Volunteers are a wonderful part of each of our projects, and I am grateful for the many ways the ethnic minorities are served by this group, including Glenys, a physiotherapist from Australia who visits the Community Based-Rehab Program (CBRP) regularly. This past month during Glenys’s visit, she met a Karen boy, Prapan, who had suffered ill health and had not been out of his bed in four years. From the time he was nine years old, joint pain, the fear of more problems from the ‘bad spirits’ and the fear of the unknown in such an isolated area saw this frightened boy give up all hope until he was literally fading to skin and bone. He had not stood up for a year and had just lain still with very stiff and wasted muscles. He was so despairing that he had not let his mother wash him for three months, his hair had not been cut for four years and he now hardly ate any food.
Glenys worked with the CBRP team and started encouraging Prapan to sit up and move. They discovered that he no longer had any active signs of disease, but was stiff, lying there weak and very frightened. So with a major team effort of building trust with Prapan and encouraging him, he was willing to be carried outside his hut onto the landing where he allowed the therapists to cut his curled long finger nails, cut and style his hair, and wash him thoroughly all over. After feeling so fresh in his new clothes, Prapan was very happy and agreed to work with the CBRP team and his mother on a nutritional diet and therapy regime with the promise of a visit the following week with a few surprises from the Team. So the following week the team returned and Glenys encouraged Prapan to stand up for the first time in two years and to add to his joy, the team gave him a new wheel chair, warm blankets, new clothes, his comic books, and his favorite fruit. Life has been transformed for Prapan -- thanks to the care and love of the CBRP team and a volunteer!
Prapan when the CBRP staff first met him, and later posing with CBRP volunteer, Glenys.
Praise and Prayer:
• Give thanks for a wonderful October break for everyone at the House of Love. Certainly the highlight was the VBS camp held Oct. 13-16. Joining 23 children from the HOL were eight HIV affected youth from the urban slums of Chiang Mai as well as the 29 AIDS orphans from rural villages that are supported through the Health Project for Tribal People. It was amazing to see the friendships that were made and deepened through times of study and worship, games, and just talking during the camp. Of special note was the spiritual receptivity of all of the children to the Gospel. Please be praying as our staff does follow-up with the children in the weeks ahead.
• Grateful seems like a small word when we see the girls dorm nearly finished, and realize how many people and churches have partnered with us to make this new home for the HOL children a reality. The children are so excited and ready to move in—even though they understand the kitchen must be finished before we can move!
• Besides planning and running the camp this month, the HPTP staff has also been busy working on the poster calendars. Please join me in giving thanks for each staff member that God has brought to work at the Health Project. Their dedication and creativity is a wonderful asset to whatever task they tackle.
• I appreciate the work of the House of Blessing Daycare—and I appreciate the consistent care the daycare teachers give each of their students. Please be praying for a good start of the second term on Nov. 3.
Visiting the zoo during VBS camp—
the first time many of the children had ever been to a zoo!