18 Apr Happy New Years and Spring!
In Thailand, we celebrate New Years on January 1 like the rest of the globe, but then, because of strong cultural underpinnings, we celebrate Chinese New Year, then next week we finish our New Year triad with the Thai New Year “Songkran”.
So, as we move through our Hot Season with 100 + degree temperatures and beautiful bouganvillia blooms ,while many of you welcome Spring daffodils, we rejoice together in these moments of amazing beginnings.
Below are some of the new beginnings we are seeing.
In February, Thailand hosted the first World Without Orphans Global Summit with over 500 participants from 60 nations. Kimberly was asked to lead a Showcase Session highlighting our “Keeping Families Together” program. She led the session with these inspirational Thai church leaders. Terry Meeuwsen, founder of Orphan’s Promise, and huge supporter of our KFT program, was a keynote speaker at the WWO Global Forum and attended Kimberly’s session with her sister and Karen Thompson from CBNSiam.
An immediate outcome from the World Without Orphans Global Forum is to establish a Thailand Without Orphans Alliance for church and Christian NGO leaders. Our first official meeting was at the Care for Children office in March.
Kimberly serves on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Thailand Coalition sub-group Alternative Care. Alternative Care is the term used for children living separated from biological parents. In Thailand, 20 percent of children under the age of 5, do not live with either of their parents and 55 percent of children live with only one biological parent. These statistics are heart breaking.
Above is a photo Kimberly took at the last CRC Alternative Care sub-group meeting with government and NGO leaders discussing solutions for the orphan and migration crisis in Thailand.
The past three months have been very exciting for John too, as he plans and develops for the future Step Ahead Center for Prayer. While Step Ahead had to close one of our child development centers at the year end, due to lack of funding, we discovered how God was leading us to use that building and garden for a prayer center that has capacity to self-sustain.
John’s passion to see people integrate the practice of silence, solitude and Sabbath into their busy lives has led to this new Step Ahead development.
THANK YOU always for your generous support, prayer and encouragement.Through your support all these initiatives of God’s care and presence across Thailand are happening.
John and Kimberly