Constructing Our Future

Construction of the new Hope Home has been underway for quite some time and bit by bit a new house is coming together. It is miraculous the way God continues to provide for this current project not only in funds, but in labor, and insight. We have always in faith hoped and believed that this change would help move us toward our future as a foster community and it is amazing to see that hope come to fruition.

Painting over the gate and then the entryway at Hope Home were somber moments. Moments in which we remembered the memories attached to our house. Painting the gate with the children, the numerous first day of school, group pictures, and more taken in both places. However the somber was accompanied by a great joy. Paint on the walls of our new house, with memories already being created as children run through the gravel to see their future house each morning.

There is still a long way to go in construction, and only 8 days until the move. It is most likely the house will not be fully finished come moving day but we have been assured all the important things will be done! We look forward to the many new memories that will be created within these walls and the opportunities that can come out of it not only for our residential children but also for the respite children, and other individuals with disabilities in our community! Check out a slideshow of the construction efforts below!

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Mother’s Day at Hope Home

Thai Mother’s Day is celebrated each year on the birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, August 12th. It is a wonderful time of celebrating Her Majesty and showing her respect as well as to show respect to your mother as well. In our home we have many mothers for whom to show respect and love on this mother’s day. Her Majesty the Queen, the mother of all Thailand. Then each and every one of our children’s biological mothers who brought these amazing and precious children to life on this earth. From there we want to thank our caregivers the “Mees” of Hope Home who have answered the call to stand up and be mother to each of these children. Their love is true, it is obvious, and it is unflinching. They not only serve in the role of mother but they embody and embrace it. The lives of each of children are profoundly blessed by these women. In addition, we look to and pray for our children’s adoptive or foster mothers. Our Lord God has made mothers special and unique in their many different roles and ways, so today we want to give a big “Happy Mother’s Day” to everyone and had heaps of fun doing it!

Child Sponsorship: Our Global Village

“It takes a village to raise a child.”

A very simple phrase but so incredibly true. Parents worldwide would declare that they could not have done it without the help of grandparents, spouses, friends, church members, aunts, uncles, or that friendly neighbor down the street. One simple declaration and many more people would echo that truth, it surely does take a village to raise a child. In our Hope Home family we know that village is absolutely vital to each and every child. We have caregivers, teachers, volunteers, art programs, doctors, nurses, and neighbors that join in our everyday life of raising our children. As the world we live in continues to get more and more accessible via technology our village is growing and expanding in ways no one could have imagined in years past.

We have all our caregivers here who change clothes, wipe tears, and answer silly questions. Then we have our handyman who fixes pipes, broken wheelchairs, and drives a truckload of kiddos to school and doctors appointments everyday. Our staff work together to meet each need of our children. There’s clothes to be folded, food to be made, medicine prepared, mischievous children to run after and fake coughs to be spotted! Beyond our staff we have a core of volunteers who commit time and energy to help take kids to physical therapy, provide 1-on-1 care in the classroom, and just dance the sillies out. From the time Hope Home started years and years ago with Sasikan our village has been expanding to cross borders and oceans as we as the family of God and body of Christ create a global village to raise His children.

Our Child Sponsorship program is all about creating and strengthening that village. Launched in partnership with CMF International in April 2016, we saw every single child sponsored in no time, and now our village has faces as far away as France and the United States! Individuals and families praying for a specific child. Individuals and families sending letters to the children that encourage not only the individual child but also all the staff. There is great affirmation in knowing that someone on the other side of the world also sees this specific child as valuable and worth knowing!

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This week, we took the time to introduce the kids to their sponsors via pictures and wrote our first batch of letters to our sponsors. The staff and children were all a-buzz with excitement. Tadpole was running around with his picture of the Youth Group that sponsors him and Kame continually pointed to her sponsor family and back to herself over and over. LeLe kept staring at his picture and didn’t actually rip this piece of artwork, so that is a pretty big deal! The message didn’t need words to be communicated…Somebody they never met thinks they are special! The staff were ecstatic to meet a 21 year old with Cerebral Palsy and his family who are sponsoring Yindee and were all very serious as they helped the children write their introduction letters! Everyone was helping to put together a letter for the family who sponsored Sainam and our families in community were gathering family photos to send out to the sponsors! The enthusiasm was palpable!

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We have a pretty special village here at Hope Home. Each individual who prays, gives, and encourages us has expanded our village to what it is today! There are hundreds of people around the world who day by day, week by week, year by year strengthen our village! We are so very grateful that Child Sponsorship is helping us expand our global village just a little bit more and we cannot wait to see the way that the perfect love of Christ and the body of Christ is shown through this ever growing global village! Thank you to all who are a part of our village, churches, families, individuals,

 

Art and Music Therapy at Hope Home

Art is a gateway. A means of expression, a method of processing, and a journey through which our children begin to discover the world around them and even the world inside each of them. Because of this we find it very important for art to be a fundamental component of our work. One way in which we have been blessed to do this is through weekly workshops hosted by our partner organization Art Relief International (ARI). Hope Home has enjoyed a long relationship with ARI, a project of Cultural Canvas Thailand which allows us to offer art and music therapy to our children on a weekly basis.

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Whether it’s Tadpole or LeLe diving into the paint buckets, Yindee laughing as bubbles appear from nothing, Dontrii squirming with delight, Little Guy splashing away, or Kame very cautiously approaching the activity at hand each ARI workshop is a priceless opportunity.

