Posted on December 22, 2022 Sweet December
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We wish you a Sweet December 

Sa Wat Dii and Sweet December to our amazing supporters!

Sweet December is a celebration similar to Advent celebrated by Christians from the Karen hilltribe. Throughout the month it is a time of celebrating the harvest, family, joy, and the hope found in Christmas from the birth of Jesus. As we usher in December and the celebration of Jesus we are shocked to be already wrapping up another year. As we reflect on all that has happened this past year we are thankful and full of hope for what God has planned for the House of Love and House of Blessing!

Wrapping Up 2022 

This past year we have seen many of our older residents, college students, and recent graduates struggling to make it on their own. Of course, the global pandemic has not helped, and the economy in Thailand has been suffering, which has also added a layer of difficulty for our young adults to obtain a job that provides sustainable income. We have also realized the need to be more intentional about life-skills training and mentoring these young adults as they strive for independence. Our eyes have been opened to see the necessity of incorporating life-skills training at a younger age and over many years, just as a mother, father, or guardian would do. Therefore, in the past few months we have launched an intentional training program first beginning with financial training for our college students and recent graduates. This training focused on basic financial concepts: budgeting, tracking finances, debt, savings, etc. It included exercises on actually tracking their budget for a month with coaching follow-up from staff to ensure they understand and develop a plan to work towards saving. We enjoyed launching the first class with some of our young adults, the activities were fun and the students definitely have a better grasp of personal finance basics. We look forward to working with more of our students as the new year begins. We will also be incorporating other life-skills training modules such as business start-up, what is family, positive parenting, healthy communications, social issues, and protecting children. The great thing about this life-skills program is that the emphasis is on coaching, activities, and conversations rather than lectures – with a goal of learning through relationships. The target of the life-skills program goes beyond the college students: this past year we used the “what is family?” module with some families of children from the House of Love, with some families from the preschool, and to all the students of the House of Love. We are excited to see what doors open up for these individuals and families as we continue to work together on future modules.

On December 3rd we enjoyed our annual Christmas celebration at House of Love. It was a joyous occasion as we could finally celebrate together after 2 years of small, separate parties. Residents and families, young and old, past and present came together to celebrate, worship, sing songs, open gifts, and be reminded of the gift of Jesus. We are thankful for the generosity of supporters and the staff who worked hard to help make it a festive occasion for all.

As we wrap-up another year we are once again reminded of how blessed we are to be a part of everything happening here in Chiang Mai. We are blessed by all of you who join us in this journey either through prayer, financial support, or encouraging words. Thank you! Thank you for your faithfulness! Thank you for carrying us through the storms! Thank you for celebrating the joys! Thank you for surrounding us with love so that we can carry-on loving the people here!

Sweet December to you all! May you be filled with the hope, peace, joy and love of our Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Working with some of the college students on a financial workshop.Budgeting doesn’t have to be boring and is a reflection of values and interests.

Every Friday at the House of Blessing preschool, the students are encouraged to wear their tribal clothing to promote pride and connection to their cultural roots.

Periodically, bags of food are distributed for the preschool children to bring home to help supplement the family provisions.
Several families attended the first family strengthening seminar.
This first module was several activities on “What is Family?”

Having graduated from the House of Love, the young man on the right has moved back with his father now. The House of Love has helped them to build a small pond to raise fish and frogs which they sell at the market. Helping this family towards being self-sustainable with a source of income for the future has been a big boost for them. The staff continues to visit and suplement their food while they learn how to grow their business.

The staff checking in on one of the families the House of Love works with. The two boys lived at the House of Love for a few years, but their family situation has changed and now the staff are working with the family to help provide a safe and nurturing environment for the boys to be raised by their parents.