There are many things to be thankful for everyday at YCF, and we would love to share snippets of our thanksgiving with you. In this page, we want to also share prayer request items, provide updates and to create a platform where we can showcase what we do at YCF.
Its a joy and privilege for us to keep you updated, we hope that you will delight in our sharing and do remember to keep us in your prayers.
30 September 2020
“I will enter Your house with thanksgiving I will sing of Your goodness to me.
For my heart is eternally grateful.
I am blessed abundantly.
You have given me life in all it's fullness.
And joy no words can describe.
But I know it's for more than me.
It's for those.
Those you sent me to reach I am blessed, blessed to be a blessing.
I am blessed, I live under open heaven.”
- Blessed to be a Blessing by LaraMartin
September was a month filled with His abundant blessings, over YCF and to many more who we were able to bless during this month. Almost every weekend, everyone at YCF would come together to pack the food items that we distributed to the local community and our neighbors and friends. Together with Girl Rising Thailand, we have been blessed with the great opportunity to reach out and extend our love to the people and communities around us by given out some food rations and daily necessities which will be of much relieve to the people.
Covid 19 is still lingering around and we have seen some cases in the country and known of many more around the world, our hearts are sadden to know that even as we near the end of the year, the virus is still active and affecting many. We have missed the good old times of having the liberty to go out without much worry and fear but most of all we miss our dear friends from overseas who would come frequently to visit us. Our hearts and prayers are with all of you, no matter where you may be during this time, we have been keeping you all close and giving thanks for our friendship.
Nonetheless, we are staying strong and keeping our chins up and trying to make the best of every opportunity we have to bless and help others around us who have suffered or been badly affected by Covid19. At the start of this month, Girl Rising Thailand approached us with some funds to help respond to Covid19 and we have been able to use these funds to help YCF as well as many others like our neighbors in the village-which consists of many elderlies, some churches in the nearby towns and villages as well as some churches and villages in Chiang Rai. Being united in His love has helped all of us get by and to fight this pandemic together.
We have this privilege to teach our children the importance of sharing and being empathetic as they grasp to understand this virus which is rapidly widespread across the world now. By reaching out to help the local community, the children learn that even in tough times, we can be a blessings to others even in small ways. They have fun packing the food items, transporting the items and meeting the people to give out the blessing bags. Through this experience, they have been impacted and they realize the importance of helping others and extending God’s love to everyone. We are humbled to be able to have this opportunity to bless others as we ourselves have been much blessed.
2020 has been such an interesting year, 3 months more till we reach the end of it. Slowly but surely with God we will get through each day. Let us continue to unite in prayer and we cannot wait till things goes back to normal. We encourage you to take heart, stay strong, stay safe and to continue to be a blessing to those around you.
31 August 2020
Our days in August has been of us working and playing in our fields, be it for rice planting, planting vegetables or preparing the land for growing crops we have been spending so much time out in the fields. The rains came and it when just as quickly. But we want to thank God for allowing the rain to fall over our land and the crops in it, watering and dampening the soil to help to nurture the crops. The children enjoy the times out working in the fields. They get to not only learn or pick up new skills but they have a blast in each other’s company and you will never fail to hear their loud giggles, childish yet adorable conversations about anything under the sun and of course their little hands and feet that are so eager to just get into everything.
We want to thank God that we have been blessed by being able to afford to purchase a new cultivator to till the land. The cultivator machine is so useful and we can’t ask for a better time than now to get it. As we need to till the land (mix up the soil) in the land before we can start planting vegetable seeds in it, it is very tiring and time consuming to do it manually by hand and farming tools. So with the new tiller that is mechanised, it will take less time and it gets the job fastest across the vast landscape. Our older boys have been taught by the staff on how to work the tiller and they have been loving it and have been diligently tilling the land for us. The other children help out by tossing the seeds into the soil or by cleaning up the weeds, if any. We have now planted some groundnuts, cabbage and corn. In no time, the crops will start growing and everyone looks forward to harvest day where we can all enjoy the fruits of our labour.
Other than farming work around the house, the children at YCF have been much occupied with school. School has now resumed to a full 5 day week, before it was on a 3 day rotation basis due to the Covid19 virus. Nonetheless, safety precautions are still well taken care of in schools. The children have to be masked when in school and they are to practice good personal hygiene and maintain social distancing. The upcoming term break will be in November as it has been pushed back due to the delay of school reopening this year. However, the children seem to be loving going to school every day and we delight in their joy as well.
