Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New children to Promise Home

Good morning~

It is bright and early here in Chiang Rai; a time where it is very peaceful and quite beautiful. Each day of our visit has brought new and exciting things to our lives and yesterday was no exception.

We spent most of the day with the parents of Promise Home as the children were all in school. We talked with them about how they thought things were going, to see what they needed and if they were happy. We also talked in length about the future of Promise Home and the direction it was headed. These plans include the addition of more children to the home and finding a place that is closer to our friends and family at Bethany and Faith Homes and which costs a little less than our current location. The Thai people are so precious. Both the parents think the house they currently live in is "too" fancy and they don't need anything quite like that. I would not call the current location "too" fancy but it is what you are exposed to and have been used to living with during your life that determines that. So Big will begin looking for a different location so they have a new place by the time the lease is up at the end of April.

We also talked about adding two new children to the home and Big told us he knew a family who were in need of some help. The parents are a younger couple and the father recently had a bad accident at work that left him paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheel chair. This left the mother as the only one who could work to support their three children and the grandparents. Grandma is 99 years old. The wife, Achew has only been able to find day labor work on an inconsistent basis so life has been very difficult for them over the past six months. They talked with Big and Fon and made the difficult decision to let their two oldest children, Teeraday (pronounced Te-la-day) and Wandi come to Promise Home to live and go to school.

Wandi and her father in front, Achew with their youngest and Teeraday standing next to mom

We went to the village yesterday and shared some heartbreaking moments with them, particularly the mother. While she had decided that giving her children a chance for a better life and education by having them go to Promise Home, it was heartbreaking for her to acknowledge she was letting them go. Many tears were shed by the group that had gathered to meet us and spend time with us. I think most of us know the heart wrenching feeling of letting your children go even though you know it is the for the best. When I was hugging Achew before I left, her body shook with tears and she would not let go. We simply stood there in an embrace while she and I both cried. I did not leave until she was ready to let me go. My heart breaks for her and so I know we will do all that we can to help her family and take good care of her children. I am sure they will soon feel like my own just as the others do.

Wandi with momma and her younger brother

I know that the other children will be good to their new siblings. Both Palita and Nittaya are ready to be big sisters again and will help ease the children into the home. This is an exciting, yet scary time as our little project grows. We are now helping more children which is a goal but we also must ensure we have the funds to continue to project over the years. But, I will not worry too much about the future. I will live in the present and take it day by day. I have faith and trust that the Lord will provide.

Till next time.....

God Bless,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Charities Within Reach Visit

Four members of the Charities Within Reach group arrived in Chiang Rai mid-morning on January 17th. We were greeted by our friends Jermsak and his family, the family and children at Promise Home and our friend Ann. What a wonderful and exciting sight it was to have them all waiting for us to get there. There were squeals of delight, flowers and hugs all around. I received so many hugs and lots and lots of love from everyone. I am sure all members of the traveling group got the same warm and wonderful welcome.

After we arrived we went to our hotel and got settled. We stayed there just long enough to briefly rest and then we were off for a terrific evening of fun, friendship and food with all of the children from Promise, Bethany and Faith Homes. We had a Korean bar-b-que with tons of fun. It was a wonderful evening.

Judy with Promise Home- 

Tin, Palita and Nittaya 

Tim, Fon, Yim and Nom


Pastro Prathuan of Bethany, Ann, Joan and Kenyt

Supannee of Bethany, Judy and Jermsak

Mom and her boys

Mom and Palita 

We joined all of them once again for church followed by lunch on Sunday. The kids from Promise Home had a dance prepared for us. We sat there transfixed on the children and their dance. Was very touching to see them all up there in front of many people doing the dance. Also a very proud moment for us all.

After lunch we headed off to Mae Salong and the Lisu Hill Tribe Kindergarten that we support as well. We were greeted by huge smiles, waves and the sound of joyous voices of the children we have seen for many years now. They all did several dances for us and then invited us to join them in a dance. What fun. After the dances we went inside and spent some time coloring and just being with the children. It was during this time that the moms finishing setting up all their crafts for us to buy and once we were done coloring, we went out to buy things from the ladies outside. We enjoy being part of this small economic project where we can help the families by providing income for them and then help support the kids so they can go to school.

Lisu girls dancing 

Doing a traditional Lisu dance 

Kent, Judy and Joan dancing

Traditional Lisu dress

The kindergarten kids and their teacher.

The teacher and other ladies made dinner for us and it was wonderful. We sat and enjoyed the food while learning that there are now 35 children from the village who go to elementary school in town. This is amazing!!! The teacher listed the names and pictures of all the children who are in the elementary school and showed it to us with great pride. The village is lucky to have someone who cares for their children as much as the teacher does and who works so hard to see them succeed.

It was a wonderful first day of being back in Chiang Rai with the kids. I had seen them on Skype but I didn't really get a good sense of just how well they were doing until I arrived once again. They all look so wonderful and are happy. The older girls are excelling in school, while Tin and Ahmorntep are boys in elementary school and want to play more than pay attention at the moment. Big and Fon are patiently working through that issue. When we get back to Chiang Rai tomorrow, we will meet with Big and Fon and get more in depth details of life since I have been gone. It is heartwarming to see that they are all doing so well and have the others in the group comment on just how wonderful the children look and are doing. We are all overjoyed.

Till next time.....

God Bless,

5 Year Anniversary and Still Going Strong!!!

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