The third month of the Helping Other People Project is over! And once again, God helped us with so much more than we could have hoped for!
This month started out with us continuing to volunteer for the organization in the slum communities, that was mentioned in the last post. If you haven’t seen that, I would definitely suggest reading it, God did some amazing things to lead to this month happening. But, if you’d rather not read it, this month we worked with an organization that continues to stay unnamed publicly due to the safety of the children.
We love working with these kids so incredibly much, it’s such a blessing to see them explore their creativity and grow and learn in so many different things. The kids are also becoming more comfortable with us being around and we’re all still learning how to communicate, as they don’t speak English, and our Thai isn’t the greatest.
But this past week, I was able to make a relationship with two girls, each from different days. (As I explained in the last post, there are 5 different slum communities that join on specific days of the week.) One little girl pulled me around and we played house for nearly an hour. The whole time she was talking to me in Thai, and I only understood every other word. It was a lot of “Yes?” and “I don’t know”s, but towards the end she was talking to me and she told me “I really like you pii (Thai word for older person) so I’m going to tell you my Thai name and my nickname. Okay? My name is (name) and my nickname is (nickname). What’s your name?” more or less, that’s the translation. And then we sang Count On Me by Bruno Mars together, which is her favorite song.
To some people, that might not be a big deal, but when the kids here tell us that, it is so heartwarming because they are fully aware that we don’t speak Thai very well, and for a while, they wouldn’t even say hi. Now quite a few know our names and are fully themselves around us. We were strangers in their lives but now a few of the kids call us friends.
The work at this organization has also improved our Thai, more than when we started. I was able to play a successful game of Guess Who in Thai, I understood the girl I played with, and she understood me. I didn’t realize that they had helped me learn, when I was supposed to help them learn, but I suppose it’s a two way street.
This month, we also held a fundraiser for this organization. We held a “Board Game Night” which was really a Board Game Afternoon, and we were able to raise quite a bit of money for this place. The money will go towards being able to pay rent to stay in the building, pay the two Thai staff, make needed adjustments for the building and for the kids, and also will help pay for some of the kids to go on field trips to schools and to retreats, which John (the founder) likes to take the kids on so that they can see and learn different things outside of their area, and if they decide that they want to work harder to go to really good schools in the future, John helps them to be able to do that. So far they’ve been able to send at least one kid to school on a full scholarship, which is so wonderful. His hope is that he’ll be able to send more kids to a good school, but he’s still working out logistics for that.
At the Fundraiser, we had post cards that were hand painted by the kids, and each one has it’s own little story. It was amazing too, because usually during craft time, maybe 5-6 out of 15-20 kids would come make a craft, but when we had them make the cards, every kid came to the table, and made one or more cards. It was so awesome to see and the kids were so creative too.
The cards are “Donate how much you want and take a card” so if you’re interested, you can email us at the12monthHOPP@gmail.com or message us on our Facebook Page, and we’ll sort out what card/s you want and how we’ll get them too you.
We want to say a huge thank you to those that came to the board game night, and to those that showed interest, as well as a thank you to everyone who took a card, the kids had so much fun making them for you guys. We couldn’t be more grateful for those of you participating with the 12-Month HOPP and supporting us.
-Much love from the HOPP Team.