Dear Friends at Xenos Christian Fellowship,
We are grateful for the partnership we have with Xenos, and your generous support financially and in prayer. Thank you so much for coming alongside us so faithfully and for so many years.
I wanted to share this prayer of Paul’s to the Philippians, which has become my heartbeat for the ethnic minorities served by the Integrated Ministries for Ethnic Minorities Foundation:
Philippians 1:9-11 (ERV) This is my prayer for you:
- that your love will grow more and more;
- that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love;
- that you will see the difference between what is important and what is not & choose what is important;
- that you will be pure and blameless for the coming of Christ;
- that your life will be full of the many good works that are produced by Jesus Christ to bring glory and praise to God.
I do pray this for each one of our House of Blessing children as they live life! I invite you to pray with me in this coming year.
Once again, thank you for your support in prayer and in finances. May you all be encouraged with what God is doing with your gifts! If you would like more information, the annual report for the House of Blessing for 2015 is included below.
With sincere thanks,
2015 Annual Report for the
House of Blessing Day Care
Students: In 2015, a total of 72 children attended the HOB; with 51 presently enrolled (their term will end in March). Of those, 19 anticipate finishing their studies and graduating. All of our graduates from March, 2015 (19 students) are currently in 1st grade in Thai public schools in May are receiving scholarship help.
One shift from past years is that now all of our children are Lahu, because those are the urban communities that are being served.
Health and Hygiene: There is also an emphasis to teach good hygiene, with bathing and tooth brushing done daily at the center.
Special activities add spice to the school routine, and this year, the children enjoyed field trips to some gardens and 2 different zoos (please see the pictures on the last page of the report.) Our Christmas Celebration is an annual event enjoyed by all of our HOB families. Parents and special guests were treated to a morning of worship, with special musical numbers by the children. Each child received a new outfit. The day concluded with a delicious lunch for all 200 guests.
One of the House of Blessing’s greatest successes is that our students who graduate from our 3 year program stay in school (about 92% continue in Thail public schools, and continue to be followed by our HOB teachers.) We are so pleased that one of our HOB graduates is successfully finishing her second year of university, and another will be starting college this next semester! Our goal is to have students stay in school to reach their academic goals, and so to have these HOB students in college is a wonderful success!
We are blessed to have consistent staffing each year. The families have come to trust the teachers, and the teachers truly know and understand the slum communities. Relationships are solid.
There were 2 parents’ meetings in 2015. In the June meeting, 57 parents learned about family activities that can build strong relationships between children and their parents. The principles of child developmentwere also taught. The second meeting was held November 30, and 59 parents/grandparents attended. The topic for this seminar was Christian Family Life and Biblical Principles of Parenting. The group also learned about the value of children as a gift from God and how to care for this gift. Practically, they were also taught basic health and cleanliness with an emphasis on the importance of and proper way to wash hands.
We are thankful for the financial stability we are able to have. The majority of our funding comes from Xenos in the USA. As well, the HOB has been blessed by International Ministries encouraging individuals to give to a lunch money program, and the additional support has been most welcomed. The nutritious meals that are able to be purchased are a help to each family.
We welcomed 113 visitors this year—and we appreciate financial and prayer support that often results from those visits. The rice program is a continuing success for the seventh year. Funded by friends in Norway, parents sign a contract stating their daycare student will not work on school nights in exchange for rice for the family. We have noted that most families are faithful to fulfill their contract, and we have children who are rested when they come to school.
We have more children who want to attend school than we have resources to teach. Health needs, including tooth decay, lice, pink eye, rashes, colds, and coughs continue to be a problem. Families continue to face problems as in the past, including low income, lack of regular work, no vocation, not owning a home, no citizenship, and divorce. This year, we are seeing more parents who are in jail. There are parents struggling with AIDS, ones who use their children to work, and others who are abusive to one another and their children. The HOB staff teaches child rights and protection issues, and works with the Social Welfare department, but there are limited resources and answers to these problems.
Stories of Children
Prung is a six year old Lahu girl studying in her third year of kindergarten. She is cute and friendly, smiles a lot and likes to speak with others. She enjoys learning and singing at the HOB.
Prung is an orphan who has been raised by her great grandmother. The pair have lived with the great grandmother’s stepson in one of the urban communities served by the HOB. The HOB has helped the family with the cost of food, clothing, and medical care for the great grandmother. Sadly, the great grandmother, who had been sick with cancer for many years, died in December of 2015.
At present, Prung continues to live with her great grandmother’s stepson. He and his family of six are daily laborers, working on construction sites when work is available. They do not have a consistent income. The HOB teachers have also visited and talked to the family about helping to care for Prung at the House of Love; but Prung is still young and feels close to her family and is not ready to leave her family to live some place else.
Prung also has another relative—a grandmother who works in Bangkok giving traditional Thai massage. Prung’s grandmother only has contact with her granddaughter when she occasionally sends money to her. However, the HOB teachers remain worried about Prung because her grandmother, according to the neighbors, not only gives massages but works as a prostitute also. As Prung becomes older, she may be at risk for being trafficked by her grandmother. In the future the family may not have the ability to care for Prung properly. The HOB teachers plan to watch the situation closely and bring Prung to live at the House of Love at an appropriate time.
Beepon is a four year old Lahu boy who in his second year at the HOB. His family situation has changed dramatically in the last year, when his mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Despite aggressive treatment and care, she died in October, 2015. The HOB helped the family with the cost of food, clothing and the mother’s medical care. However, it was not enough to cover all of the costs. This left a tremendous burden on the father to work and to provide for the family. He could not make enough money and became depressed, and he turned to drinking, frequently getting intoxicated. He has had numerous motorcycle accidents in which he and Beepon have been hurt and have required treatment at a hospital. In Beepon’s home, besides his father, there is an older half-sister who is 22, has dropped out of school, and is currently working as a prostitute. This sister also smokes and drinks a lot. He also has an older half brother who has a low IQ and has only completed 6th grade, and is unable to find work.
Beepon is very cute, likes to eat, likes to play with his friends, and enjoys coming to the HOB. When his mother died, he would wander aimlessly in the slum community where he lives, crying. He also became angry easily and argued loudly with others. In the future, if Beepon’s father cannot take care of him, especially in light of the unsupportive family network, the HOB teachers may have to consider having Beepon come to the House of Love to live.
Special Moments in 2015
Iin February, our 19-3rd year students were able to spend the day at the Ratchapruek Gardens and the Chiang Mai Night Safari.
In May, our 2nd and 3rd students enjoyed a field trip to the zoo.
One of the highlights every year is the annual Christmas program. This year was special, because the HOB partnered with an ethnic minority church to have the event in the urban community.