Restor­ing bro­ken lives

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIVING - BY S.H. LOKE

“WITH love to aid a heart can all things dare,” some­one once said.

Love has crys­tallised into a home called Crys­tal Fam­ily Home.

Armed with faith and love, David Barn­abas and his wife, Es­ther, had the vi­sion to set up a wel­fare home.

Their in­ten­tion was to take in chil­dren who need a home. In 2009, when they opened Crys­tal Fam­ily Home, there were only two chil­dren.

To­day, they have 21 kids be­tween the ages of seven and 16 liv­ing there.

Tucked away in the quiet and peace­ful neigh­bour­hood of Reser­voir Gar­den in Ayer Itam, Jo­hor, Crys­tal Fam­ily Home pro­vides a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for chil­dren to re­ceive a holis­tic up­bring­ing and ed­u­ca­tion.

The Home is neat, clean and well-or­gan­ised. Each child has his or her own locker. The Home is ide­ally lo­cated op­po­site a play­ground where the chil­dren can play and ex­er­cise ev­ery evening.

When­ever I visit the Home, the smil­ing faces which greet me re­flect the hap­pi­ness and se­cu­rity the chil­dren have found here. David and Es­ther are “daddy” and “mummy” to all the chil­dren.

They have been sow­ing love, care and con­cern into th­ese young lives. Now they are reap­ing the fruits of their labour of love.

They are firm and strict in dis­ci­plin­ing the chil­dren. All of them have to fol­low a daily reg­i­men.

Af­ter school, they have to fin­ish their home­work and help with the house­hold chores.

Bed­time is at 10pm ev­ery night, ex­cept dur­ing week­ends. They share the house­hold chores ev­ery Satur­day.

The chil­dren stay to­gether like one big, happy fam­ily. They have learnt to re­spect one another, share what­ever they have and care for one another.

Chan­dran was six years old when he joined the Home two years ago. He was very shy and timid then.

He didn’t even know how to eat with a pair of fork and spoon. To­day, he has grown in stature and con­fi­dence, and is a talk­a­tive boy.

His per­son­al­ity has changed tremen­dously af­ter all the at­ten­tion show­ered upon him by all his “brothers” and “sis­ters”.

He has even man­aged to score full marks for English in his ex­am­i­na­tion.

Thanks to all the mo­ti­va­tion and en­cour­age­ment they re­ceive, some of the chil­dren have ex­celled in their stud­ies.

Sharvin, who has been in the Home the past eight months, has come out of his shell. He was the third boy in his class.

Anita, a quiet girl, scored the high­est marks in her class for Moral.

There is a marked change in the chil­dren’s mind­set, at­ti­tudes and per­son­al­ity af­ter be­ing groomed in Crys­tal Fam­ily Home.

They all dis­play a higher level of self­con­fi­dence, in­tel­li­gence and self-es­teem.

Some of the girls like Bawani and Nisha look so in­no­cent and lov­able, you just want to hug them.

Each time I visit the Home it is a joy to see the phys­i­cal, emo­tional and men­tal de­vel­op­ment of th­ese chil­dren. They are well-be­haved, obe­di­ent, teach­able and reach­able.

As I chat with Es­ther, I can hear the chil­dren call­ing for her at­ten­tion. One needs to cut his nails while another needs to mend her torn school uni­form.

Be­ing the mother of 21 chil­dren is def­i­nitely an ar­du­ous task. She has to di­vide her time and at­ten­tion, and it’s a full-time job.

I salute her for her ex­tra­or­di­nary pa­tience, per­se­ver­ance and de­ter­mi­na­tion.

She has to at­tend to ev­ery­thing from mar­ket­ing, pro­vid­ing meals and pocket money for the chil­dren to keep­ing the ac­counts for the Home.

She is a su­per­woman with bound­less drive and en­ergy. If her cook is on leave, she takes over the cook­ing as well.

Ev­ery time I visit the Home, I’m in­spired by David and Es­ther to do what­ever I can to con­trib­ute to the well-be­ing of th­ese chil­dren. I can bless them by cook­ing for them or help­ing to raise funds to sus­tain the Home.

David and Es­ther re­mind me that or­di­nary peo­ple can do ex­tra­or­di­nary things. They have done an ex­cel­lent job in restor­ing th­ese young, bro­ken lives.

Their re­ward is the in­com­pa­ra­ble joy of see­ing their chil­dren grow up into sta­ble, use­ful cit­i­zens. It is love that sus­tains them as they up­hold their motto, “Mend­ing their past. Build­ing their fu­ture”.

Their per­se­ver­ance and de­ter­mi­na­tion have paid off. All the chil­dren in Crys­tal Fam­ily Home can look for­ward to a bet­ter and brighter fu­ture be­cause they know they are in good hands.

The happy chil­dren at the crys­tal Fam­ily Home.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.