Swimming pools have always been great.
The jumping, the sliding, the cannonballing, the splashing, the pre-pool shower, the post-pool shower, the racing, the pushing people in, the games. Basically everything about the pool is pure greatness.
Swimming pools are even greater in 91 degree, tons of humidity weather. 🙂
The place is conveniently just a hop and a skip down from the orphanage. Unfortunately, the kids have to save and save to be able to go. It’s about 88 cents for one person to go. After the first evening’s swim, all the little kids really wanted to go again. However, there just wasn’t money to pay for them. The only way they’d be able to go is if the older kids would pay for themselves and the little kids.
The little kids sighed. THAT was never going to happen. The older kids could hardly pay for themselves to go.
The lady who runs the orphanage, Ibu Mini, has such huge faith, and she trains the kids that come through the orphanage in the same way. So, as with other things, “Well, you might not have money, but you do have prayer.” So all the little kids went and started praying that somehow, the older kids would be able to take them.
It just so happened that our team had planned to reward the older kids for helping us so much with the work projects. How were we planning to treat them? By…taking them to the pool again after work was done one afternoon.
When Ibu Mini heard the news, she was ecstatic! Since we were paying for the older kids, the older kids could cover the younger kids. Everyone could go to the pool again! 🙂
We took them again one last time on our final day at the orphanage. The pool became a symbol of family fun time. A place where we could just relax and have fun together. We were able to help teach some of the younger boys how to swim and we played tons of volleyball and frisbee. There was also a big-ish slide that we went down constantly, trying to find the fastest way to slip down it.
The pool was also one way we were able to break down cultural barriers. When we went to the pool the first time, there was some concern about the girls’ swimming attire. Most of the exposure that the Indonesians get about Americans comes from television, so they were expecting something similar when it came to our swimsuits: skimpy bikinis, lowcut one-pieces. But when we came out of the changing room wearing T-shirts and board shorts, as they do in their culture, they were pleasantly surprised. Something little like that was able to benefit our interactions and relationships.
Pools are fun, simple as that. The team was glad we were able to turn something simple and fun into a form of ministry.
And it was nice to get a cool down.