Expanding the Toolbox
Over the past 4 years in Chiang Mai we have learned so much and still have so much to discover and adapt to. As we further understand the situation in Thailand and what God is doing there, it has been valuable to reflect on the journey and impact experienced throughout the years. The House of Love and the House of Blessing have a long history of helping and supporting Hilltribe children and families in Thailand. Throughout this history there have been two primary “tools” available to help: the youth home and the preschool. God has changed the lives of hundreds of children and we plan to continue to follow God’s lead as Hilltribe children in crisis are brought to our attention for care and intervention.
In the past few years when a child in crisis is referred to us at the House of Love, we have noted that the crisis is not isolated to the child, it is the entire family who is in crisis. The problems experienced by children who are abused, abandoned, or at-risk are often, at their roots, problems for the whole family. If our goal is to protect children in the best way possible, we need to look at the problem within the context of family because no matter what we do, the child is still connected to that family. Whether the child continues to be raised by their family unit, by other relatives, or in a youth home like House of Love, we must address the problems we are seeing within the context of a family to also prepare the children for their future relationships and their own families. We want to be able to set them up to be contributing individuals of society and followers of Christ, who know the importance of family and who know how to function within one. As we seek to address whole family problems, we need to have wrap-around family solutions available as well.
This is why the House of Love is starting the Family Empowerment Project as an expansion of our youth home. The project allows us to add more “tools” to our “toolbox” of supporting children so that when we receive a referral about a child or family in crisis, we can assess what the problem is for that particular child and be able to respond with the appropriate solution. For some children the solution may be to work with the family to be a stronger family unit, other children may need a temporary shelter while we work with the family, and for others, family may not be an option.
Sadly, there is no shortage of children in crisis in Thailand: abuse, abandonment, and risk of trafficking are all still serious problems. Properly diagnosing the problem for each individual child and having a toolbox of solutions available will allow us to aid and support even more children and more families. If you have further questions about the Family Empowerment Project please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com
We appreciate your support and your prayers as we continue to push beyond the walls of the House of Love and House of Blessing to care for children and families in northern Thailand.
On behalf of the staff at IMEMF, we thank you!
Alise & Mark Juanes
It is rice planting time at the House of Love, this year a local community came to help out.
During a special activity, the preschool kids learned how to cook a snack
An exercise in Positive Parenting at one of our family strengthening workshops.
Homework time is often a group activity.