About us and how to pray
Since 2006, 1Step2Step have worked with Ban Feung Fah, a government home for disabled children, which is in Nonthaburi province, Thailand. Our volunteer, Nicola, works Mondays to Fridays from about 8.30 am until about 5 pm in a ward of 50 children, who have complex needs due to varied types of cerebral palsy. The children in our group come out of the ward onto the patio area to work on developing all areas of their ability. For example, working on physical abilities, such as posture control, sitting, standing, walking, and purposeful movement skills is our focus. Then there is communication, social and emotional well-being work, and feeding. We buy and create equipment to improve their ability and comfort. While working with the children, the staff can see us modelling good methods and ideas so they can help the children better too. Slowly but surely, we are seeing gradual improvements in the efforts of the staff in this way. We have in past years taken staff to England for Disability Awareness study tours to show them schools and care services for children with disabilities to help them with ideas and see what the children might be able to do with a little help from them.
1Step2Step try to give the children opportunities to experience everyday life activities within the orphanage that they would not have had the option to do, such as swimming, trampolining, playing on the swing and using the sensory and adventure rooms. The average daily routine is bring three children out, dress and clean them up, always encouraging them to do a little more to help themselves where possible. Nicola works on skills with one child using different equipment, while the other two are playing with a learning and development toy independently. Then the one who has the one-to-one attention is switched and the positions the children are all working in are changed repeatedly. This means that their bodies get to stretch and bear weight in different ways and work different muscles throughout the session. Sometimes we feed them or work on self-feeding skills as one of their tasks, we do sensory work, or take them to do walking practice around the orphanage. Each child has different tasks on which they are working to succeed.
It is both a privilege and highly rewarding work to see a new skill mastered or progress made, even though many of the successes are over a very long period of time. We value the smallest successes and see that they are leading to bigger successes being possible. We have seen God’s provision so many times with donations and funds at the right moment – things like a pair of orthopaedic shoes donated, which are the right size and have a sole built up on the right side for the child who needs them at the time. This has happened over and over again in so many ways. God has truly been faithful in that way.
God has also built up and blessed us with links to equipment that people donate in England and we have sent five containers over to bless all the local orphanages with walkers, standers, wheelchairs etc. This has been a huge blessing and improved what therapy and care the staff can give, because they have the equipment to do so. Seeing children walking around in supportive equipment your charity brought into the country and seeing them improve is one of the joys of the work.
Many days bring great sadness when children are ill, injured or pass away, but God strengthens our team to continue to bring love, whether that be holding a child the moment they pass away or supporting a member of staff with cream to help them heal a wound. Steve Chalke once spoke of these children at New Wine, who he had met 15 years before and said that it was a life changing experience that brought him to tears and broke his heart giving a glimpse of the heart of God for his people. Steve told Nicola personally that this was a special privilege to get to experience some of the vastness of God’s love for these suffering children and to be a witness to them. There are times when it seems so hard to bear the sadness, but God then rallies our prayer support and we are blessed with second strength to continue to love these precious children. This would be our main prayer request, that we never shy away from loving one of God’s children because our emotional weakness.
At Ban Feung Fah, one of the greatest ways we get to bless the children is a yearly outing to Disney on Ice. We also go bowling, the movies, and visiting the aquarium and other educational places. We have taken the 1Step2Step children on holiday in the past to the beach in Thailand and plan to do this again. It is a great chance for the children to be loved, well cared for and to experience life outside the home.
I am always happy for prayer support for everything we do. We often have these extra projects on top of the general day to day activities. We would greatly appreciate prayer for discernment about which projects God wants us to repeat and do and for wisdom in the timing and planning for them. Also we ask your prayers that our requests for these projects are given favour in the ears of those who can grant permission and for funds to support these projects. We want them to be high quality events that have a long lasting impact on both the staff and the children we seek to help. We strongly believe that none of what we do is possible without God steering the boat and directing our way. We want to be truly doing his will and impacting Thailand In the ways he asks us to.