Dear Friends and Family,
This first phase in Thailand was very much about learning, listening to God and situating ourselves to be ready and prepared to respond to the needs God shows us. It is so exciting to be writing not about language or moving but about beginning and feeling like we actually have some sort of ministry. I’d like to take this letter to give you an overview of where we are at now that we have lived in Bangkok for 15 months.
During the time we spent volunteering with another organization, it became obvious a very real unreached need are the children and family who beg on the street. It has sadly become known to us that these little girls and boys begging or selling trinkets in the red-light districts are at risk and being propositioned for sex. They spend their time aggressively approaching tourists to get money, food or sell some item.
We have in our time of casually stopping by, while living near where they beg, built some pretty solid relationships. We hope that a year of intense visitation on the streets will help open doors, inform our ministry and lead us to the ways to meet the needs of these children. We hope to break the cycle of begging and to prevent the eventual path to prostitution
Our tangible plans for this phase are to visit the streets 3 nights a week and visit slum communities where they live. Learning from them what they need, want and desire for their lives. We also hope in this year to plant one drop-in resource center in a squatter community.
It amazes me and I feel blessed that of all the concerns we have faced this year raising support has not been one of them. We left with substantial surplus in our account and so have been able to maintain our presence, fund some ministry, and pay for many of the initial large startup costs such as language and visa’s.
However the many costs of the first year have drained our support account substantially. Generally monthly we run a deficit, from $200 to $600 dollars, with the occasional month surpluses. Additionally to begin to fund our own ministry and this potential drop in center we need to not only raise our own personal support but support for the field as well.
We must raise within the next two months $2000 dollars to cover costs of continually renewing visas and the travel this entails, our support account is currently at only $400.00. We also must raise our field budget of $4,000.00 by 2010. If you would like to give to either of these accounts please use auto-debit form attached for monthly or visit website www.wordmadeflesh.org/support/give for ways to give, even $25 dollars a month adds up over time to significantly effect our support needs. If you would like to give to us as a family indicated Hupe support account, if you would like to give to the Thailand field indicate Thailand Field Support account. Please keep these needs in prayer.
We have begun our active role with Word Made Flesh as servant team leaders as well as our other roles on the field. We have welcomed our first team and are excited for the potential growth that will come from having 5 people to serve alongside us.
We will welcome two teams a year for a total of 8 months. These teams will live and serve with us, helping us to create community and to increase our time and capability to visit and reach out to families on the street. Please pray for Gods blessing on these teams.
Our girls continue to thrive. Elijah speaks so much Thai it is amazing, all of our neighbors say she speaks perfectly clear. Arielle is quite the talker for only 1 year old, probably because she has a mom and sister who never stop talking! Tim just celebrated is second birthday in Thailand and we had a great little party on our street with lots of friends, we feel truly blessed by the friendships we have been given.
We continue to find our rhythm of work and life here. There are lots of little parks and play areas to bring the girls, this is a huge blessing. I will be running a half marathon with a friend in September, Tim this past year did two road races. Thailand feels more and more like home everyday. The heat doesn’t bother us as much anymore and obviously we loooovee the food.
For more updates on our life, thoughts, experiences and even some video check out our blog. Timandamyinthailand.blogspot.com. The august entry has a great video of the girls!
As always thank you so much for serving along with us, it is making a difference in so many lives.