We also celebrated Mother's Day on 12 August 2020, it was a day filled with so much food! We were treated to delicious pizza, fried chicken, french fries and soda at The Duke's. It has been a yearly affair for us for the past 3 years and we have been loving and looking forward to it every year since. The children also gave thanks for their mothers and said a prayer for their mothers - remarkable women who brought them into the world. Our hearts and tummies were filled that day. The children are looking forward to Mother's Day next year...thank you to The Duke's for your generosity and big blessing. Our new children were fascinated with all the 'new food' as they never experienced having pizza, tasting french fries and being in a big restaurant. It was such a treat!
As fast as the days are passing, we are learning to be even more thankful for the little blessings and to see the Lord’s goodness and grace in all that we do. The children are growing up quickly, we miss all our visitors and friends of YCF. The children have been praying for all our YCF friends and for the Covid19 situation to get better so that things can go back to normal. We are taking it slow and steady but of course praying and hoping for all to pass over and for the normalcy to return, in the mean time we will all do our part to stay safe and well. Take care everyone, we send our love and thoughts.
31 July 2020
Blue Skies, Muddy Fields & Green Fingers
It is rice planting season again! However this year, the rains are not falling as much as it should and we have been praying for the rain to fall to flood the rice fields as we are planting rice in our fields and so are many other Thai farmers in Thailand. From the start of the month to the end of the July, everyone at YCF have been helping out with rice planting, preparing the rice, the fields and working hard to ensure that all things are in place for our rice planting. Let us show you how we prepare and carry out our rice planting at YCF,
We start by planting rice at House of Grace where we throw and scatter the rice grains into the fields and give them time to grow and sprout into little seedlings then we will transplant the rice seedlings into our rice fields after we have harrowed and tillage the land. As we had a few public and school holidays this month, the children were all home from school and there could be no better time than those days to gather everyone to help work in the fields. We worked hard and toiled under the hot sun, but were rewarded with nice cool drinks and yummy sweet snacks and a good meal each time we were out planting the rice. All the children helped, from our youngest to the oldest and it was truly so much fun despite the hard work. Our children got down and dirty in the muddy waters, bending over to plant the rice and making sure it is firmly secured into the damp soil, some of our boys had little running competitions, we splashed and played in the cool waters and the girls were able to share little chats and laughter during their time spent working in the fields. We were able to finish transplanting the rice seedlings into our fields during the school/public holidays and on some weekends and now we pray and wait for the rice to grow. Nothing beats reaping the fruits of our labor, it is so fulfilling and brings us all a great sense of achievement and joy. As much as we all love eating rice, it is important that our children learn the importance of how and where rice comes from and how it is grown. They learn that they should be thankful for each grain of rice as so much hard work goes into planting the rice, and they also get to learn from such a rich first-hand experience of being part of the rice planting process, which will be useful for them in the future as it serves as an important life skill.
We pray that the month of August will see the rain falling as we need the rain water to fill and flood our rice fields, it will also be nice to enjoy the coolness that the rain brings with it as it has been very hot these days. Thank God for keeping us all healthy and well at YCF, the children are all settled back into their school routines and have been doing well in their respective schools. We are also praying for the Covid19 situation to get better, we would love to send our love and misses to all our international YCF friends. Please stay safe and take care, we have you all in mind and in heart and have been praying for your well-being and safety.
Rice and Shine, it was a Rice Day
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30 June 2020
Returning to the 'New' Normal
We are entering the next half of 2020! June has been such a fruitful month for us at YCF as we soaked up the last few days of the long extended school holidays this year. From the start to the end of the month, we have been on our toes, busy with many activities and having a whale of a time each day.
Let’s start June’s update with the most exciting news…we have 6 new children who have joined the big YCF family. We are so pleased and privilege to have them join us and to be able to journey with them and watch them grow. They have settled in very well and have befriended the existing children very quickly, which for us is a big blessing and joy to see them interact, play and live well together. We have also been getting to know them better these days and likewise they are also getting to know us all better, but from the smiles on their faces we are sure they like being at YCF. We now have a total of 42 children in YCF with 2 more pursuing their degrees in Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai, and 1 who is in vocation school in Chiang Mai city. It is such a great joy to see our children growing well and becoming young adults, with each passing year it makes us realise how fast the children grow and how fast time just goes by. We need to soak in all the little precious moments and take great delight in the little things with each of them. We had a nice cosy welcome party to welcome and induce our new friends as well as to celebrate the end of the school holidays as we look forward to the new school year.
