Monday, June 30, 2014

Pure Joy

Remember when you got your first, brand new bicycle? Can you recall the feeling of joy and excitement riding it around, feeling the wind on your face? Close your eyes and see the four children at Promise Home who have never had a bicycle, much less a new one. Can you see their faces filled with joy and happiness now that they each have one?

We took the kids shopping on Saturday for their brand new bikes and while it was a little overwhelming with all the choices they had, eventually they all found the perfect one for them, got them purchased and off we went. Got them home and each of them took off riding them around the neighborhood until dinner time. There was so much excitement that day.

Rules have been set and all of the children will be expected to follow them. Homework must be done, their things must be picked up and they must pay attention and work while in school. Following the rules last night, Ahmorntep immediately did his homework and then went to ride his bike. After dinner, he asked if he could go out, was told yes and away he ran.

The kids with their new bikes! 

Yim fits in the basket of Nittaya's bike 

Yim loves sitting in the basket

Palita- I tried this one and thought I was gonna kill myself. You should have seen the two boys laughing at me when I was riding it with my knees at my shoulders.

Nittaya- She let me ride it for a while last night. It is a very nice bike. I will have to find one like this when I get home.

Tin- After I rode Nittaya's last night, Tin had me try his. Even worse than Palita's because my knees were at my ears. Tin generously followed behind to help me along (by pushing of course)

Ahmorntep- He is a wild child on his bike. He roars up and down the street at breakneck speed and will often lean to one side or the other so one training wheel is off the ground. He careens around corners and looks like he is going to tip over at any minute. He is certainly enjoying every minute of his bike even after experiencing the pain of a boys bike, twice now. Hard not to smile when you see him standing there holding his privates and you know exactly what happened, especially the second time. I don' t mean to laugh at his pain but his face was priceless.

Nom- Her gift from Mom. Her bike is like Palita's and after trying that one, I declined the offer to ride Nom's.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who donated money to purchase these bicycles for the four kids at Promise Home. Nom's new bike is a present from Mom. Each one of the children thanked me many times and I received the best hugs and kisses. I only wish I could share those with all of you. I pray you know that your generosity provided a wonderful gift to these children who have had so little in their lives. Know that you gave them something very special and for that, I am very grateful.

Enjoy the pictures!

Till next time...

God Bless,

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Settling In

Hello from Chiang Rai~

Today is the beginning of week number three for the two young volunteers at Promise Home. They are no longer strangers but are considered part of the family. They have been able to enjoy a lot of fun and activities with the children.

Last week, Big, the house father created a wall board with pictures of the family at Promise Home along with their names and birthdays. He told me he thought it was important to share "big" days with everyone in the home. Along with the pictures of the kids, he posted others with my nieces and the two volunteers included. They are officially members of the Promise Home family so he felt it only appropriate to include them in the pictures as well. The board also includes the five (5) rules of the family that Big feels are the most important. Here is the English translation:

#1- We eat together at the same time
#2- We will maintain a clean home duties or obligations either assigned to each
#3- We have Bible study every Saturday after work is completed
#4- We will take one and read the Bible every morning before we eat everyday
#5- We may talk politely, We will love each other, We will not quarrel

One the bottom of the page he has a note. It reads: "To honor others. Obedience to the teachings of their parents and other adults is something that every child should follow."

The board hanging on the wall inside the door

The Family Tree with birthdays 

Everyone in the family 

Family Rules

The college girls are great help with the lessons every night. They have jumped right in and have some fun, creative ways to teach the kids and this helps them remember their lessons. They joined the family for one Saturday evening of Bible study in the area where Big and his family lived before we hired them and all of his neighbors asked the girls if they wouldn't mind coming early on Saturday night to teach them more English as well. So this past Saturday, we all went and helped the kids with their body parts. We played head, shoulders, knees and toes and did the Hokey Pokey. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Along with the lessons, the girls play games after dinner before the kids study. They play soccer, badminton, run, chase, etc. All of the children enjoy their company and have developed a wonderful rapport with them. They also help with preparing the meals, Big is an excellent cook and he invites them in to learn how to cook all of the time. They will help setting the table, clearing it after the meal and doing the dishes. We know that all of these things are assigned duties and obligations for Palita and Nittaya so they don't try to do too much, but like me, they want to help out. Whenever Big catches me doing something he always goes, "Oh Mom, what are you doing?" I tell him I am just helping out and I am fine. He is so caring for not only the kids but me as well. On the first Sunday outing where we played soccer, I had on a different pair of shoes and they rubbed a small blister on my left index toe. When we got home, I asked him for the first aid kit so I could clean it and put a bandaid on it, he ran upstairs to get it. He brought it down and I was going to take care of my toes but instead, he took it upon himself to clean it and then he put the bandaid on my toe. How kind is that? Both he and Fon are very loving to the children and it is evident that the children love them as well.

