Hi there everyone,
It’s holidays here in Thailand… all the girls have gone back to visit and stay with their families for a few weeks before we go on camp together! Holidays are a great time for us to join camps with other churches and meet other young christians. We will be going on two camps these holidays- one is the regional youth camp with an emphasis on preparation for ministry, and the other is the national youth camp. Our older kids are very involved in the camps, often helping as junior leaders, ushers, and assisting. Our kids have built a good reputation for being responsible, helpful, hard working and accountable- Lak has been getting calls from camp management requesting our kids specifically to help! Lily and I will be attending the national women’s camp which is held at the same time and location as the youth camp (Lily didn’t want to go on the women’s camp alone, and told me I was coming too, and that was that. It didn’t seem to matter about my gender!)
These camps are empowering and encouraging for our kids. In NZ I know many christian kids get the opportunities to go on really great camps. We want to give this opportunity to our kids too. If you would like to support camp costs for our kids please send me an email and let me know! Jamie.firstname.lastname@example.org
University Students Ministry
This year is the second year of our university students ministry – our answer to the problem of how to continue to support the kids as they transition into tertiary education. We want to help them succeed and keep them safe, while giving them more freedom to grow into adults. Because our boy’s and girls’ homes are 20 km south of the city, we decided to build some extra rooms onto the church (which is in town and close to the university) and give our students the choice of living there rent-free, with the understanding that they would care for the church, helping out and keeping the property tidy. This has been great for our students, as they have just enough independence as well as being under the watchful eye of a teacher and her family who also live at the church.
Last time I was in NZ I talked a little about starting this ministry and I am pleased to say we are well underway! We are currently adding extra rooms for the boys to stay in. We have bought a second hand motorbike for the girls to use, as well as a bicycle to use during the day (it’s a bit dangerous to ride a bicycle at night as a girl). We still need to get a few more items, like a fridge, basic kitchen utensils, and household items. We don’t have a budget for the unverstiy work. Everything we are doing is coming out of our boy’s and girls’ house budgets- and we are getting stretched pretty thin.
If you feel you would like to support our university students work, please send me an email at email@example.com and let me know. Right now we are helping the students where we can, but we can’t afford to help them with everything. They are paying all their own food, power, water, term fees, tuition fees, everything.
Next Semester Plans
We have many people requesting we consider taking in kids from all over thailand, but often the kids are too young- 5-6 year olds or even 8 year olds. We pray for guidance everytime a new request comes in- we don’t want to limit God’s ministry to our own understanding. We never want to tuen people away, but sometimes we have to, and it’s horrible! Please pray we find the right people to join us in opening a home for younger children. Meanwhile, next semester we will have two new children with us; a boy, 11, and a girl, 8. Both are from very vulnerable situations. and we have agreed to take them in despite their ages being low.
When we hear their stories and realise they have no other hope, we remember Jesus is the Hope of the world, and we can’t help but try our best to find a way to help them! Sometimes we bend our own rules juuust a little bit- if it means we can save a child with no other way out. Isn’t it terrible that at only 5 years of age, life is already over for some children?