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Greetings from Bangkok

After a busy Christmas season we enjoyed having Leah home for two weeks, but had to have a quiet time for part of this as we had an unpleasant tummy bug for over a week. It took Leah 46 hours to get back to college though, as she travelled from the tropics to be hit with snow delays!

Five Christmas parties in three days was rather chaotic, but it was so good to see the children thrilled with their presents, donated kindly by Oundle Church, and transported for free by British Airways. We told the story of Christmas once more – for all of these children living in poverty within slum communities, the message of how God chose to send His son to be born in a stable is a very special one. It helps them realise that God cares about each one of them, marginalised within a society dominated by the worldview that you get what you deserve through your circumstances.

We kept the foodbank open for most of the Christmas period, but ironically our busiest day yet was when we had given all the staff the time off (and thought that we could manage to staff it as a family). Thankfully for us, though perhaps not for them, our sister and family were visiting for the first time and our brother in law runs a foodbank in the UK. He was able to help us with a lot of advice in setting ours up, and the whole family ran around like crazy staffing the foodbank with us! The stories we hear at the foodbank every week are very traumatic, with illnesses, accidents, old age, child abandonment and mental health problems that cause people to not be able to work and therefore struggle to eat.

Every week we tell people how much God loves them, and how He wants to help them. We also offer to pray with them and most take us up on the offer. We often hear people telling us with tears in their eyes that the food offered means that they will be able to eat every day for the next week.

Our Thursday and Friday afternoon clubs have recently exploded in numbers and we are praying how to handle that, so are very thankful for the new staff. We don’t want to have to turn children away from coming so we need wisdom on what to do, as well as your prayers on looking for a man to employ who can replace Champ, as he leaves in June to go to Australia.

We would also appreciate your prayers for us as we have had a stressful last few months. This
week we are having a week of prayer as a staff team, as last week John, Khun Jiap and two of the
children all had road accidents, and we especially wanted to take the opportunity to pray for the Christian teenagers. Please will you join us in prayer for all these needs?

We need to try and ensure that the team is able to cope with the many demands of running the ministry while we are away for eight weeks in the summer – and we hope to be able to see as many of you as we can while we are home.In the meantime, God bless you all, our wonderful supporters, who we value so much.

Please keep supporting us with your prayers, and in all the other wonderful ways that you already do.

 

Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 08:09
Happy Christmas

Greetings from Bangkok!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

We have a new video here showing a tour around our community. Also some recent photos taken on an outing for a fun day out and also on a visit to us by pupils from the New Sathorn International School.

We hope you enjoy these glimpses of life here.

God bless you. Thank you for your prayers.

Post date: Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 07:56
Please pray for Thailand

The political situation remains unstable in Thailand, with both sides promising not to back down. As you have heard in your news a military coup has occurred here. The future remains uncertain and we value your prayers. There is a lot of censorship of media, and we would be unwise to say much except for – please will you pray for Thailand?

Thank you for your prayers; we had a particularly challenging month last month, with toxic smoke and all sorts going on, and we really value your prayers for us. We also value your prayers for staff; we have some very helpful volunteers, but still struggle to get reliable staff who are Christians.

Thank you so much for your support; four years on, we are still so aware of your support and prayers, knowing that we do this in partnership with amazing friends and churches from back home.
With love from us all,
Gillian, John, Leah, Natalie and Joel xx

Post date: Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 07:28
Happy Christmas and Thank you!

Dear friends,

Thank you so much for your prayers and support over this last year. It has been an interesting time with the political situation, but we have had a break from protests this last week. We have had an amazing time with Christmas parties for the children and teenagers over this last week, and many of the families came along which was a real encouragement. The children were so excited it was nearly impossible to keep them sitting down. The children's faces as they received their Christmas gifts were priceless, and they enjoyed the story of the wise men at their Christmas parties finding Jesus, the Son of God, in the poorest place.

We thought you would enjoy seeing a few photos of the parties, and seeing the joy on the children's faces. There are some photos of the children at the Tuesday and Thursday parties as well as the teenagers from both days.Their joy at getting even toiletries was immense as they so appreciate being able to have shampoo etc. Thankfully now we are able to get the jobs done we had to put on hold for the parties so that we can have a break over Christmas.

So we wanted to say thankyou, thankyou for working with us in impacting these children and teenager's lives, thankyou for all of your prayers and support. We so appreciate it, every word of encouragement lifts us in what is often a very hard and emotional ministry to run, and every donation helps us so much. And every prayer you pray for us supports us in ways we may not see but know we need so much.

It still remains very odd to be celebrating Christmas in a country where Christmas day is a normal work day for Thai people, and yet we celebrate with joy in our hearts.

