Our last few updates have been from the House of Love and House of Blessing in Chiang Mai. God is continuing to move in big ways in Chiang Mai; the college students especially have been a big focus of the staff as we are being intentional in helping to prepare and provide for them at school and into adulthood. We will get back to some updates from those two programs next month.
Many of you have been supporting the Christian Center for the Development of People with Disabilities (CDPD) for many years and we are so thankful for your continued support. As a consultant and member of the board of directors, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you and briefly introduce this ministry to those of you who are not familiar with it. CDPD was developed in 2001 to serve the 4 districts of the Mae Hong Son Province, which is approximately 200 km (3.5 hours) from Chiang Mai near the border of Myanmar. The main focus of the CDPD is on serving individuals with disabilities and their families, promoting specialized education and development skills, promoting occupations for families who have children with disabilities, educating the communities and the families about their rights and available government assistance programs for people with disabilities, and they primarily strive to develop the potential of children and youth with disabilities to be able to “live independently.”
CDPD has a daytime outpatient center where clients come Monday-Friday to receive specialized education, life-skills training, and basic physical and occupational therapy. In addition to the center, the staff of CDPD do home visits and work closely with government and private organizations to assist individuals with disabilities in the small, less accessible mountain village communities. They strive to educate the families and surrounding community on how to best work together to assist the nurturing of the individuals with disabilities. This outreach program also opens doors for conversations about the love of God and how He made each person special and unique in their own way.
Last month we mentioned the big project gaining momentum in Mae Sariang. This last year CDPD received a few generous grants to launch a community agriculture project geared towards people with disabilities. The project developed from discovering that once finished with their education, teenagers and young adults with disabilities did not have a place to work and needed something to do. Saylo, the Director, and rest of the CDPD team envisioned an agriculture project that could be both an educational facility for current students and interested community members, as well as a place of future employment for individuals with disabilities. They have been working extremely hard on this project and I was able to visit it last month and see all the progress they have made. The land has been prepared, three ponds for fish and water have been formed, water tanks have been installed, a special incinerator has been made for rubbish, many fruit trees, vegetables, and also plants for medicinal purposes are planted and thriving. This past month, the first of many rice crops was planted! Please pray that the land will be fruitful.
There is still a lot more to do and expand in the project and we are thankful for the funding that has been provided from grants and the generosity of supporters like you. There is still a need for further funding, as there are a few items not covered by the grants. The project is in need of a water pump that would provide a steady flow of water from the nearby creek to fill the already installed water tanks and provide water for the crops to grow. We trust that this project will be provided for and that it will continue to grow and thrive. The current day-clinic clients spend two days a week on campus where they learn in the open classroom and then actually get to practice the skills they have been taught. They love learning and working at the project – many have become physically stronger and healthier just by participating in this program!
We are excited to see what the future holds for this agriculture project and the CDPD ministry. We are thankful for your love, support and prayers. Thank you for walking this journey with us and with all involved at CDPD.