Dear friends and family and prayer supporters
Please do accept the sincerest of apologies for no jotting since December last year! This time from Christmas day onwards until now just got horrendously busy and stressful but read on for the good news. Meantime thank you to you all for the lovely greetings and gifts sent to me and to Hope Home over the Christmas time, and thankyou especially for all who were asked to pray specifically for situations here-our God is bigger than all the obstacles we faced and His timing has been perfect.
So – big news first! Our registration documents were given to us completed and accepted on 1st February!! We are now officially a registered social welfare home for children and adults with special needs. Hooray! This has a been a long 4 year process and comes as a big relief to us all, and enables us to continue care for all our current children, and to help more as time progresses. The waiting period for this moment has been long and , to be honest, confusing and frustrating, but now we are in a much better place and are coming under the governance of Baan Sabaay Foundation with the CAM staff as our directors and overall accountability people. This is a great opportunity and will be the best sustainable option for Hope Home and its future. The lead up to the actual final inspection was frantic but we are grateful for local community friends and also our artists in residence, Tony and Joy Harper for all stepping in and helping – a long weekend of painting the whole outside of the house, the main living area and lots of odd patching up, locks on every possible cupboard and door, scrubbing floors, moving storage space around and labelling everything that stayed still!!! But all worth it-we passed with only a few minor adjustments structurally and administratively needed. Becca and I enjoyed the break from redoing all administration paperwork to be doing the physical painting and cleaning.
Tony and Joy arrived just after Christmas for the third visit and are adorning Hope Home with hippos in the bathroom, a huge jungle scene in the carport and a beautifully crafted sign for outside the home….and next – gutting and redoing a girl’s bathroom and sorting out our physiotherapy storage area! They are soooooo hard working and the children and staff love them heaps. They timed their visit, not intentionally, to be here when we had 50 15 year old students plus their teachers from an international school in Bangkok. They came last year and did a space mural on one outside wall. This year is a sea-scene mural on an outside wall, and they finished painting the outside of the house too. We have also had our front drive and house entrance concreted and ramped so we asked this group to hold off on their sensory pathway painting until that settles. The house and the grounds are looking great, and all well worth the effort.
In the midst of all this we enjoyed celebrating Christmas and New Year with friends, church and school events as well as hosting the community Christmas party. The children all did very well- though at the school Bow, Gai and Amos go to we had the complete set of behaviours in performances- Bow perfection with appropriate seriousness, Gai enthusiastic through it all but not in line and not completely following the rest of his class mates, and Amos stood still and cried throughout his! Phil and Bow did amazingly in the church performance just before Christmas and our own nativity scene reenactment at Hope Home was well received as usual.
The children have stayed healthy and happy throughout and continue to enjoy life to the full. Joy had the pleasure of 3 weeks with her birth mum staying with us close by incase we needed her whilst paperwork got clarified, and she was sad to leave again, but also keen to get back to Joys 3 younger brothers in the village.
The other good news on the Hope Home front is that for those who help financially through the Hope Home dedicated UK account, we are now in the process of application for charity status and hope to hear in the next few months. We will keep you informed, and thank you for your patience with us on this.
CAM staff are well but very busy as usual, and were extra busy helping us with our situation at Hope Home, but now registration is done we will plan a big thankyou party and relax together. Gung Lek is now my ‘boss’ for Hope Home and I am thrilled. Pray for Rev Sanan as he approaches retirement in April –whatever that looks like for him. Pray for Gung Lek too whose mother has been very unwell lately and is home but much weaker. Pray too for us all as we tackle the approaching deadlines on reports for donors and restart new projects. Baan Sabaay continues well with fluctuating numbers of clients and sadly a few deaths these last few months. At the New Year we had a lovely time together at CAM with all of Baan Sabaay, Hope Home and our friends in the city support group. Our children have the knack of cheering up the folks at Baan Sabaay.
Finally we as a BMS team are looking forward to Paul and Sarah Brown moving to Chiang Mai (albeit the opposite side of town to Kathryn and I) ….leaving Ashleigh in Bangkok still and Wit and Helen in Uttradit. The Action Team are there just now and seem to be having an amazing time there. They will be back in Chiang Mai in March sometime.
So – apologies again for a delay in writing, but I was sort of waiting for the good news!!! We are all looking forwards to maybe a quieter February if that is at all possible, and then in March to heading to the beach with all of Hope Home folks and CAM together for a family camp. The dates have been moved due to the announcement of the Election Day.
Pray for Thailand at this time and pray that those of us who have the pleasure of living and working here can continue to shine His light to those around us.
Pictures next time – else you may never receive this jotting
Much love and huge thanks for your incredible support