We and the children and staff of Blessing Home wish you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
On Friday, we celebrated Christmas at Blessing Home with our annual Christmas Family Outreach. As always, the place was packed to overflowing, and we could not fit everyone in the room. The children were divided into 4 groups to sing and dance, because it would be impossible to get all of them in the room at one time. Also the volunteers had to leave the room and go outside or upstairs to make room for the families and guardians of the children. But that is OK, the more the merrier, especially in Thai culture.
The staff at Blessing Home prepared costumes for the children on a shoestring budget. We are always amazed at how far they can make a little money stretch. They made the costumes out of brightly colored garbage bags. The “hula” skirts and shirts were made by shredding plastic bags with a nail and then weaving the shredded plastic at the top to form neon “grass” outfits. They looked great. Teacher Pui is incredibly talented and creative, and we are blessed that she serves on the staff of Blessing Home.
Church volunteers came midday to start preparations for the Christmas outreach. We praise God for volunteers from Life Center UMC of Pattaya who sacrificed to come put this outreach on. And for many of them, it was a great sacrifice. For example, one of the volunteers, Aun, has a tiny beauty shop in downtown Pattaya (when we say tiny, it is about 5 foot by 10 foot). Aun gave up earning her living on a Friday, her busiest day, to serve at Blessing Home by styling the hair and doing makeup for the children. We know that Aun’s sacrifice to the Lord, giving up her most profitable day at her beauty shop, was a sacrifice that will cause her to have to skip many meals over the next week so she can pay her bills. This is true of many of the Thai church volunteers. They sacrifice deeply for the Lord, giving out of their need rather than out of surplus. It is a great honor to serve beside these Thai volunteers, they are an inspiration to us.
Without church volunteers, the ministry of Blessing Home would not be possible. We are greatly indebted to Teacher Amporn, who is Pastor Banya’s wife. She volunteers everyday at Blessing Home, because there is not enough funds to pay her salary. She prepares delicious and nutritious food for the children everyday, visits in the homes and neighborhoods of the children every week. Every church, every ministry has people like Amporn and Aun whose volunteer service makes an eternal difference. For New Years Day, it should be a time where we look around at who give themselves sacrificially to make the ministries of the church happen. Tell them how grateful you are for their ministry. There are so many times that Sunday School teachers, children’s ministry workers, and other volunteers at church could really use the uplifting words of God’s people, so they know they are appreciated and that they are making a difference for God’s Kingdom.
|Church volunteers at Blessing Home's "Beauty Shop" - doing the hair and makeup for the children and helping them into their costumes|
|Church volunteers preparing dinner|
|The Christmas Family Outreach is always a huge event at Blessing Home with a crowd that overflows|
After the children had finished their singing and dancing, there was a gift ceremony where children picked numbers out of a hat to win a prize that had that number. Every child received a random gift as well as a tin of cookies and a toy elephant. The toy elephants were made by the women of Campbellsville First UMC in Kentucky. The elephants are a token of God’s love that the children will take home so they have something to hug at night while they sleep.
|A Blessing Home child with her elephant, a gift from Campbellsville First UMC|
|Missionary Christine Villa, Teacher Amporn and her husband Pastor Banya with one of the boys|
At the end, we all ate Pad Thai (Thai stir-fried noodles) and oranges together. There is always lots of food, so we send the extra food home with the children and their families so they have something to eat for breakfast the next day.
We thank you for your support of Blessing Home, which saves and protects children from Human Trafficking in the sex and drug trades. Without your help, many of these children would have no hope.
We are getting closer to the goal of $144,000 for a new building for Blessing Home. We have now received over $95,000.
Donations may be sent by mail or by internet.
Please make your checks out to TMM and send them to:
P.O. Box 56
Mannsville, KY 42758
Or donate through the TMM website at thailandmethodist.org