Indonesian orphanage an eye-opener for kids
A WEEK in an Indonesian orphanage has taught eight Clarence Valley students how lucky they are to live in Australia.
St Andrew's Christian School sent eight students and chaplain Mick Schilling to the Mama Sayang Orphanage in Jakarta, where they helped teach English and music, prayed and shared the culture.
"It was the first time the orphanage had a group like us and the trip was about building relationships," Mr Schilling said.
The St Andrew's students heard some heartbreaking stories, including one orphan who was abandoned at just two months of age.
They met children who were born to prostitutes and others who had saved themselves from prostitution.
The students said the experience opened their eyes to a "whole new world" - including how the orphanage educated the children and gave them a chance for a bright future.
Those opportunities extended to the sporting field, with two of the orphans to represent Indonesia in an AFL game in Melbourne later this year.
Mr Schilling said while the children at the orphanage had little, they were welcoming and generous.
"They never whinged about school or food and were always grateful," he said.
"They treated us with so much dignity and respect.
"Their worship is overwhelming.
"Everything they get is through people and prayer - they have no government support."
Mr Schilling said the school hoped to send students there again.
"We will attempt to go back every year and have made many friendships and built relationships."