Rain could not dampen the spirits of the CDPD group—the trip to the beach was wonderful!
Smiles while 3 children from the CDPD group await the next activity.
Prayer and Praise for April, 2011
Last month, I shared briefly that the decision had been made to close the Health Project for Tribal People (HPTP) program of the IMEMF for a number of reasons. After nearly 20 years of serving ethnic minority communities, this was a difficult decision, but I feel it is also the right one. For some time now, I was seeing that our primary work with AIDS teaching had been winding down. The HPTP teams have accomplished so much in the area of AIDS. With the increased knowledge amongst the ethnic minority groups we have seen more home care and community involvement with less discrimination. People living with HIV infection are healthier because they now have access to medication and know how to take it properly. We have seen churches and other groups using our materials to teach in a culturally sensitive way—whereas 20 years ago, the HPTP was the only group doing any teaching in ethnic minority languages. Our materials have been used in China, Myanmar, Laos and India. Our major funder from Sweden was willing to provide the money necessary to pursue a new direction, but after much prayer, I felt this was not God’s direction for us. One of the men has been hired into a new position with IMEMF, another will be working until the end of June finishing some work for an Australian funder. The other three men have received a generous severance package, enabling them to have the financial freedom to look for just the right position. We pray that Prichai, Prinya, Joseph, Ahbey and Ahdat will each have hearts to serve God in this next part of their lives.
Praise and Prayer Points:
· Our big news to report is that the 75 students, parents and staff from the Center for the Development of People with Disabilities (CDPD) had a wonderful time at the beach at the end of March. Parents also had good teaching and good meetings during our times together. I am sure if I told you to expect a 15 hour van ride one way and rain during our outings, you would think that spirits would be dampened—but the entire week was enjoyable! These children with disabilities have much to teach each of us about finding joy in the moment!
· And what a praise to God it is that on March 21, we signed the contract with the Japanese government for the new vocational building for the CDPD. Plans have already been drawn up and approved, and we look forward to seeing work starting soon! This building will provide space for our prevocational training as well as a display area for goods made, and there will also be meeting rooms for our advocacy groups. We are thankful for this funding.
· The House of Love kids are all enjoying summer break, and we appreciate your continued prayer for good times as they enjoy a break from routine. Of course, this brings a concern as we depend on others to make sure medication regimes are adhered to, so do pray that these drugs that keep the AIDS virus at bay will be taken faithfully by each of our HIV-positive kids who need them.
· The House of Love has also just hired a new helper, and I am excited because I believe God has brought us someone special. Khun Nuwadee is a Karen woman who went to Bible school in Bangkok, and has a degree in primary education. She will be responsible for planning activities and supervising homework. One of her passions is to see all of the children reading well, and she will be working with them individually to bring their levels up to par.
· The House of Blessing (HOB) had their last day of school on April 2, and classes will resume on May 9th. Please pray for refreshment for our 3 daycare teachers, Kanchana, Rosalyn and Rae. We are happy to report that our 7 graduates will be starting 1st grade in May when Thai schools reopen.