In June, we also had some time for a staff retreat as the staff needed a break, they have been hard at work for the past few months since the school holidays started, staying in and taking care of the children 24/7. It is very tiring and it is good that they can catch a breather and for them to take a break somewhere else away from YCF. This is good time to relax, be refreshed and to recharge and spend quality time with the Lord and time for them to rest and reflect. The staff retreat was a week’s trip to Hua Hin at a Christian Bible site. This time round, some well-deserving children had the opportunity to join the staff retreat and they absolutely loved their time at the seaside. It was all day-everyday out at the sea, swimming, playing in the water, fishing, picking shells, running about, enjoying fresh seafood and having so much fun. We thank God for the staff retreat as it was a good one, a much needed one in fact. When we got back from the retreat, everyone seemed to be well rested and ready to prepare for when school reopened.
Apart from the staff retreat, the children’s days were also packed with lots to do. As the Covid19 situation has gotten much better in Thailand, the restrictions have lighten and we have been able to head out, but have to practice social distancing and avoid large crowds. The children while at home had to do their daily chores, they did paper cutting and also helped out in the fields. We have been planting vegetables in House of Grace, and we have also recently started weeding the rice fields to prepare for rice planting season. There are also times when we head out, just so the children who are staying in YCF for their entire school holiday can have a different environment. Thank God for holding back the rains that day, it has been raining these few weeks. The rainy season is fast approaching, hence, we are preparing to plant rice. The children also had the chance to go swimming this month at Vivo Bene and had too much fun splashing around and soaking in the cool waters. We also have news on the progress of the house that we are building in House of Grace- the house is now coming alive, we have some rooms done and the children have all been helping to paint those rooms. Just a little bit more till we can say for sure that the house is done, we can’t wait.
Due to the Covid19, the government extended the school holidays and the children have such an extremely long break this year, from March – July, 4 months! However, we have reached the end of the long 4 months stretch. The children who have returned from their villages have all returned. We had to check to ensure that the returning children were all well and for some, we quarantined them to ensure that they were well before they started mingling with the other children. God has really been so gracious and have watched over all of us and keeping us safe from the widespread, and even in the times where we had to stay home, He has provided and just kept us in His keep. School will reopen on 1 July 2020. The children are all so excited and they look forward to returning to school. Many of them have commented that they miss their friends at school, miss their teachers and for most, they are very thrilled to be entering the next grade. May the never lose their sense of excitement for school, and may they all continue to love school and to do their best in their studies.
Please keep us in your prayers as we get ready to step into a new school year. Things will get busier as the children return back to school, pray for strength for the staff, pray for the children to be healthy and strong and pray for the Lord to continue blessing YCF and keeping us all in His goodness, filled daily with His mercies and love.
31 May 2020
Day by Day
"Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength we find to meet trials here.
Trusting in our Father's wise bestowment,
We have no cause to worry or for fear.
Everyday the Lord Himself is near us,
With a special mercy for each hour."
Another 31 days has passed us by, how quickly time slips by. We have been home most of the days as we are adhering to the current rules that has been imposed. Nevertheless, there has been some precious days which we have been able to be out to help our neighbours, YCF friends and also do some work around the homes. Days like those are special days for the children, as they get to be out to soak in some sunlight as well as to expand their energy and enjoy time together doing meaningful things. It really benefits all of us, to be able to have a little change of environment and to stay active. This month exciting activities comprises of the children and staff going fishing in Khun Keiko's massive pond. As the water in the pond is drying up, we had been tasked to fish up as much fish from the pond. It was such great fun, the children worked together to catch the fishes and were rewarded by having freshly barbecued fish for lunch to savour their hard work. When it comes to fishing, we can proudly say that we at YCF, do quite a great job! Regardless of the boys or girls, we truly enjoy fishing, getting into the cool waters and getting the fishes. The current Covid19 situation is getting better in Chiang Mai and Thailand as a whole, so we are very thankful to God for that and we pray it will get better completely so that things will be able to function again and there will be less restrictions.
School was supposed to reopen this month, but due to the pandemic, school has been rescheduled to reopen in July. However with the aid of technology, we are thankful that our children are still able to continue with their learning. They have been having online lessons and we have been blessed to have P'Toto coming to help provide extra lesson for our older children and to assist them with their school work and learning if Mathematics. Our children have learned to take turns and manage their time as most of them need to share the devices due to us not having enough for each child, it is good as we have seen how they have responded to the new arrangements. We have to make do to the best with what we have and it important they learn to share and be thoughtful towards their peers. If you have any old devices like laptops, computers, desktops or tablets that you no longer have use for and are in good working conditions we would be glad to take them for the children's use. It would be very useful as currently we only have 4 devices that is being shared amongst 22 children at home currently. With more children returning to YCF soon, we will need to start to arranging who gets to use the devices first for their online learning. On the topic of children returning to YCF, we will have new friends joining YCF in the coming days too. As of now, we have two new additions. We will formally introduce them when all have entered, we are excited to meet them and have them join our big family.
