cannot be accomplished, then they are eligible to be placed in the orphan home.
The word got out in the town of waikabubak--- that we were considering planting an orphan home in their area. People from the town and the surrounding area began to bring in orphan children.