Kim and Sanan after a sporting event leading up to his selection for the national blind soccer team.
Last month I mentioned major milestones in my life of 30 years (coming to Thailand) and 40 years (the formation of Thailand Baptist Missionary Fellowship-TBMF). This month—it is a 20 year milestone—marking the day when a young ethnic minority mom and her 11 month old daughter showed up on the doorstep. The mother knew she was dying of AIDS, and wanted to be back amongst the hills of northern Thailand. Unbeknownst to her, I had been praying with staff about what our response should be to trafficked ethnic minority women who were HIV positive. God had graciously prepared our hearts to receive them! One of our TBMF doctors, Dr. Bina Sawyer was able to see them, but at that time, there were no medicines to be able to treat. Our goal was to open a hospice, where ethnic minority women could come with their children and have a safe place where each could live out their last days surrounded by God’s love. We worked to secure funding through the Australian government, and in Feb. opened the first House of Love. Since that time, HOL has been home to a total of 89 HIV-infected ethnic minority women and their children and other at-risk ethnic minority children. While 31 woman and children have died in the last 2 decades, 30 had made a decision for Christ before dying. Another 34 have accepted Christ’s gift of salvation. I marvel at what God has done—and know that the House of Love is indeed a place where God’s love lives! Thank you to all who have supported this dream with finances and prayer—this is a milestone for you, too!
October break is finishing for our House of Love (HOL) students at different times—our 9 schools restart anywhere from Oct. 20 until Nov. 3, so you can imagine it makes for planning challenges for our staff. We appreciate your prayer for our house mothers and father as they care for the HOL family.
Two of our House of Blessing (HOB) teachers, Khruu Rae, and Khruu Pon are graduating in October with their early childhood education degrees. This is additional education that they have received to help them become the fantastic teachers they are! Praise God for their skill and care for our HOB students!
The Christian Center for the Development of People with Disabilities (CDPD) is rejoicing that one of their students, Sanan, is representing Thailand as a part of the national blind soccer team at the 2014 Asian ParaGames this month. These games are a parallel sports event for the Asian Games for Asian athletes with disabilities held in Incheon, South Korea. About 4,500 athletes from 41 countries will be competing in 23 sports. If you are like me, you may be puzzled about how someone blind can even play soccer. Here is what I learned: The soccer ball beeps, and is heard when it comes towards the soccer player. The players talk to one another and pass the ball to their team mates. There are two speakers at each goal post that make regular but distinct sounds. This enables the players to hear where their own goal is as well as where the opponents’ goal is. By the sound of goal posts, they can recognize exactly where to kick the ball. Isn’t that amazing? We are so proud of Sanan and rejoice at this opportunity to travel to Korea.
I had a wonderful time with my colleagues from TBMF at our conference and celebration of 4 decades of service. Now for the next 2 weeks I will be working in MaeSariang at the CDPD. I would appreciate prayer as we work through reports and proposals as well as have a board meeting. There will be some moments of fun too--we have a scout camp plus a sports day planned.