July 9, 2019

Even with a Little Act

Lee Jeong-yeon from Bucheon, Korea


The International University Student Bible Academy [IUBA] is an education program of the Church of God, through which college students go abroad and enlarge their experience during their school break. I, too, joyfully volunteered for it, wanting to have a meaningful school break.

I went to Jakarta in Indonesia. Among many activities I did there, I cannot forget our voluntary work at an orphanage.

From a week before we visited the children, we thought over and over the way to give the children a precious memory. The guide told us that the kids would be greatly interested just for the fact that we are from Korea, so we prepared traditional Korean games such as Jegichagi [Korean hacky sack] and Ddakjichigi [Korean milk caps]. We made a plan to show some dance routines before the game to liven up the mood, and to do face painting during the event.

However, the problem was how we were going to prepare all the items we needed. It was almost impossible to find Korean toys such as jegi [hacky sack] or ddakji [milk caps] in Indonesia. After much thought, we made jegi with white cloth and ddakji with calendar paper. We painted the white cloth and drew pictures on the paper, but we were worried, being not sure if the kids would like it.

On the day we were scheduled to visit them, we drove for an hour and arrived at the orphanage. The children welcomed us with bright faces. They watched us dance along with a children’s song with sparkling eyes and curious looks.

Then it was followed by the traditional Korean games. They were all happy while competing with each other for the jegi game and ddakji game, and they liked face painting, too. While their faces were being painted, the kids looked around, being curious about what was going on around them; they were so pure and adorable.

Although an exciting atmosphere like a festival was created, I was sorry that our program was too simple; I couldn’t get the thought off my chest.

‘We’ve come all the way from Korea, and this is all we can do for them?’

But I heard later that one of the kids went to the guide during the activity and asked him in Indonesian, “How do I say, ‘When are you going to come back?’ in Korean?”

The kid didn’t ask any of us—maybe she was too shy—that nobody heard her say it in person, but I was moved when the guide told us about that. I guess the children were happy all day, although we felt sorry in a way.

I still don’t know if what we did there was good enough for us to feel like we have done something. But I’m positive about one thing: Even a little act can move someone greatly and bring joy to them, just as our small voluntary work gave fun memories to the children.

Based on this experience, I’ve made up my mind to move the world even with a little act of kindness.