Happy New Year everybody! This past month has been so eventful and also so calm for us, but now as the new year kicks off, we’re getting back to being busy! We hope that you’ve been able to help out around your community and spread some Christmas joy to others around you, and we’d love to hear about what you did!
Here’s our story throughout December.
Brodie left in early November to tend to some work in Australia, and she didn’t get back until the evening of the 24th, so this month was a bit more difficult planning the HOPP by myself. But because it was Christmas time, our church had a few things planned that I could easily join and help with.
First, I helped play Mary for a children’s ministry event, where the directors turned the church into an interactive Bethlehem! It was unbelievably cool. There were live animals, beggars, Roman Soldiers, an Inn Keeper, shepherds, and Mary and Joseph.
Joseph and I stayed in the stable for 6 hours and our cheeks started to hurt from smiling a few times, but it was all worth it. Seriously an amazing event.
Then, a few days after the event, I left for a trip to Takuapa, Thailand, which is an hour and a half away from Phuket.
The trip was being hosted by Imagine Thailand, which is an organization that helps Thai people to learn English and have a nice place to hang out and study. In the South of Thailand, they have a learning center, where primary and high-school aged kids go after school to complete homework and speak English. In Bangkok, Imagine Thailand has a cafe that hosts “English Corner” in which they invite college students and Native English speakers to come together and talk, to make new friends, play games, and to get more familiar with the language.
So, I left on a trip with a youth leader and another student to help host Christmas parties at a few non-christian schools!
The awesome thing about this, is that the schools actually invited Imagine Thailand, who hosted the trip, and asked us to tell the story of Christmas. So, they were able to put together a small team to host a skit, a few games, and to hand out gift bags. I was even asked to choreograph two simple dances for the kids to learn, and they really loved it! I love seeing them smile and laugh as they move around and have fun.
Above, you can see our amazing team. In the bottom left picture, we have Aui narrating the story in English, Gone playing a shepherd, Cian playing Gabriel the Angel, Me playing Mary, Dai (I’m not sure if this is correct spelling, sorry!) playing Joseph, and Taepal playing Santa, who narrated in Thai.
The team was so amazing, and with only a day to plan and organize everything, I’d say that it went really well. The kids enjoyed it and so did all the adults.
We also hosted an event at the Imagine Thailand Learning Center. We did the skit, we did a gift raffle and every child got a gift, and we gave the kids and parents dinner of yellow rice and chicken, and lots of side dishes and drinks. Then, we sat and talked with the kids as best we could. It was super awesome to be a part of.
The two hosts, who’s Thai names I don’t know how to spell, invited us back and we’re considering putting a team together to go down and help out again! So stay in touch if you’re interested in doing that.
After this trip was finished, we went back to Bangkok and we relaxed for the Christmas holiday. It was a busy and fun month, and resting with family was a great refresher.
Now, we’re getting back to full speed and are finishing up the last 4 months of The HOPP! That’s so crazy to think about. We’ll send out our January update soon, so keep a look out! These next four months are some that we’ve been super excited to announce.
We hope that you guys have had a lovely break and that you have an amazing next year. And remember – even a little task can change one persons day greatly.
Much love from The HOPP Team. xx