Here are some pictures of our outing yesterday to Boon Rawd Farms in Singha Park. We didn't make it in time to take the trolley around to see the farm and go to the zebras and giraffes but Big said we would go again, but earlier next time. Enjoy!

The girls at the Singha lion

Madi and Sylvia with the family

Palita and Nittaya

Handsome men

The four kids

Madi and Sylvia with the kids 

Fon, Nam, Yim and Big

Big and the boys



Ahmorntep chasing Tin 

Till next time.....

God Bless,

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Volunteers

The two young ladies who are working with me at Promise Home arrived last Monday, June 9th. They had taken an amazing flight from the United States to China and then on to Bangkok. After their arrival, they spent several hours in the Bangkok airport trying to get some rest before their early morning flight to Chiang Rai. We picked them up at 9:30 on the 9th and I must say, I was officially stunned and amazed at the lack of luggage. Two girls staying for almost two months and all each of them had were very full backpacks and a carry on bag. My nieces who stayed for two weeks had larger suitcases, however they did take home many souvenirs. Perhaps the other girls don't plan to do that but how can they resist????????

(L-R) Sylvia and Madi in their room

Madi's things 

Sylvia's things

Sylvia Wilson- Sylvia is a 21 year old college senior at the University of Colorado Denver Campus. She is majoring International Business with a minor is Sustainability. She is using her time here in Chiang Rai and Promise Home as a summer Internship. She will help me with the book keeping and tracking finances for the home as well as working on updating the Charities Within Reach website.

Madi Fuhrman- Madi is also a 21 year college senior. She attends the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She is majoring in acting and she teaches Yoga.

Both girls will be helping with different projects in and around the home. In addition to that, they will help the children with their English and their Math skills. Big has created a schedule for 45 minutes each night of the children to learn new skills. He intends to take full advantage of the three of us while we are here.

In addition to teaching the children at Promise Home, the neighbors and people who attend Bible Study with Big have asked us to help them with their English too. So I am anticipating a large number of Thai's who wish to learn some basic English from us.

The girls are already a big hit with the kids. They have become the newest members of the family and the kids adore them. They are welcomed to the home as joyfully as I am. As a matter of fact, I have faded to the background a little and seem like an after thought. :)

We have had some wonderful times with everyone already and it will be a great summer with the two of them here to help out and be with the kids. So, enjoy some pictures of our time so far and look for many more to come.

Till next time.....

God Bless,

Enjoying their first Korean BB-Que

So full....... 

Sylvia on the old slide



Sylvia against Tin... who will win

Madi and her team ready to start the attack 

Another breakout 

Madi and Sylvia relaxing after a warm, humid football game

Sunday, June 15, 2014


My nieces, Bryn and Abby arrived safely and we spent the last two weeks exploring the area around Chiang Rai and spending time with the kids. It is heartwarming to see how quickly the children connect with people who come to spend time with them and how the visitors soon become part of the family.

Even though the girls and I did a lot of touring, we spent several evenings with the kids. We would go to eat dinner and then either played with them or helped them with some of their lessons. We attended church and spent Sunday afternoon playing games. My nieces wanted to take the children swimming but three of them were feeling a little under the weather and it was raining. We are officially in the rainy season here in Chiang Rai. Some days it will rain off and on all day while it will rain one or twice on other days. Yesterday it sprinkled a little a couple of times during the day and today it has been raining off and on all morning. The rain comes down pretty hard at times. I don't mind it so much because it has helped cool the temperatures considerably. Most of the time now, I am not sweating to death from the moment I awake to the end of the day. However, if the sun comes out after a shower, the humidity is sometimes unbearable.

Please enjoy some of the many pictures we took while the girls were here for a visit.

Till next time.....

God Bless,

5 Year Anniversary and Still Going Strong!!!

Good morning~ I woke up this morning and realized that five years ago today, I began the first leg of a journey that would forever change ...