Half way through September, and we’ve posted nothing about this month’s HOPP! I promise there’s a reason and I promise we do have something planned!
From the beginning, we’ve wanted to do something to help the refugee community here in Bangkok. But, this becomes an immediate concern because, of course, we do want to do it legally. So it brings us to the question; How do we do this under the law? It also becomes a matter of ‘How do we write about this?’ Because we can’t put many details online about things like this. So let me explain what has been going on the last few weeks.
A couple of months ago, I met a lady who works with an organization called Born Free Foster care. They are a legal organization that is able to provide foster care for children coming out of IDC (Immigration Detention Center.)
If you weren’t aware, IDC is where people go when they have overstayed their visa, and cannot pay overstay fees or refuse to return back to their home countries.
Born Free is mainly composed of legal workers and counselors, but upon meeting with them a few times, we have figured out the best way we can help them.
There are currently 42 children in IDC. When they come out, Born Free wants to be able to provide them with backpacks, filled with badly needed medicine, toiletries, something fun like a coloring book, and small Bibles, so that the children can have stuff they need, and also a few things to make them happy, as soon as they are released. Our part in all this? We’re helping Born Free by putting these bags together. Our plan is to get donations of the things for inside the backpack, and money donations for us to fund the things we don’t get as donations.
I’ve also begun tutoring a boy, who is under Born Free’s care, twice a week in English. Because of his situation and his life the last few years, he’s eighteen years old and only at a second grade level of education. I’ll be doing this for as long as I am able to.
We have also started art lessons for a few children once a week, teaching them about famous artists and art styles, and how to use different mediums. Right now, this looks as though it will last 2 months, but things could change depending on how it goes. So far we have taught them about the color wheel, different pencil types, and they each made a self-portrait, which we will also have them do at the end of our lessons to compare. At the end of this, we want to host a mini exhibition so that the kids can show off their work, and hopefully some of the guests will be generous enough to buy some of their art! Because all the money will go directly to the kids, we know they’re going to be working super hard to get ready for this, so we’ll let you know when we have updates about this.
We’ve also started making visits to IDC to visit people inside and talk with them. When we visit, we’re also able to take them food, toiletries and other needed items, as well as encouraging them and giving them someone to talk to. This is quite a new experience for us, and we’re learning lots of different things about the whole system.
While planning all of this, we’ve made the decision to make this our focus for both September and October, because as you can see there is so much to do!! We want to be able to do it well, and we feel like God is calling us to make this a bigger priority right now. September has been us starting things, and October will be all about how you guys can help and participate.
We will be having a few different events these next few weeks. We’re hoping to be able to do an open Worship night held by the youth worship team. We’ve been talking with the pastors and we are working on details and logistics. We’ll update you on it as soon as we know.
Like we mentioned earlier, we’re also wanting to do the art exhibition for the kids we are currently teaching, but that will be a little further in the future.
We will also be doing a bake sale fundraiser of Spooky Autumn Cookies! Similar to what we did in February for Valentine’s day, but this time it will be Halloween/Autumn themed. We have a few different flavor options; Ghastly Vanilla Bein’, Lemony Leaves, Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Cookies, Caramel Apple, Triple Choc Chunk Comfort Cookies, Ginger-Dead Men, and also pumpkin pie! We’re super excited. If you’re interested in cookies, you can order here!
So now for the part where you can get involved!
Sponsor a Child
If this is something that you feel like you want to help with, you can do so by donating items on the list, donating money, getting a group together to collect items, or when the time comes, actually packing the bags! Anything that you’re able to do is a great help.
If you’re in Bangkok, are good with talking, and enjoy meeting people, we’d love to take you along with us! Email us for more details at the12monthHOPP@gmail.com, or call 0803745572.
We don’t know details as of now, but we’ll keep you updated. We would love for you to join us in worship and we’ll also be holding a prayer time for people in IDC and also for refugees in Bangkok.
Thank you so much for supporting us. We hope these next months go well, and we can’t wait to see you getting involved!
- Love From The HOPP Team