Focus and Pray - March 2023
Find below the focus and prayer requests for the month. Each month you can learn more about GROW and have a focused way of praying for the ministry. Subscribe and donate to help rescue more children.
Were you one of the 20% of school-aged children who changed schools during their primary or secondary school years? Maybe you had a better experience or perhaps a worse one at your new school. Either way, switching schools is common here, and our schools allow for it. In Thailand though, this is not the case. Children are not permitted to start in a new school once the school year begins.
Strategically, GROW welcomes new children to our campus between the months of March and May. March – May marks summer vacation for Thai students. Throughout the year, Faa and her staff add to, meet with, and evaluate the needs of the children on their list. Throughout the year, Faa and her staff engage with these children and their families to try to improve their situations. Between December and January, Faa begins narrowing down the list of children GROW will be able to accept. February is spent evaluating and reevaluating, visiting and interviewing in order to select the most needy children. Every story Faa investigates is heartbreaking, and she, of course, wants to help them all. Faa continually asks for God’s wisdom as she looks into the desperate eyes of more children than GROW can accommodate at one time. By the end of February, the decisions have been made and preparations get underway.
Understandably, as new children come to GROW, there is quite a disruption on campus as they adjust to their new life. Some children have never slept in a bed or had a pillow. Most of them have never used a toilet or a shower let alone a toothbrush. Their reactions to having plenty of food to eat vary. Some children try to ration their food as they have done in the past to make sure they have a little to eat every day. Others gorge themselves on each meal as if it were their last. Many children come with amulets wrapped around their necks or wrists believing these items protect them from evil spirits. The removal of these (after an explanation by Faa that we are Christians and Jesus protects us here) can be quite traumatic for them at first. The children who have come before them offer reassurances.
The staff works endlessly to help the new children adapt and adjust while also taking care of the established children already on campus. The children who have previously gone through their own adjustment time are quick to offer help and encouragement for the new children. They buddy up so all the new children have someone to help them every step of the way.
Since Thai schools are conducted in Thai, and many of the children only speak their tribal tongue , the children must be taught Thai before starting school. The staff puts in many hours preparing the children for the start of the school year.