We pray that you will have a very blessed Christmas.
With love from us all, John, Gillian, Leah, Natalie and Joel

See the photos here

Post date: Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 10:16
August 2013

Dear friends and supporters,

We hope this newsletter finds you all well and enjoying a nice summer in the UK! Here it is rainy season, and not quite so hot all the time, but the rain really comes down heavy! Sorry we haven't sent news for a time, but here is our news from the past month.  

First of all some thanks from us - At the beginning of this month we were able to pay the next years rent in full, without stress, for the Place of Grace. We are so thankful for this, thank you so much for all who have raised money for the Place of Grace and enabled us to do that.

Thank you to you all who pray for us, support our budget, the Place of Grace or help in any way at all. We appreciate you all!   We are now more settled in our new house, and the girls have returned to school and Joel started to learn at home for this year, and we were thankful for a couple of weeks off from the Place of Grace. We have now reopened to all the chaos. 

Just a few things for your thoughts and prayers - This Friday in the morning, we have a meeting with the community leaders which is really important. We would really appreciate you praying for good communication and a productive meeting. We have now started the process of registering the Place of Grace as a foundation (government approved) in Thailand and charity in England. We appreciate your prayers for this, and for a website for the Place of Grace in Thailand we are trying to set up.   As we grow in numbers of children and teenagers, and start a much-needed discipleship group for those who are now Christians or very close, and remain busy with the prayer ministry our need for help becomes more urgent.

We now have the small two-bedroom Place of Grace flat up and running and had our first visitors to stay and help from the UK over the summer. That was great, and we look forward to welcoming many more people to the flat! However our biggest need just now is for administrative help. If you know of a young person who is a Christian who is looking for a gap year opportunity, please ask them to contact us. It would be a marvelous experience for the right person or people with the opportunity to be involved fully in the ministry. 

Other things for your prayers are the political situation in Thailand, which has become more volatile recently, and the weather! On Monday evening there was a particularly heavy storm which flooded the kitchen, and we still have a couple of months of the rainy season left.   We are so grateful to you all for your support, we really do appreciate every person who prays for us and supports us in any way. If you are a fundraiser, please do continue to raise funds for the Place of Grace, as it really does make a difference in the work we do.

Just at the moment, we are praying for the funds to be able to buy a vehicle for the Place of Grace (about 3000 pounds) so that we can pick up the children every club and take them home. As the roads are used by boy racers all around the Place of Grace, we are concerned about the children who mostly come themselves, even from young ages, and accompanying them with a motorbike is not adequate enough, especially in bad weather. The general running costs of the clubs are also covered just by donations, so we appreciate everyone who raises money for the project!  

Please do keep us updated with your news, we love to hear from you.
Thank you once again, and love from us all,
John, Gillian, Leah, Natalie and Joel

Please view some new photos here

Post date: Monday, August 19, 2013 - 23:00
New Photos

Here are some photos taken during our fun nights and arts and craft at the Place of Grace.

Click here to see more

Post date: Monday, February 11, 2013 - 07:32
Happy Christmas!

All of us at Place of Grace wish you a Happy Christmas!

click for large version

Post date: Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 17:06
Where the children live

Please view a short video showing my walk through the area where many Place of Grace children live. John

Post date: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 19:24
Update 8th October 2012

We are well. Leah has just turned 17, an amazing young lady who we are very proud of.
About the weather, we are just coming out of the rainy season but had some flooding but not like last year. There is a big storm set to hit Thailand in the next few days and we would appreciate your prayers.

Last week we had our English class at the Place of Grace. 19 young people turned up and we had lots of fun. We do this each year during their school break. We are putting in to the Place of Grace a non-alcoholic bar for the teenagers to make fruit cocktails and hot choc  - they are very exited about this. We will get People to come and share testimonies on these evenings.

Gillian is studying hard with her Thai language and the girls. They are working hard at school and Joel enjoys his group that he goes too.

Prison work is always challenging but so amazing.

We appreciate everyone who prays for us and their support. God bless you all.

 

Click here to see my video clip of flooding

also click here to see some new photos

Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 07:13
Flood Alert

Many parts of Bangkok are on flood alert and some parts of Thailand have been flooded again, we would appreciate your prayers.

The biggest problem in the rainy season is the low lying areas and the slum communities; they often set up communities near klongs (rivers) and the run-off from up country coming to Bangkok.

Also the filtered water we drink can get contaminated with sewage, so we are stocking up on bottled water but panic buying can cause huge issues.

We are safe and seeing God do awesome things.

 

Click here to see my video clip

 

Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 06:37