An opportunity to explore and discover; a new painting technique, percussion, sensory activity, or videos and dancing from around the world. Each workshop provides children the opportunity to look, touch, and experience something new. The world becomes wide open from behind our own little gate.

And of course, an opportunity to express. As many of our children have limited communication, art is an incredible opening of expression for them. What cannot be said in words, can come out in color, in sound, or even in taste!

Thank you ARI, your directors, and each and every one of your volunteers! You help make our kids week more exciting and we love seeing the way that your workshops bring out the brilliance in each one of them!

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New Education Centre

With the big move for our family in process we continue to be extremely grateful for the support of churches, organizations, and individuals worldwide who continue to support, encourage, and move us forward. While moving is certainly an unexpected obstacle in the life of our family, it is one that the Lord still uses to afford new opportunities and advancements we could never expect to come so soon.

Almost two years ago we dreamed of an education centre for our children to learn proper social and educational skills in the classroom. Our dream was that this would help the children develop themselves and also potentially be accepted into a mainstream school environment, or an appropriate special education school. We began with the stable in our back garden and the kids began learning and practicing their skills.

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The move has prompted a bigger move for the education centre to be separate from the home. Children will now have to walk to school, study in the classroom, and then even play on a separate playground.

This school room is already ready and the children are making daily treks to school, as we hope this will provide a sense of stability as they transition to the new house down the road. Of course, none of this could be possible without the support of many people! Central Christian Church in Indiana and Kid Central Preschool donated more materials than we could have ever imagined making it not only a school room, but one with proper activities that will make teaching and learning easy for all our students and staff! Then of course we would be lost without volunteers Matt & Stephanie Deinlein and Clare MacDonald put many hours, hard work, and their collective experience together to create a beautiful and functioning room.

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Classes have already started and the children are adjusting and learning classroom etiquette bit by bit while even still learning a few educational lessons! One exciting feature of our new room is the corner of the room devoted entirely to our “World Exploration” curriculum developed by us at Hope Home to help children discover Christ through the world and the world through Christ. It’s all sensory fun exploration and storytelling merged together and the kids are truly enjoying it so far!

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Thank you to everyone who has made this part of our move a smooth and easy transition. Not only are we relieved to have a new education centre to serve as a consistent point in the move but we are blessed that it will be an incredible place of learning, exploration, and development!

Hope Home Special Olympians

Recently two of the Hope Home children, LeLe and Tadpole, were able to compete in the Northern Thailand Special Olympics event held through the special education center. It was a fun morning as all the children from various special education centres across Northern Thailand gathered in Chiang Mai to showcase their athletic skills! Before the competition even began Tadpole was finding amateur wrestling opponents and LeLe definitely could have taken the gold medal in running across the stage when no one was watching, had that actually been an event. Needless to say, the excitement was in the air!

Tadpole was able to compete in an obstacle course competition as well as the balance beam, and LeLe competed in the balance beam and ball throwing competition. You could say our events got off to a slow start, because Tadpole did start about 1 minutes after his competitor in his first event but then once he got the concept down he actually false started for his next one! LeLe of course was highly skilled on the balance beam per usual but the whole event was a bit too much excitement to get that ball throwing accurate!

We are so very proud of both our boys for their determination and development to this point. They work hard and play even harder! We were thrilled to see them celebrated as we celebrate them everyday; to our medalists, Tadpole and LeLe, you’re always gold to us!

Take a look at some pictures from their Special Olympics…

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“Was Blind but Now I See”

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On the morning of June 7, 2016 in Chiang Mai, Thailand Sainam took his last breaths in the comfort of loving care at Hope Home and into the loving arms of his Heavenly Father. We were beyond blessed to have cared for Sainam since he was six months old; he defied expectations time and again, showing resilience and strength.

Sainam’s five year lifespan seems very short, but we take solace in that he lived his life well. He was known for his uncanny ability to sleep during the day (especially when he was supposed to do physiotherapy!) and to remain awake at night! We at Hope Home loved “working” the night shift because the time we got to spend with Sainam was precious and priceless! In fact, while many visitors saw the amount of care Sainam needed in the past eight months and admired our staff, it was truly our blessing! Each and every moment with Sainam was a moment of inexplicable joy! His smile was incomparable and if he wasn’t sleeping, he was most likely smiling! Some of his favorite activities included listening to Bible Stories, cuddling, and playing with his hands.

More than all of that though, Sainam made an impact on the world around him that was much bigger than his small figure could ever convey. Sainam may have appeared unassuming in his earthly body, he was blind and had many other disabilities, but his spirit, strength, and personality were able beyond belief! He taught us to be content in all circumstances, to have faith when you cannot see the future, to love unconditionally, to forgive quickly, and to be a peacemaker. It was these qualities, and the most adorable laugh possible, that stole the hearts of many caregivers, visitors, and of course the other children along the way!

While Sainam is gone from our home and we miss him terribly, he is not only forever in our hearts but he is now safe and free in Heaven above. We imagine that he is running and making mischief up there with his other Hope Home friends who have gone before. We will all await the day of our heavenly reunion and rejoice in the time we had with him.

WE LOVE YOU SAINAM.

Your mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters.