Tuesday, January 22, 2019

First Christmas in Thailand

Pattaya Blessing Home Christmas Party

The Blessing Home daycare here in Pattaya held their annual Christmas Party and invited all the parents of the children to come to the church to celebrate. Events like these are wonderful in so many ways, it was adorable getting to see the children having fun singing and dancing on stage with their families watching them and recording with their phones! We were able to distribute small gifts of food and toys for the families, and Pastor Panya was able to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who came. You see, many of the parents of the Blessing Home children are not Christians. The services and scholarships that we provide to their children creates a relationship and helps us to build trust with them. It also produces curiosity in them to understand why we do what we do at Blessing Home, leading to opportunities to share about the Love of Christ with them.

Life Center Church in Pattaya Christmas Party

A couple days after the Blessing Home Christmas Party, our church, Life Center UMC, held their Christmas party. We were excited to attend the event because many of our neighbors that we invited came with us! None of our neighbors are Christians and most of them do not know anything at all about Jesus. But they were able to listen to us worship, see us all play games as a church family, hear the Pastor Panya preach, and join in on the churchwide gift exchange! It was a really good event that filled up the church and we met many others that came for the first time as well. Our gift exchange was very touching, because of how simple many of the gifts were. Some people brought bags of rice, or cooking oil for the gift exchange. The biggest prize item was a new rice cooker. And the kids would play games, like a ring toss, and win items like toothpaste, juice, or fish sauce. Having a gift exchange of useful items really made it more fun for us.

Our neighbors

Oh, and in typical Thai style, along with games, there was plenty of dancing! After watching some of the women taught traditional Thai dance, they made Boy and me dance on stage.

TaPhraya Blessing Home Christmas Party

This was the major event of the year in the small village of TaPhraya. The local church came together with our church in Pattaya to put on a huge celebration for the entire community! What was particularly exciting about this year’s event was how pretty much all of it was directly led by local Thai people. There were original skits acted out, games and crafts for the kids, recitation of the Bible by a man who cannot read and memorized the gospel story, and the sermon given by Pastor Panya. Over 200 people came! Lots of food was prepared and given out. Our close friend and Thai tutor, Boy, showed up dressed as Santa Claus and had a great time with the kids. Keep in mind it was 90 degrees out and he was willing to dress up in long sleeves and pants filled with stuffing! Allie was able to health checks, ear exams and cleanings, and very basic wound care.

TaPhraya church and blessing Home
Ear exams and cleanings

Boy as Santa

TaPhraya update

One more quick update from TaPhraya! For those of you who have been following us, you will remember us talking about a couple that live in TaPhraya. Because of an accident, Uway is paralyzed, incontinent, and non-verbal. On our last visit her bed was made up of a few blankets on top of a plywood base. Because of recent financial support, we were able to purchase her a new mattress. This is a low air loss mattress, which is perfect for her condition. Not only is the material water proof and much more sanitary and drier, it also alternates which parts of the mattress are inflated with air to prevent pressure ulcers by constantly shifting the person’s weight. Whenever she is visited, she is so happy, she always smiles and makes happy noises.

Uway with her new mattress