Written by Katie, a volunteer from the World Race “Wildflowers” team.
Our team has been serving at Hope Home over the past two weeks and would love to share what we’ve experienced with this community. Each day is a unique adventure that at first felt a bit chaotic. I was overwhelmed with the needs of the children and the fact that the staff shares the responsibilities of parents, teachers, care-givers, handy-men, pastors, siblings and friends. “How could it all get done?” I wondered. I soon learned.
We arrived at the beginning of the month and didn’t know what to expect about what our time would look like here. When we arrived at Hope Home and I immediately felt a peace that I couldn’t explain. The first thing we saw were the jungle-gyms, sandboxes, bikes and all sorts of toys out and ready to be played with. The clotheslines were full of linens and children’s clothes, and I got a glimpse of the kitchen area before we walked inside the main door. I have been working with kids for over ten years and I know that creating and sustaining a peaceful yet playful environment is not an easy feat. From the moment we got here we have seen no less than extraordinary and sacrificial service by the staff for these children. Each day is structured and interactions with the kids are intentional and specific. While each child here has a very unique story and different challenges, I see how the Lord is taking great care of each of them. Garfield is able to use his feet to type on a tablet in order to communicate his thoughts. Yindee has a Princess Elsa toy fashioned so that it can be controlled by her head movements. Tadpole and LeLe make great use of the animal mural that doubles as a life-size vertical puzzle. Kame is an excellent student in the afternoon classes whose eyes opened wide as they showed her a picture of the human brain during a science lesson.
The challenges Hope Home faces each day are complicated and vast but are met with creative furtiveness and pure love. One of our tasks this month is to read or sing to the kids during their individual physio therapy in the morning. I have greatly enjoyed it and was just so overwhelmed with the staff’s prioritizing making that somewhat difficult time more enjoyable for each kid, and making sure that each book or song was tailored to that child’s interests (Superheroes for Garfield, princesses for Yindee, the Beatles for Dontrii).
We have about another week of service left here at Hope Home before leave Thailand. While our time here is relatively short, I am walking away from this experience with a grander and wider understanding of what it truly looks like to love your neighbor as yourself. Thank you Hope Home for all that you do for these children and the Lord!