Read Part 1 of 4 here.
Our first visit was to Panti Asuhan Nujumul Huda, the home helmed by the lovely Ibu Sinar. 🙂
They were already waiting for us. 🙂
We were greeted so warmly by Ibu Sinar and her staff, together with the beautiful children of the home. Everything was starting to fall into place nicely and I was glad. 🙂
Ibu Sinar gave a speech and ustadz recited some prayers.
I was then asked to give a speech (which I should have anticipated, but didn’t), so I gave it my best shot in my amateurish Bahasa Indo, lol.
After my speech, I was excited to kickstart activities buuuuuuuut, ibu Sinar insisted on taking the mike and suddenly instructed the children to sing a birthday song.
I was completely oblivious to whatever was happening because I tried to keep my birthday low-profile. Nobody was suppoed to know because hey, I wanted the focus to be the children and the participants own personal experience. I also wanted it to be a secret because, hey, it felt awesome to keep it between me and Allah. 🙂 But of course, a handful of people knew, the ones who are close to me. When I realised the children were actually singing the song for me, I immediately looked at Syaz (cos I thought she organised it), who then looked at Addinu and Hidayah, all of them equally taken off guard. HAHAHA.
You can probably imagine how surprised we all were when they brought out the cake and my name was written on it! It was a surprise organised by my aunts! 😀
They weren’t able to make it for the trip but wanted to make sure I celebrated my birthday well, so they coordinated with ibu Sinar. MashaAllah, I felt so blessed. What a way to celebrate my 23rd. 🙂 So glad I wore the abaya they gave me as a birthday gift, hehe. Thank you Makcu and Cik Wati! ❤
After the celebration (which included more food, haha), we started on the activities we’d planned for the day! Syaz and I initially had this elaborate plan of having a coupon system (we’re educators like that) but we decided that it was ok to do without it since the area wasn’t too spread out.
We had several activites for the kids: henna painting, face painting, drawing & colouring and ball games!
Seeing all the kids so engrossed in the individual activities filled up my heart with so much love. How do we take these things forgranted? A child’s smile, an orphan’s laughter? It was a reminder for me.
After about 1.5 hours of activities, it was time for me to wrap up our visit and pass the donations to ibu Sinar. 🙂
It was amazing to see the kids so happy and high-spirited at the end!
Finally. it was time to give out goodie bags!
The time came for us to leave for the next place but hey, more pictures first!
It definitely wasn’t goodbye. It was ’till-we-meet-again-inshaAllah’. 🙂
At this point, looking through the photos again as I craft out this entry, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with immense gratitude and humility.
It is the understanding that I am more in need of the opportunity to do good than the recipients receiving the small acts of goodness. For aren’t I seeking Allah’s mercy and forgiveness? Won’t I only be able to bring with me good deeds and other people’s prayers to the grave? Truly, Allah is kind. He places people together to benefit from one another. Nobody is more superior than the other. Allah. ❤
Parts 3 and 4 coming up!
Lots of love,