Trash Mountain in Bali


Bali – more to just the sights of Bali as a popular tourist destination. Robyn Baust and I had the opportunity to visit Bali in mid-July 2019 to explore and see the ministries of our missions partners Adrian & Jo Murley. 

Adrian & Jo pastor One Heart Church Bali at two sites, one in Nusa Dua and the other in Canggu. In addition to this, they partner with the following organisations in reaching the Bali community.

  • Abbalove School
  • Denpasar Kids – Teaching English
  • Hope School – Compassion Kids program & Water Tanks Project
  • Permata Children’s Home – orphanage with children ranging from toddlers to youth
  • Bali Life Foundation – Suwung Trash Mountain, Street Kids Evangelism, Prison Ministry

We were amazed with the breadth of ministry and compassionate work they are involved with the many organisations and locals in Bali.  They have truly captured the World Impact vision ‘To Bless Communities and Build the Church’. 

One particular instance was our visit to the Trash Mountain in Suwung. This community lives in slum conditions and isolated from the neighbouring communities. Many families have lived together here for generations, crammed into small, squalid living units with the barest of necessities only.  They collect recyclables and worked hard clearing the labels and flattening the plastic bottles and containers, and cardboard boxes to sell to recycling companies to earn an income.  A 1kg of plastic will earn them $0.06, and it involves more than 2 or more family members to pick up the recyclables from the trash mountain and on an average could amount up to 20kg for $1.20 a day.  This income barely supports the whole family and the rental of those squalid quarters.  As such many of them are trapped in poverty.

English Class

In this Suwung Trash Mountain, Bali Life Foundation has a house with 3 rooms to run English classes for the local children (as they do not attend normal school) and sewing classes.  Bali Life Foundation has a program to train women in sewing skills to empower them to earn a decent income to break the poverty cycle.  During our visit, there were only 3 machines for 5 women per occasion training.  Adrian saw the potential in helping and blessing this community and the children to have a better future, started a fundraiser for 7 more machines (5 for the Trash Mountain and 2 for the Street Kids Centre).

These additional machines will provide opportunities for more women to be trained in sewing skills, and thereby help generate more income either through employment or starting their own sewing business.

The first call out was just a video profile on Facebook where Adrian raised the specific needs.  There were immediate responses from CityLife’s congregations and friends and within a week, the total amount of $2,700 was sufficiently raised for the 7 machines.  We praise God for the generosity of the people donating to this cause.

The next exciting thing for Adrian was to shop for the sewing machines the Bali Foundation Life team to acquire the proper machines.  Purchases were completed and the machines were fully installed at the two locations, Suwung Trash Mountain and the Street Kids Centre.  

The team at Bali Life foundation are very grateful for the generous donations.  It certainly made a huge impact in their communities and demonstrates the love of God that compels us to do something, to love our neighbours as ourselves. 

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

– Micah 6:8 (NIV)