Last Saturday, Sherri and I went to Pattaya to go visit the families of children that the members of Life Center UMC minister to. Pattaya is a tourist city and has many beautiful resorts. But near the railroad tracks, there are many tin shack slums called "chungchon" where people live in desperate poverty with no water, no electricty, and no sanitation.
Very close to Life Center UMC are 5 slums with hundreds of poor children, many of them orphans who are now cared for by grandparents, or in many cases senior adults who are unrelated to the orphan but have chosen to be merciful. The senior woman in the top right picture (with her orphan "adopted" grandaughter and Mike) cares for an orphan who is not even related to her. This senior lady brings the girl with her every day to pick through garbage cans all day in the searing heat to find recyclables to sell. Neither the woman nor the girl drink or eat anything all day long. The girl cannot go to school because she does not have a birth certificate. She was abandoned at the hospital, and no certificate is given to abandoned children. With no hope of an education, they must sell tissue and other items on Walking Street which is the worst "red light district" in the city. When they are older, they cannot obtain a work permit because they do not have documents, so they can never be employed. Someday we need a legal ministry which helps to get documents such as birth certificates for children, so they can go to school and have a future with hope.
Pastor Banya and Teacher Prantip visit the children in these slums every week to have Bible Club meetings. Teacher Prantip brings a blanket and sets it out on the ground. The children learn Bible lessons, sing worship songs, and play games.
Some of the children are brought to the church each day for care and receive instruction in reading and writing as well as lunch and a snack. We would like to start a children's day care center to take care of these children but we need funds to do this. Gifts for this project can be given to you UMC church treasurer for Advance #00403A - Thailand Mission Initiative.
Most of the children in these slums receive little or no medical care. One girl named Benz (bottom picture, on the left with her "adopted grandmother" and sister Frame, is deaf and mute and has never been to a doctor. She is now 5 years old. We are making arrangements for her
The need is very great here and we are praying that God will provide the resources to meet the needs of these orphans.