This week our team woke early to work with HOH (Home of the Open Heart). I believe I’ve shared before about the ministry and what their vision is, but recently I’ve been updated with a few more details.
There are 11 children on the base as of right now, 5 of whom are HIV+. About 6 of the children are orphaned by parents who died with AIDS. And 5 of them have family that it either to old to take care of them, or they are too sick (with AIDS).
HOH runs just like an orphanage, only with more ethics and moral standards than most orphanages. Plus, the children are raised there with an understanding of who Jesus Christ is, which is incredibly amazing! Each morning the children ages 5 and up go to an international school and come back around dinner time. The younger children stay at HOH with nannies (usually from around the world). Their days are usually full with english teaching, crafts and games, naps, and playing.
We are not personally working with the children, teaching them english and playing games. We are actually only able to be around the children when they are allowed for a break to come and visit. At least two children come and visit the team every day.
One young boy (age 4 and speaking perfect english), runs around wearing the infamous red and blue Superman outfit, asking to be called just that…Superman. He later told Ted his name “really isn’t superman, its Joe.” He also told Ted, “I am four and I don’t pee the bed anymore.” Very, very cute!
So what is our team exactly doing at HOH? More manual labor! Our team arrives around8:30 or 9 AM each morning, and splits into about four groups. One group is working on a 6′ by 7′ hole for a septic tank for one of the homes of the mothers living on the property with children and AIDS. They have worked SO hard digging, and digging away.
Another group works beside them at another home getting built for a mother living with AIDS. They have been working on a cementing walls, and sidewalks. Another group has been working with a lot of dirt. Shoveling, scrapping, moving, tearing,leveling…you name it, we do it with dirt! (I am in this group, therefore I come home covered in little specs from head to toe).
The last group has been working on weeding, and when I say weeding, I do not mean your typical gardening weeding of the occasional dandilion here and there. No way, they have worked full days, amidts the thorns, ants, lizards, spiders, snails…pulling weeds from a very long fence line, and the ground surrounding a newly built home.
Our team has really enjoyed the manual labor for the last few weeks of outreach. I am very glad that we have gotten this opportunity to help with a project where you can physically see the progress turning out to be beautiful.
Many of the things which we have experienced and been a part of on this outreach, are those which plants seeds deep within the people and the students (and ourselves!), but those seeds will take time to grow. We are so thankful for the opportunities we have had here Thailand, and many of us will go home, and never forget the memouries created here. N e v e r.
(Tomorrow, I will update you with photos our our week and weekend!)
love, Jami Joann
“Be blessed” – Ted