These two children have no where to go for Christmas although they are allowed to leave the orphanage to stay with a "permitted" relative or friend. But no one has come for them .
Some of the other children have been "taken" by their relatives for a few days.
Four others were in tuition class when I visited. They too have "no one to take them".
Asked what they would wish for one of them said "I wish for a nice Christmas tree and lots of presents for my friends here."
The other who is very shy said nothing. I am sure she has something to say but it is in her heart.
Both of them look pleasant and intelligent.
The Methodist Children's Home in Miri is situated in Pujut 5. This year only one of the children is in Secondary School. Starting next year 4 of them will be in Secondary School. There are altogether 15 of them. Mr and Mrs. Ling Ching Chui are the Managers of the Home and they are assisted by two other ladies. The Home occupies two adjourning houses linked by a covered walk.
Mrs. Ling (Yong Ai Ling) is from Sibu and has three children of her own. The eldest is a missionary and has just graduated. She is blessed by having a good family. She has a great way with children of the Home. If you care to visit them during their meal time it would be a great sight to watch. A very big family of small kids having a meal together with adults supervising them.
It is holiday so the cook brings her children to the home to be with her and the remaining children. Lunch was being cooked when I took the photos. The children were disciplined and enjoying a nice Chinese DVD.
the living room has a regular sofa set and is equipped with a TV and DVD player. This gives the home a warm family atmosphere.
The Children's Home tries to provide a loving home for these children who have either lost a father or mother or both sets of parents. In a way by staying in the Home they thus are not entirely destitute. A few of them have a parent but who cannot support them or provide them with a home. Hence they get taken in. In a small way such a home would help the society to reduce beggary and child trafficking.
Screening for any intake is very carefully done by the Methodist Church and only the really deserving cases are considered. This is the second Children's Home operated by the Methodist Church after the successful Children's Home of Sibu which is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year.
The budget to run such a home is tight. Funds come from donations and a grant from the Methodist Association of Chinese Churches of Sarawak.Most of the household appliances are donated used items. Their fridge for example is a 20 year donation from a well wisher but is now leaking badly. Most of the monthly budget goes to food and bills. Some goes to staff allowance and school fees.
Mr. Ling(himself a product of Methodist Children's Home Sibu)once told my pastor Lau Hui Seng that "We must not expect any thing in return. We just have to provide a good home and love them a lot . Our hearts must be open ..if love is a good language we must convey that to them...and one day they too will be good and caring to others...Unconditional love is what they need."
It is interesting to see these children all speaking excellent Mandarin even though some of them are of Iban or of mixed parentage. They all receive tuition in English from the Church volunteers and special BM tuition in the tuition centres. A good education is definitely given to them and all they have to do is work hard and make something out of themselves.
May be we do not need Christmas gifts for ourselves this year. We just need to visit them and bring them some food and presents.