Saturday, July 20, 2019

Alex and Rachael Visit!

This summer we had a couple of our best friends come and visit us here in Thailand. We have lived here for almost a year now and this is the first time we got to see our friends or family from back home. Alex and Rachael have been personal supporters of our ministry so it was so exciting to not only spend time with them, but to also introduce them to our neighbors, Blessing Home kids and community.

Alex and James, our pastor's son, playing guitar

Rachael is a speech therapist and has experience working with children. She was able to provide lessons to our church children as well as to our blessing home scholarship children on how to correctly make sounds for the English language. Telling the students where to put their tongue, their teeth, and when to use their voice or not, was extremely helpful and something I was previously not able to teach effectively.

Rachael, Ploy and I teaching English to the kids and teens at church

When we told the kids that Alex makes video games for a living they were so impressed and wanted to show him all the games and apps on their phones that they love to play. We told the kids that in order to make these games you have to work hard and study a lot of math. The children do not like hearing this because the majority of them hate math! When you ask almost any of the children what their favorite subject is, they will say art, and their least favorite is math.

Using a mirror to show the Blessing Home kids how to use their mouth to make English sounds

The kids responded so well to the lessons and I am excited to have some new skills in teaching pronunciation to the kids since English pronunciation is difficult for them. There are many sounds in English that do not exist in Thai language, such as the 'th' or 'v' sound. While Alex and Rachael were here we were able to take some time to get outside of the city of Pattaya and go hiking, swimming, and enjoying time relaxing with them.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Special Blessings Building

About a year ago we posted about the amazing ministry, Special Blessings. This ministry serves children with special needs, supports their families, and trains their teachers and guardians. TMM missionaries Carol Fare and Vicki Brown have adapted this beautiful rental home into an amazing space for kids to learn and play. They have an interactive classroom, a classroom for trainings, and an outdoor space where Vicki is able to build adaptive equipment for children with physical needs. This house has also been used for TMM meetings and even as a place for a local church to worship. The second floor of the house is used as a living space for both missionaries.

Kids learning and playing in the classroom

Teacher training

It took a lot of time and money for Carol and Vicki to create this environment. Although they have always payed rent on time, they began getting notices from the bank warning foreclosure on the house. As it turned out, the home owner was not making full payments on the mortgage. This was obviously very stressful for this ministry. In January, the house was foreclosed and went up for auction. A huge prayer was answered and Carol and Vicki were the only bidders and were able to buy this space for an amazing deal of $68,000.

Outside Special Blessings

Carol inside Special Blessings classroom

Vicki in the woodshop

This ministry is so important here in Thailand. Many schools are not willing to accept children with special needs, and have no desire to make accommodations. It has taken Carol and Vicki a long time to convince educators to see that these children can learn and deserve to learn at school, and this continues to be a challenge for them. Carol and Vicki have had some amazing success as well, including being recognized as Continuing Education Providers to teachers. Thai school teachers are required to continue education, and they can now come to Special Blessings to learn about incorporating children with special needs into the classroom.

Please keep this ministry in your prayers. They are constantly having successes and challenges. If you want to learn more, you can see more on their website: