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.
31 March 2021
Time passes surprisingly fast, we are approaching the last month of the first quarter of the year. As we look back on the month of March, it has been yet another delightful month filled with God’s goodness. All our days He holds us in His hands, from the moment that we wake to the time we lay our heads, for that we are ever so thankful.
March is a month most of us would coin as the ‘worst air quality’ month as shrouds of thick smoky haze would blanket most of the Northern Thai provinces. The source of this can be traced back to a common method of slash and burn which many farmers still practice by setting lands ablaze to clear their farm land. This year however, it has been said to be the worst in all the previous years.
“It’s more severe than previous years because the fuel – all the dry leaves and plants – had accumulated for a few years without burning. This year is dry. There is no rain and little humidity. So when the fuel ignites, it’s harder to control,” said Amphon Kanchan from the Khun Kan-Samoeng forest fire station.
We have been trying to ensure that the children do as much activities as they can indoors and refrain from heading out as breathing in the haze is very harmful to one’s health as exposure to the micro particles of this air pollution can penetrate deep inside one’s lungs and may be passed into the blood stream unfiltered which may result in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases or cancer. We had a record of a very unhealthy P.M 2.5 air quality index reading recently. Please help to pray for the haze to clear out so that the children enjoy their outdoor activities as well as for the sake of our health. As it is the hot and dry season in Thailand now, having the haze around really makes it all the more worse and very unbearable. As the school vacation is fast approaching, we have also been planning to take our children to the trip to the sea in Hua Hin. At YCF, we try to make a trip down to Hua Hin once every four years so that our children will be able visit the sea - all our children are from the highlands/mountains and so for many it would be their first time to the sea and they all have the desire to be able to visit the sea and experience it. More importantly, the visit to the sea will also be a bible camp and a baptism trip as we have few children who will be baptized and also during the trip (around 10 days) we are looking at running a bible camp. It would also be good to escape the bad haze and to head to somewhere with fresher air for the children to enjoy the great outdoors and soak in sunshine and to bask in the vast nature. We are currently asking the children’s sponsors to help support their child to pay for the trip’s expenses. It will be 5000 baht per head for the entire trip, if you would like to contribute and help towards the travelling expenses (gas, food, accommodation, miscellaneous expenses) please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org we will greatly appreciate any donations. Initially the trip was planned for April however, the Christian Mission Home at Hua Hin is fully booked and so we will have to push our trip back a bit and head down South in May instead of April.
Another thing to give thanks for is the house building project which we embarked on 2 years ago. It surely has taken a bit more time then we estimated, however, we are glad to share that the project is well on its way to completion. Everyone has worked hard to chip in to the construction of the house. In times that we were running low on funds to purchase resources or pay for external help to build up the house, we have learnt that as we wait patiently and faithfully trust in the Lord by committing all our concerns and requests for help, He hears and He delivers. He has blessed us through many who have stepped forward to contribute funds in many ways to help us. We are almost done with the house, all walls are up, floors are stable, the walls have been painted, and electricity has been installed. We just need a little bit more for the finishing touches – the roof! So as we wait, we pray and we know that God will provide for our needs. Thank you to all who have generously given to our house building project which is a building that will be the staff living quarters and a library for the children. We can’t wait till it is completely built, functional and furnished, all ready for the people to move in to occupy the space. Thank God for everything!
28 February 2021
Overflow of Gratefulness
This month our cup overflows with His great blessings. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. We have been receiving much support and are so thankful to all who have reached out to us in this difficult time when the pandemic is still a clear and present danger around the world.
February may be the shortest month in the year with just 28 days but these 28 days has been filled with so much love garnered from many who have given so much to us in their time, love, support and even financially. We started this month bidding the cold nights and early morning goodbye. However, though the days are hot out, the nights are cool but hotter days are approaching as the cold season ends. Fast on the heels of the hot season, we have started planting vegetables in our fields and the children have been nothing but helpful as we get work in the field done. The boys are the ones who are in charge of the ‘tougher’ and more laborious work of tilling the soil and ensuring that the soil is well broken up and loosen up before we can start planting. The girls on the other hand are tasked with the job to plant the seed of the vegetable that is to be planted into the soil. With their delicate hands and eye for detail, they work well together and get to seeds planted well into the soil. Once the children are done with their assigned tasks, the overseeing staff will then do a final check to ensure that all the procedures are done well and will finish the job by spraying some water over the soil to make it damp and moist enough for the seeds to be nestled in to start their growing.
In Thailand, 10-12 percent of the population is Chinese and so we have many who celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year in Thailand. Our children were blessed this year to receive a red packet (Ang Bao) each. They were all so thrilled to be getting red packets and were also educated on how the Chinese would greet their elders upon receiving a red packet and what some customs and practices were like for the Chinese Lunar New Year. We love having our children learn as they are exposed to such rich cultural learning and it also helps to broaden their knowledge and world view.
After many months of not being able to see some of our foreign YCF friends who resides in Chiang Mai and who frequently volunteers and spend time at YCF, we had some who were able to return from overseas. We held a simple welcome back party to celebrate their return as well as to lighten the mood as they had all served long 14 days quarantine upon arrival back into Thailand. We are so happy to have them back and we await the return of more foreign YCF friends. Everyone at YCF is hopeful and praying for the Covid19 pandemic to ease up so that international travel will resume and also for things to be able to go back to as it was before.
We are really so thankful for all your prayers, thoughts, love, support and donations for YCF. It is truly by the grace of God that we get by each day, He provides and He meets all our needs. All of us at YCF have been mightily blessed with many good food and being able to meet and get to know kind souls who have volunteered their time to visit, teach, support and love our children.
31 January 2021
The Gift of Newness
It has been close to a year living with the Covid19 virus pandemic, who would have imagine the grave impacts and changes it has brought about to all of us. 2020 went pass quickly and in a blink of an eye we entered 2021 still feeling a little unsure of what the new year would have installed for us but also knowing that we could always look to the Lord for His direction and to lead us as we stepped into 2021.
We started the year with a time of prayer and thanksgiving, in that time the children shared about their thoughts and feelings of the tumultuous year that Covid19 had impinged upon them. It was with big hopes that we welcomed the new year that it would be a better year than the year that has just passed. It has been a good start of the month as we continued to pack blessing care packages to be distributed to our neighbors and a village in Mae Hon Song, Mae Sariang. In January the children also celebrated Children’s Day in Thailand and this year we had fun and a very interesting experience as the children had the opportunity to make Japanese Mochi in the tradition way of having to pound the rice cake from scratch and to add in their own preferred fillings to their own taste buds. The children were all so excited and had a whale of a time pounding and rolling their home made mocha and of course the best part for them was to eat their mochi as it was so light, sweet and tasty! As the second wave of Covid19 virus has struck Thailand, the country had to enforce more measures put in place this month and school was close for a few days as we needed to do some social distancing in order for the situation to get better. During the school closure, our children were kept busy with chores at home and they also had some online learning to catch up with their school work. Thank God, school resumed on 18 January, and all our children are now back in school, preparing for their upcoming examinations.
Xin Nian Kuai Le (新年快乐), that is how we greet each other ‘Happy New Year’ in mandarin and we know this because our children had some online mandarin lessons with some kind student-teachers from Feng Chia University in Taiwan. It is so fun and also really good for our children to be picking up and learning more languages, they also enjoy the interactions with their teachers and are so keen to learn new things. We are very fortunate to have these Taiwanese university students help to teach our older children Mandarin even though we are far apart but meeting online and having online lessons has proven that distance cannot put a stop to learning and communicating. When there is a will, there will always be a way! We are so thankful for their time, patience, love and high spirits to teach our children and impart not only their knowledge but also extend their friendship to us.
Since are blessed to receive, we are also blessed to give to others close to us, in our local communities. Hence, we have continued to prepare and pack blessing care packages to be distributed to some lovely people and families. Our children really love this activity and they know the importance of giving and blessing others, so they really look forward to packing the blessing care packages with food items and to also head out with the team to meet and give the packages out to the families and to just check in on their well-being and show care and concern for others. All this is only made possible as we have received funds to be used in this project and it is a great privilege for us to be part of it.
