Children's Corner: Orthodoxy in Bali
In our last activity we talked about missionaries. Do you remember how the apostles traveled throughout the world to spread Christianity? Today we are going to learn about another missionary who is spreading the Faith. His name is Fr. Aleksander.
Fr. Aleksander is a priest who lives in Bali, Indonesia, with his wife, Matushka Viktoria, and his two daughters. Fr. Aleksander moved to Bali ten years ago to be a missionary and teach people about Orthodox Christianity. Most people in Bali are Hindu - a religion that does not know about God. So, Fr. Aleksander travels to different cities in Bali, meets new people, and tells them about Orthodoxy. Since he moved to Bali, Fr. Aleksander has baptized thirty-four people!
Very often, being a missionary is hard work. Fr. Aleksander and his family have worked hard and practiced being selfless. In order to start the mission church in Bali, Fr. Aleksander and his family sold some of their belongings to have enough money to buy food. When the government wouldn’t let them have Liturgy in his home, Fr. Aleksander built a church by himself! Can you imagine how hard that must have been? And because he does not have a car, Fr. Aleksander walks to church and to different cities to teach people. Fr. Aleksander is devoting his life to doing good deeds and practicing selflessness.
Age 6 and under
In Matthew 25:40, Jesus tells us that when we take care of other people, we are taking care of Him. This is why it is so important to do good deeds, and to be kind and loving to everyone.
Fr. Aleksander practices doing good deeds every day! He moved all the way across the world to live in a different country so that he could help other people learn about God. Have you ever moved? It takes a lot of work, doesn’t it?
Fr. Aleksander also walks everywhere he goes! He doesn’t have a car, but he doesn’t let that stop him from doing good deeds. Can you imagine walking all the way to church? That might take a long time, and your legs would probably get tired!
What are some good deeds you can do this week? Can you do a good deed for your parents? What about a sibling or friend?
Here is a picture of Fr. Aleksander walking to a town in Bali. Do you see his footprints?
Color Fr. Aleksander and his footprints.
How many houses do you see? Color them brown.
Do you see the buildings with lots of roofs? They are Hindu temples, and are usually very fancy. Can you color them to look fancy?
Do you see the ocean in the picture? Color it blue.
Do you see boats in the water? Color them grey.
How many palm trees are there? Color them green.
Where is the sun? Color it yellow.
Age 7 and up
Doing Good Deeds and Being Selfless
In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus gives us some instructions on how to do good deeds. He talks about feeding the hungry, caring for strangers, clothing the needy, visiting the sick, ministering to the prisoners. And then he tells us that doing these good deeds for other people is the same as doing them for Him.
Very often, doing good deeds requires us to be selfless. The opposite of being selfless is being selfish. When we are selfish, we only do what we want to do, and not what anyone else wants. When we are selfless, we do what is best for someone else, instead of doing what we want to do. Can you think of some examples of being selfless?
Fr. Aleksander practices a lot of selflessness in order to do good deeds! He moved all the way across the world to live in a different country so that he could help people learn about God. Can you imagine moving to a different country? What would that be like?
What are some other selfless things Fr. Aleksander does?
What are some ways you can do good deeds for others? If you need some ideas, ask your priest. Maybe your church collects canned food for people who are hungry. Or maybe he knows someone who is sick and would appreciate a “Get Well” card.
Bali is a province in Indonesia. Where is Indonesia? Can you find it on a map? Can you find Bali?
Indonesia is made of up lots of islands. Do you see other islands in the picture?
Bali is in the Coral Triangle - an area of the ocean with the most diversity of marine species. Can you draw some coral in the water?
In Bali, some beaches have white sand, and some beaches have black sand. Which color of sand do you think is in the picture?
Lots of tourists visit Bali every year. Can you find a cruise ship?
The main religion in Bali is Hindu. Can you find two Hindu temples in the picture? How are they different than churches?
Do you see the trees in the picture? What kind of trees do you think they are?