For now, we are taking it day by day and being thankful for His daily goodness over us. With all that is going on around us in this world now, there are many uncertainties, but we are certain that God is with us every hour, every minute, every second of the day in our lives. We have been praying and being even more grateful for being safe and having our basic needs met. The children are reminded even more so now, that God is truly in control. The world may shake, it may shake us all hard but with Jesus we can rest assure to know that He will keep our footing firm and that though we may be shaken, he will never forsake us.
30 April 2020
Filled with Hope
This month we have seen how the Covid19 pandemic has been such an intensely challenging period for all of us in this world. However we are so blessed to have Jesus Christ as our peace, hope and strength during this tough season. We can have the confidence and trust that in the midst of all the pain and struggle during this crisis that God will use these difficult times to build our perseverance and hope in us His children. We can fight any fear with faith. Our response to this pandemic is to allow God to strengthen our souls as we acknowledge His sovereignty over all. We also pray for our fellow Thai countrymen as many of them are going this time of uncertainty with much struggle in terms of their employment, being financially stable to support their families and also their mental well being.
As we have been staying home, this year we are not able to celebrate Songkran due to the Covid19 situation, nonetheless, the children were well occupied. We had gone on-board with Home Based learning at home for a few hours every morning right after breakfast. We split the children according to their age and they sit in front of a computer to learn from watching an educational video with the guidance of a staff or an older child for the younger ones. It has been really good and we are glad the children can still enjoy learning from the comfort of home and they are able to put their time to good use. As Thailand has extended the lock down period to end of May, we will continue our home base learning for the children under our care as we want them to be able to use their time well and continue to expand their knowledge and develop the joy for learning. Schools will only reopen in July, so this is a great way for them to learn in the meantime.
We have also been getting creative, we have done lots of crafts this month like paper-cutting, finding recyclable materials or things like branches, leafs, flowers in our garden to come up with creative artworks just for fun and for the children to build on their imaginative creativity to express themselves. We also had a chance to learn from P’Knot how to make a homemade air purifier. We successfully made two! If you are keen to purchase one or two from us, get in touch with us. It can be a little fun project for the boys, as they enjoy getting their hands on fixing and building things. We also want to thank God for sending the rain, with the downpours we have had recently, the haze has gotten better and the weather is much more cooler, making it more bearable to stay at home and rest.
The progress of our House building project at House of Grace has been coming along very well. We have done up one room on the first floor, which will serve as the room for one of our staff. We are still praying that the entire house will be built to finish as soon as possible. Thank God for all His goodness and seeing us through each little step.
Let’s continue to stay strong together and take care of ourselves. We pray that in the midst of all that is going on in the world, we will continue to be filled with hope knowing that He is in control over the situation and He loves us so much.
31 March 2020
This month has been a hustling month for us all, as we have seen how the recent covid19 pandemic has affected not just Thailand but everyone globally. Due to the recent widespread of the virus, we have an important announcement to make, please refer to the image below.
Despite all the fear, uncertainty and uneasiness that covid19 has brought to us this month, we want to thank God for His goodness and protection over us all at YCF. As you know, it is the long school summer vacation in Thailand and schools will only reopen for the new school year in May. Many of our children have returned to their respective villages and we have informed their parents or caretakers of the measures to ensure the wellbeing of not just our children but their families’ to make sure they maintain good personal hygiene and keep track of the people they come into contact with and we have also encouraged them to not travel much and to stay home during this period of time. For the rest of the children who are staying at YCF during their school vacation, we will also be taking extra measures to safeguard their wellbeing. In the meantime as they would not be able to go out much, we have been keeping them busy with little chores around our home, cleaning, cutting paper, learning new skills, relaxing by allowing them to watch movies/television and to just play some sports in our yard. The children have also been informed of the virus and they are aware of it and we have been praying for the halt in the widespread and for the people who may be affected by it.18
In Thailand now, the country has set in place many precaution measures to ensure people are staying safe and maintaining good social distancing and practicing good personal hygiene. There has also been a curfew set in place at our village. However, thank God before the lockdown began, we were able to celebrate the graduation of one of our Grade 6 boys. He is the only one graduating Grade 6 this year, as compared to our large group of 10 children last year. He has done us proud and we are so pleased to see him advance to Middle School, he has also grown up so well and is now towering over the other children. We foresee that he will grow to be a tall man, and we continue to pray that the Lord will watch over him and guide his every step as he continues to grow and to stay close to the Lord.
We pray that the covid19 will get better, stay safe everyone and let’s continue to be united to fight this tough times together.