We ended the month by celebrating our January babies’ birthday with a mini party in our field with some cakes, a loud cheer accompanying the birthday song and prayers, prayers for our beloved January babies. Everyone had a blast and we could not ask for a better way to say goodbye to the first month of the year which we will face with much hope anchoring our hearts and hope to guide our steps.
31 December 2020
Peace, Joy and Hope for the New Year
Oh December, how is it that the month just came and went back so quickly? It was not too long ago that we were all getting excited for Christmas at the end of November and the children were all starting to practice their song and dance performances for Christmas. This year it has been cold but everyone seems to be enjoying and busking in the cool weather. Thailand has been hit by the second wave of the Covid19 virus and we were so sadden to catch wind of it and will continue to pray for the Lord’s covering and protection over all of us and for the situation to get better for Thailand and for the whole world.
December was a month of much fun and treats for the children. The first week saw us finishing up the last bit of rice harvesting and thrashing with the help of all the children, staff and God’s grace we have wrapped it up and have stored the harvested rice safely away in rice sacks in our store room and will only polish it when we are going to consume it. This year’s harvest was not the best out of all the years we have been planting rice as some of the rice stalks had fallen and were quite scarce, so we did not use the big rice cultivator to harvest the rice but instead had to get down and dirty into the hard work to harvest all the rice by hand. Nonetheless we got the job done and we give thanks for this year’s harvest and also it was so lovely seeing our children at work and picking up all these life skills, the new children all had a great experience in the whole rice planting process and we all had fun.
As we moved on in the month, the children had a short school break and that gave us more time to prepare for the Christmas season and for the children to work on their paper cuttings for Christmas cards and for the to practice Christmas carols in English as we went carolling. It is always a good time when we come together, even though this year has not been an easy year for us all and we did not have any international friends come to YCF to visit us, we still wanted to do a Christmas celebration at home for our children to enjoy and for friends who are with us here in Chiang Mai. However, before our own Christmas celebration in home ground, we had made plans to head up to Chiang Rai to run two Christmas programs for Song Pranee Church and a Children’s home in Sriwichian Village. This was so as we wanted our children to know how blessed they have been and are so it would be a good opportunity especially this year as the pandemic has cause much distraught to many. We got the older children to plan the activities and programs and they were in charge of getting their younger friends to help execute the programs. We went to Chiang Rai for 4 days to run the programs and they both were so well received and well done. We were so proud of our children for working hard and putting their hearts into running the Christmas programs to bless others. Back home our younger children who stayed home were also occupied and they had a chance to go out to do some carolling. Everyone was together at heart despite the distance.
Today, 31st December, the last day of 2020 we will be having our Christmas and New Year Celebration at home and we are going to have a nice chill evening together starting off with dinner and then moving into a time of worship and thanksgiving. Even though this year has been challenging and nothing like we have ever experienced, we are still very thankful and glad to have gone through each day of this year with God’s love, peace, joy, grace and strength. We are praying and looking forward to 2021, where we know will be a better year and we entrust all things into the Lord’s hands and look to Him to guide us every step of the way. May you be blessed, step out of 2020 with a grateful heart and step into 2021 with an even more grateful and hopeful heart. We are so blessed and loved by all the support we have received and we hope too that we have been a blessing to all of you. Let’s go 2021!
30 November 2020
November has brought about the cool season in which the children were able to enjoy two weeks of short school vacation when they could wake up an hour later than their usual wake up time. It has been an eventful month as we have been anticipating the school vacation as well as the day to harvest the rice that we have planted in our fields. It has been around 3-4 months and it was time to harvest the rice and to thrash it to get it ready for consumption. We always get so excited during harvest time and it was perfect timing as the children had their school vacation during that period and everyone was able to help out and harvest and thrash the rice.
We also have good news to share, one of our university boy has graduated with a degree in accounting and we can’t be prouder of him and his great achievement. Thanks to his sponsors and his hard work, he has completed university and gained a degree. We now pray that he will be able to find good employment and be able to work and start saving for a better future. It is always such a touching moment when our children graduate, we have seen how far they have come and we look forward to seeing them grow and live their lives independently and meaningfully.
