Friday, December 17, 2010

This is Pantawat

He is 11 year old and he doesn't even have an answer for the question of what he wants to be when he grows up. In the Thailand heat he has to wear a jacket all the time because it's very easy for him to get sick.

The kids tell us their own story. It's not hard to read between the lines with grownup eyes to see the truth.
"My mother worked in Bangkok until she got pregnant with me. My mom did not tell me who my father is. My mom was very poor. I'm very happy to stay with Chala."
Will you partner with us in helping him?

Just $10/month from you will help us do so much for him, like pay for medicine.

Please help?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

To Do for 2011 - Rescue a Child

Sometimes I wish that we at The Charis Project had a more flashy story. I follow a lot of organizations, and people, who do extraordinary things and they have amazing stories to tell.

Sometimes I forget that our story is anything other than routine. Maybe you do too.

You know, we just take care of kids. We take care of abandoned, forgotten, and orphaned kids. Every month they need more food. Every month they need toothbrushes, shampoo, to visit the doctor, or get another pair of shoes because their feet grew larger once again. (And we work hard in their communities to bring the changes that will keep other kids safe, and with their families in the long run.)

Every month that we take care of them is another month that they live, another month that they are safe from the clutches of people who would exploit them, sell their bodies for a pittance and their labor for less.

Every month that they stay at a Charis Home, they stay rescued. If we quit, they go back to where they were before, and they aren't rescued after all.

Some times I lose sight of the miracle I'm witness to, just as we parents often do. Every baby we're given is an amazing blessing, a precious gift. Then we get used to having them around, and start to feel that they always will be, we stop treasuring and just get through, our life one more commonplace story in a thousand similar stories.

But it is a miracle. Because of The Charis Project kids are safe, kids are loved, kids are taught and fed and given a future. Kids that have no one who can take care of them without us. Without you.

You, here, you make the difference to a kid there, in Thailand, a dirty, scruffy, frightened kid who has pain in their belly and loss in their eyes.

Will you help make a difference for another year? Will you help us to take care of them month after month, to stay rescued?

Our goal is to start 2011 with 300 people committed to giving $10 each per month. That's just 10 people a day signing up. If everyone who came to this sight every day signed up we could reach our goal in less than a week.

If that happens we can take care of more kids, support more homes, start a school for children whose parents are migrant workers, build a safe hostel for them to stay and continue studying if their parents have to move around for work.


Could you drink 2 fewer starbucks lattes to rescue a child in need? Would you?

We can't do it without you.

The Charis Project from Charis Project on Vimeo.

2011 to do list: Rescue a Child

Meet Suchart

This is Suchart. He is 11 years old.

When he grows up he would like to be a doctor and give treatment to kids who have burnt heads like him.

Suchart was burnt by cooking oil with a heating pan, he can't see clearly now. His step-mother, who has since passed away, was violently abusive. Many step parents are where he comes from.

Now he lives at the Charis Home and we are taking care of him and getting him medical treatment.

Ashley was at the home this September. She met Suchart and said this about him.
He has that story (of abuse), and then he's the kid who laughs and runs around more than any of the others. He chased me for an hour. I tickled him. When I began to get tired I made a lot of outrageous motions and he was one of the first kids to mimic me. The new game was mimic every move Ashley makes. He has an incredible smile when he laughs, very playful.
We can't do this without you.

Please consider giving just $10/month for 2011 to support The Charis Project? Our goal is 300 people by January 1st.

To Do for 2011-Rescue a Child

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stories from the Charis Home - 1

Therese Wall has served on our board of directors for more than a year, but hadn't been to see the Charis Home until this past September. This is her story.

That's Therese on the right

I was blessed to be one of twelve people (and among the team my daughter Jessica) to visit the Charis Home this past September. My husband and I have five children of our own, are board members of The Charis Project, and have known the Blue family and Aaron for about 20 years. When we learned about the needs of the orphanage from Aaron and Carrien, we wanted to help in any way possible. We plan to continue to assist in whatever capacity afforded to us, especially praying for this venture.

Now, being an American and from a more affluent society (as compared to most of the world) the physical living conditions these children deal with daily do seem difficult, but the emotional issues they cope with are not as obvious, such as abandonment and loneliness. Most of us will never have to face the circumstances they have to live through. It’s hard for us on the other side of the world to comprehend their situation. Thank the Lord for people like Chala! All the kids were well cared for and when I met Chala and the caretakers I could see why.

