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Elim Youth Group Visits My Father’s Home Part 3


September 24, 2014

Elim Lutheran’s Youth Director, Kaityn Russum and one of the children from My Father’s Home in Bali.

It was Leslie Martin who called me one day shortly after she returned home from Bali. Martin, who replaced Karen Cornish as Administrator for Elim Lutheran Church in Lake Stevens, was also blessed and humbled by traveling over 3,000 miles with her son, Seth, and several young people from Elim’s Youth Group to Bali for a missions trip. Martin thought the Lake Stevens Journal would be interested in a short story and photograph about the recent mission.  As I learned more about the mission the group took on, and the background of My Father’s House, where their mission took place, I knew in order to tell the story right it would take much more that a few paragraphs and a photo caption.   

To learn how God’s amazing grace would eventually take the dream of a Christian Pastor in Bali, Indonesia, (who is now 76 years old), and through the love of his daughter who would tell his story to an elderly friend in the U.S ., his dream to give the poorest children a loving, nurturing home became a reality. Even though it took 50 years, it happened; and it has very close ties to Lake Stevens – of all the places in the world!

The Bali Pastor I’m referring to is Pastor Agung, and his daughter, Tasha, who is currently the Director of My Father’s Home. They both reside there. The direct tie to Lake Stevens is through the financier’s daughter, Kim Boyer, who lives in Lake Stevens and is in charge of over-seeing the non-profit organization’s Board of Directors and making sure there is enough money coming in to support everything My Father’s Home provides. Which is no small task.

On the second Sunday of the month Kim Boyer speaks to the congregation at Elim Lutheran Church, with updates about My Father’s Home and the many children provided for.

In the fall of 2013, Elim Youth Director, Kaityn Russum suggested a summer mission trip to Bali. By the winter of 2013 there were 12 individuals committed to making the trip, all they needed was $2000 each, which was primarily used on airfare. The planning began in February 2014. In March Elim held an auction luncheon and raised $10,000 for the mission trip. The additional monies were raised through donation letters. On August 4th of 2014, the group from Elim set off on a two week mission that would change their lives and touch their hearts.  Along with six chaperones the Elim Youth Group included: Torianna Hoult, Senior; Hannah Mulvey, Senior;  Nik LaPierre, Junior; Carley Washburn, Junior; Katie Jurvakainen, Junior; Maggie Balan, Sophomore; Emily Mulvey, Sophomore; and Seth Martin, 6th grade.

This mission trip would include painting the outside of the five year old facility along with the gym and parking lot. Everyone was eager to help with the project which generally started early in the day before the heat and the humidity was much too hot. Something Washingtonians are not use to. From what I heard however, everyone who participated can’t wait to go back!

Speaking with a few of the students who made the trip I asked if they could summarize their experience in their own words. This is what Torianna Hoult had to say: “I will remember the trip to Bali for the rest of my life and hopefully I will be able to go back soon. It was inspirational to see and learn about the terrible and destitute lives some of the kids in the home have experienced. Then to see how the kids are full of love, kindness, and happiness all because of God’s love. This home has allowed  these kids to grow and develop into the talented and amazing kids they are now.  Because of this trip I have 36 new brothers and sisters, I have a better relationship with the people I went with and I am more grateful for the blessed life I have in this community.”

Maggie Balan shared, ” It was a life changing experience to go to the home people at my church helped build as well as the director, Tasha! There are 36 children that live there after being brought from very bad situations. When we got there the first few days we helped paint around the home because a lot of the paint was old. Meeting the kids was incredible! I especially enjoyed getting to spend time with our sponsored boy Joshua as he beat me at soccer or drew amazing pictures for me or just showed me secrets of the island! He is amazing in every way. I consider him like my Brother and I miss him with all my heart!

“Throughout the day the kids would play tricks on you like hiding behind your chair and poking you until you saw them or hiding your water bottle and the smiles on their faces showed you all the love in their hearts! Two of the days we got to go to the beach and hike up to the church Tasha’s grandfather built! The church was my favorite experience because we got to do worship up there with them and you could feel the incredible spirit. As you watched each kid raise his hands in praise fully I was just thinking how God changed there lives in such a dramatic way and he is with them everyday and as I was talking to some of them afterwards… They know now they are constantly loved and they know God chose them for this life and that he was always protecting them!

The biggest thing I got out of it was seeing that all across the globe, God changes lives and he gives people new life and new hope no matter where we are, like he did for each and every kid we got to spend time with! “

Finally, Kyle Wildman who is an Intern of Elim Lutheran Youth Group and was one of the chaperones, had this to say: “My experience in Bali, Indonesia was amazing. The people there were very friendly. We stayed at a home called My Father’s Home. At My Father’s there are 36 kids, 18 girls, and 18 boys. Each one has been given an opportunity to excel and live a life everyone deserves to have. Some of our youth group members, and adults from Elim Lutheran Church went to help paint the home, gym and parking area. 

We also had the opportunity to go visit their school, and every day we had P.E. time where we played soccer, basketball, volleyball, badminton, and Spikeball with the children. We also got to travel and see dolphins, monkeys at Ubud forest, as well as see a palace and ride elephants. We were fortunate enough to be in Bali around the time of their Independence Day, so as we travelled we were able to see the kids march preparing for their special celebration

My favorite part was hearing the children worship through song every morning and night, and with every meal. They sang from the heart.  I had the opportunity to meet a child that our family sponsors. The kids were so appreciative of everything we did. The home could always use more sponsors, so if one is interested, please visit”

My Father’s Home gives housing to 36 children, 18 girls and 18 boys. They are given a very nice facility to live and grow in, regular meals, clothing, shoes, healthcare and proper grooming essentials. They are raised in the Christian faith and they get to attend private school until they turn 17 or 18 years of age. At this time some will be able to attend University on scholarship, others will find jobs that will able them to care for themselves. As the older ones leave My Father’s Home, younger children will take their place.

There will always be a need. With God’s grace and people who feel the need to help by offering their time to go on a mission or sponsor a child, My Father’s House will continue to aide at least 36 of the poorest of the poor children in and around Bali and Sumba.

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