During the school holidays, we also squeezed in some time to bring some children up to Chiang Rai to our house there to help build and construct a small sheltered hut. This is because we are planning to bring the YCF children up to Chiang Rai during the week of Christmas to run a Christmas programme for the church opposite our house and for a children’s home in Chiang Rai. We believe that it is important for our children to be leaders and for them to help others especially so much so when we have been recipients of many people’s love and support. Our children have to learn not only to receive but also to give. Even though this year we may not have our friends from other countries come to visit and spend Christmas with us, we still want to spread the Christmas joy and cheer, hence, we will be doing so by heading out to conduct Christmas programmes for our fellow neighbours and friends in Chiang Rai. The children are excited and we have started planning the programmes and activities, please pray with us as we prepare for the Christmas week in Chiang Rai. It is something different from our usual Christmas, however, this year has been nothing but changes, so we are going to embrace it and do our best.
It is just about a month more till Christmas and soon it will be the New Year too. Time is flying by too quickly so we want to seize every day. The children are starting to return to school and will only have a break during the Christmas period. Thank God for watching over us and keeping us safe and healthy. Please continue to pray for the Covid19 situation as recently we have had a few cases in Chiang Mai. We have faith and trust that the situation will get better and we miss all our YCF friends and can’t wait to meet with them again soon.
We can't wait for Christmas already!
Every time we love, every time we give, its Christmas.
31 October 2020
Always Something To Be Thankful For
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
In a blink of an eye, the year is coming to an end. Everyday is a blessing and we have been doing our best to take in the days and being grateful and enjoying each day as it passes us by. October has been such a quick yet eventful month for us at YCF.
This month we continued with our community blessing and handed out many more blessing packs which contains daily necessities and some food commodities to our local neighbors around our vicinities and in the neighboring districts. It has been such a humbling and impactful experience for all of us. Not just the YCF staff but especially more so for the children. They get to go along with us to distribute the blessing packs and as they do so, they get to meet and greet the locals and our neighbors. We get invited in to their houses, often times we are able to hang out and have a short chit chat session with them and to get to know them better. For many of them, Covid19 has hit them and have deeply affected their jobs, families and well-being. We may not have much to offer to help them, but with the little that we can give in terms of the blessing packs, our time, company and prayers, we hope that it helps to cheer them on and lift their spirits. With such encounters, the children learn to reach out to the people in the community and by the conversations shared we hope that it teaches them to have empathy and compassion towards others who may need it more than they do in this current times. We have also seen how these people that we have reached out too have been blessed by our visit in the smiles and laughter shared. We want to thank God for this great and humbling opportunity to be His vessels and to fellowship with His people even in tough times. This month, we had Khun Sarah who just returned from her travels back to her home in Chiang Mai, join us during one of the days we went out to distribute the care packs. Her giving spirit and energy to reach out to help others inspires us greatly and it is our privilege to have her as our dear YCF friend. She has done much to help us, she loves the children and we in turn are super grateful for her. It is true how, "we are more powerful, when we empower each other".
On the note of YCF friends, we had a lovely Sunday having a thanksgiving service with All Saints Church of Chiang Mai. The children had a blast and we all ate so much after the service as there was food of all kinds that were prepared. We are pretty sure that the children enjoyed the make-your-own pizza station the best as they could freely create their own pizzas and be amazed at how it cooked in the oven...but of course, the best was saved for last...when they could finally taste and consume their own pizzas! After the thanksgiving service, we had the opportunity to set up a small table to sell the paper-cutting Christmas theme cards and could display the beautiful Christmas wreathes that the children made by hand. It is unbelievable how Christmas is just round the corner. We can totally feel the Christmas vibes all around and without guessing...you would already know how excited all the children are. Just having them jumping about, going on and on about Christmas which is really fast approaching is already making us all excited and on our toes getting ready and preparing for our Christmas celebration this year, though it will surely be a little different as compared to previous years before. But, nonetheless, we are so very thankful for all things and for every blessing.
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.