Sports in the mist
In those few days we were with them we shared prayers, teaching, gifts, supplies, and even a spaghetti dinner! On our first day we all climbed into a couple trucks and whisked the children away to a field where they could try out some of the play equipment a member of the team had brought. Bats, balls, jump ropes, and frisbees soon were flying and everyone enjoyed the time together, even though language was a challenge! But, soccer and ball games are languages everyone can understand.

If I could sum up my experience at the orphanage in a word it would be “contrast”. Physically, the orphanage building blends into the other buildings nearby. It doesn’t look much different. But spiritually, it’s a refuge and a place where you most definitely sense the Holy Spirit’s presence. You can see it on the faces of the children and care takers, and when you talk with Chala. I can see why the “enemy” would feel threatened. It’s one of those places where the spiritual battle lines, which we usually don’t detect, are more easily perceived.

While we were only able to stay a few days, in that short time we hopefully gained a better understanding of the challenges they face and learned how better to meet their immediate needs.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Saw

I saw the truck you bought! It was splattered with mud and full of squealing kids. Aaron, the object of much laughter and gyration, scooted up behind it on the motorcye. We followed in a rented van and admired the way the truck took the dips, bumps, and turns of the gutted road that led to the playing field of the mountainschool. Not even one kid came close to bouncing out! It is a hearty little truck with no seat belts or car seats - a sort of open aired, Thai style station wagon that can move a crowd and does so regularly. As a mother of 9, who has spent over 35 years strapping kids into weight appropriate seat restraints and air bagged vehicles, it takes a bit of getting used to seeing the way the children of the world get around - especially when they’re blessed enough to have a truck to call their own.

I saw the shoes you bought! They, too, were full of squealing kids skidding through mud, sloshing in puddles, tromping on patches of tiny thistles, and skipping across jagged rocks. At the playing field we unloaded a cache of good ole American sports equipment. With a few vague instructions and laughable demonstrations, we commenced getting our butts kicked, in the jungle mist, by a gang of orphans who just happened to be naturals at wiffle ball, baseball, football, jump rope, and Frisbee.

We assumed they’d dominate in soccer, but wiffle ball? I thoroughly believe this wouldn’t have happened if they were shoeless. They were like pellets shot out of b-b guns, ricocheting everywhere! It was fantastic!

I saw the beds you bought! A solid sheet of wood on a sturdy metal frame creates a man-sized space, with a blanket and a doll, and becomes a place to belong; a place in the quiet dark to let tears fall, a place to ache when you are sick, a place to scatter books, and lay around or play with friends. I saw them lined up in the cinderblock rooms. The wide metal roll-up doors let anyone passing by look in. I looked, but didn’t enter. It wasn’t a place for trespassers. The beds form a wood and metal mosquito net fortress - a kind of holy place where little children from jungle strife come in and find rest.

I saw the land that might be bought! A small city on a hill could be built there. A flat space, covered now in jungle, waits at the top of the steep and deeply rutted road. There is land for planting, for animals,

for outbuildings and a home. The view is amazing! A 360-degree panoramic falls away and wave after wave of jungle-mountains roll off into the distance. It seems the perfect place for children, who have lost everything, to, one day, look back and say, “This is a place of redemption. It is the place I grew up. It is my home.” We stood in a little clearing, swatting mosquitoes and wondering about snakes and tigers, praising God and asking for wisdom. We asked Him to bless the land to be prosperous and safe for all who would call it home.

I saw what The Charis Project looks like in Thailand! I’m Aaron’s mom and I know what it looks like in Aaron and Carrien’s home and in the way they live their lives. I know what it looks like in the newsletters and on the website and in all of your generous donations. And now I know what it looks like in the smudged faces of little kids living in the rough, filling their bellies with rice and veggies, and finding a safe place to call home.

That's me handing out gifts

I know what it looks like in the commitment of Chala and in the staff who have become aunties and uncles.

Judah, A Charis House parent

Children are a blessing from God; an actual inheritance He bestows on the world. Blessed are the people who receive them as such, for they are stewards of God’s great wealth.

Well done, Charis Project. ~ Patti Blue ~