Girls Home (Chiang Kham)

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The final week or so of the trip, our Thailand team is living at a girls home in Chiang Kham, a rural area about 5 hours to the east of Chiangmai. About 100 Thai girls live there and are parented by a pastor and his wife.

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Most of these girls all come from families where they’re at high risk for trafficking, being sold to forced labor, abandonment or neglect. Living at the girls home keeps them safe and allows them to finish their education through 12th grade so that they can escape from the poverty cycle.

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Wednesday we spent the afternoon at Faikwang High School with 100 students. We did English activities and shared about God’s love. Thursday we spent time with all the students at the primary school.

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That afternoon, we started a sidewalk cleaning project. The sidewalks were really mossy and slick, so that afternoon we bought a bunch of cleaning supplies and went to work.

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Wednesday and Thursday night were great group times, with lots of games, activities, praying and singing.

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On Friday, we continued on with the deslick the sidewalk project, along with starting work with the rice fields.

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Friday night we had a dance night with the girls at HOB, including line dances, us performing our dance, and the high schoool girls performing a dance for us.

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Saturday was a big rice field day for everyone, and we finished!!

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Saturday evening was a ministry night with the HOB girls. We performed a drama, explained it, and Katey gave her testimony. Then we got in our groups and prayed for each person individually, followed by ice cream for everyone!

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The Need to Teach Teachers

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Ugandan School ChildrenThis week our team has worked hard at the Ugandan school, and they have one more day of classes before the weekend.

Playground at Uganda School

Sarah and Tiffany have facilitated a professional development program for the school teachers and an administrator. They’ve worked hard to teach principles of classroom management and how to build relationships with students. They’ve also tried to share techniques for effectively teaching different subjects. The teachers have thoroughly engaged in the process and have expresses appreciation for how much they’re learning.

Ugandan Classroom

Meanwhile, the other girls have been running classes for all the students. They alternate between teaching them what the Ugandan teachers have planned for the day (acting as substitutes during the teacher development program), and running actual English camps.

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During the English camps, our girls use all sorts of games, songs and hand motions to help students learn and remember. They also help to correct pronunciation and grammar that has been learned incorrectly. It’s a huge value add for the school to have American English speakers to help!

Teaching English Camps in Uganda

As you can imagine, each day brings something new in Uganda. For every great ministry moment, there’s also a surprise or a challenge. For example, what do you do when a little boy brings his goat to school??

Ugandan Boys with Goat

Keep praying for our team, they have Friday and Monday in the school, and then they’ll return the following Friday for a big celebration.

Ugandan School Children

During the middle of next week, the team will be involved in some additional ministries in Kampala (the big city, about an hour away).

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Here’s a fun picture from one of their earlier trips into town…

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And also an update on the painting project the girls have been working on at the school!

Ugandan Community Development Project

Finally, what post would be complete without a picture of Tiffany holding a sweet little baby?!

Ugandan Baby with Missionary

Date Night in Chiangdao

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For the last few days, we’ve continued to serve at Fountain of Hope Orphanage in Chiangdao, Thailand. We’ve totally rocked a couple days working the farm (which feeds the kids), and we’ve really enjoyed building relationships with all of the children.

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We are most impressed by Sri and Aaron, the married couple who run the orphanage, and their devotion to the children. In the 4 1/2 years they’ve served, one of them always has to be home for the kids… which means they never have any date nights. As a way to honor them and bless them for the investment they’ve made in these kids, we really wanted to give them an opportunity to have time alone together, away from the orphanage.

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At first, they hesitated. Could our team handle all the kids on their own? But we convinced them, and they headed out. They had a beautiful evening to go to dinner and hangout without the kids.

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Meanwhile, I’m please to report that our team successfully entertained the children… no fires or injuries, just a fun time for all. Praise God!

 

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Fountain of Hope Orphanage (Chiangdao)

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Monday morning, bright and early, our team traveled 6 hours from Phitsanulok to Chiangdao by Sung-Tao (a red truck taxi, common for transport in Thailand). Along the way, we picked up our translator, Beer, a university student who will accompany us for this portion of the journey. Beer worked with a team RIM had in Thailand during June, and we loved her so much. Beer (black t-shirt on the right) is just starting to learn about who Jesus is, and it’s so good for another team to get to connect with her and share more.

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Once the team arrived in Chiangdao (chee-ang-dah-oh), they settled in at Fountain of Hope Orphanage, run by Sai and Aaron, a married Thai couple. Sai (pronounced “see”), the wife, has loved children and had a heart for the broken and abandoned ones her whole life. As a single woman and university student, she adopted an orphaned 3-year old boy, even before she met her husband. When Sai met Aaron (“aaa-rone”), she told him that she wanted to always have a home where they took in the children that no one else was helping. If Aaron wasn’t on board, that was a deal breaker for her as far as getting married. He agreed to share her vision and since that time they’ve been helping as many kids as the Lord gives them opportunity.

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Presently, they rent a large house and have 13 orphans staying with them. They have also purchased land, which they farm to provide food for their LARGE family. They have a dream to one day build an orphanage on the land they own (a project that will cost about $15,000 US), dig a well, and add some animals to the farm (pigs, chickens, cows). They aim to be pretty much self-sustaining. But for now, they take it one day at a time, trusting the Lord to provide for their daily needs. Each month, it costs about 30,000 baht for their rent and food for everyone. They have a regular income of 5,000 baht from Aaron’s job and one monthly donor. For the rest of their funding, they trust the Lord…

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For many of our team members who meet them, this trust really shines of an example of what our faith and dependence on the Lord should look like. Sai and Aaron have stories every month of how the Lord provides the rest. Sometimes he gives them a creative way to earn money. Other times a crop is harvested at the farm. Occasionally someone makes a donation. But for years now, they’ve been trusting the Lord and he’s been caring for 100% of their needs. An amazing example for us to follow when we feel the Lord leading us to action!

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While our team is in Chiangdao, they “do life” with the orphans at Fountain of Hope. This means rising early to read the Bible together at 5am each day, helping with chores (cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc.), helping with homework, and having fun and fellowship in the evenings.

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In addition, the team will be teaching English and/or facilitating English camps at the four public schools the orphans attend. They’ll also spend a day on the farm helping Fountain of Hope either prep the land or plant a crop for whatever is next to grow this season. (RIM’s June team chopped down bamboo trees and built frames for growing cucumbers! Perhaps this team can check to see how our crop is progressing…)

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RIM is also considering the possibility of starting a child sponsorship program for the orphans. Several team members have volunteered to take photographs and write down stories about each of the children to help us if we pursue this venture. We’re prayerfully waiting to see how the Lord will open doors!

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Peter’s Story: One Teen’s Perspective on Short Term Mission Trips

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Check out this awesome video!!

Peter, a high school student from Oklahoma, shot this footage while serving in Guatemala with RIM several times… You’ll soon see why he keeps going back!

Through his eyes, you’ll experience our 2-week Evangelism Trip, our 1-week Medical Trip and our 4-week Outreach trip. Even though this video takes place in Guatemala, it will help paint a picture of what it could be like for you to serve in any of our ministry locations this summer! When you’re finished watching, check out our upcoming trips:

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