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.
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.
28 February 2020
We started the month by celebrating the holy matrimony of Khun Yupin and her husband, Khun Jakchai. Khun Yupin is one of the staff at YCF and she has been with us for so many years that she is so dear to us all. Being able to attend her wedding was a day of much joy and for us, it was a day we have been waiting and looking forward to for a long time coming. It was truly a joy witnessing the union of the two of them. We travelled to her village in Lampang to take part in a traditional Karen tribe wedding. It was such a beautiful day, the village church was decorated so elaborately with flowers and pictures of the couple and the bride looked stunning in her Karen tribe wedding attire and the groom looked handsome in his hand-woven Karen tribe costume too. The children were all so thrilled to be able to attend the wedding even though it took a 3.5hours drive to the outskirt village where Khun Yupin’s family resides at. We had such a scrumptious home cooked meal for lunch after the church service and we also had some of our YCF friends join us for Khun Yupin’s wedding, it was a really wonderful day. We are so happy for Khun Yupin and Khun Jakchai as they start life together as man and wife in Christ.
February was also the month where we also had another important event that we had been anticipating. It was the graduation of one of our big boys who has been in Bible Seminary School in Prachuap Kirikhan in Hua Hin. He has been studying there for the past 3 years and on 22 February 2020, we had the joy and privilege of being there to see him graduate and to receive his certificate. So proud of him and his achievement, and we are excited to see where the Lord will lead him and how the Lord will use him for His kingdom and his people.
Even though February is a short month, we did so much and also celebrated many things. One another thing we did this month was with our dear YCF friend, Edgar, Toto and Teacher Jean. They organised a bible study trip to the Hot Springs, where the children were about enjoy the outdoors and also to have a fun time learning more about the bible and our great Father in heaven. It was so fun, the children had so much fun and they enjoyed the learning aspect of the trip. Even for the older folks-the adults, they had a good time soaking their feet in the natural hot springs and we even had time to boil some eggs in the geyser. We are so blessed to have such great YCF friends who not only love us but also want us to continue to grow in the Lord and have our spiritual well-being in mind always. Thank you dear friends.
The children are looking to one thing in March, and that is the school holidays! Can’t believe that school will be out for them so soon again. Thank God for all His goodness and grace over us in everything. The world may shake and change, but Jesus our Lord, He stands firm and he is unchangeable.
Some precious shots of Khun Yupin & Khun John's wedding and of our boy graduating from Bible Seminary School. (Scroll to see more pictures)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
30 June 2020
Returning to the 'New' Normal