Changes for 1Step2Step and its future
While in England I was seeking guidance from God on the future of the charity and my work in Thailand. At a Christian conference in August, I felt very clearly a calling to return to the UK for a new ministry with a different remit for other people. It was with heavy heart at first that I reluctantly considered leaving the children at Bann Fueng Fah. In time, as I processed this, I could see many aspects where God had been withdrawing from my support network as well as practicalities. I got a greater sense that concluding the charity’s work was more and more the right thing to do. Over the weeks following, I felt more peace and more practical answers from God. In the light of my being the only worker out in Thailand and the change in calling on my life, it feels that God is asking us to wind up the charity, but to do this in a way that finishes well. For me, this means the following steps to be acted on… I return to Thailand in mid-January, only working part time with the four children still in my care, which will free up time to plan the final two big projects.
Firstly, a holiday away from the orphanages, but a bit different to the holidays we did in the past. This time the holiday will take all the children who were in the 1Step2Step group over all the years, totalling 9 children. Some still live at Bann Fueng Fah and others now live in different government homes in Pakkred. The other difference is that I was hoping to do this holiday not down in Hua Hin beach but in Nichada Thani expat community. The reason for this is that the children’s health issues and weakness will have increased without my input while I’ve been in England and it feels wise to be nearer the orphanages and hospital where they are known. Also many would find the journey harder to manage than before because their postures are worse or they are more stiff.
My desire is to use a large one-storey apartment and have the children sleeping on mats (as they do at the orphanages) in the living room with volunteers and staff sleeping in the bedrooms there too. I’m planning a long weekend of fun activities for the children, but at a level they can manage. Activities like swimming in the pool, a bouncy house, meeting dogs, rides on golf carts, a disco and a trip to a sensory room . As it will be Easter, I was hoping to do an egg hunt too. I’m hoping the community will rally round us and help with meals, airbeds and transport. God willing, a team will come from the UK and help with the daily needs of the children, so they can enjoy these activities. We have a great group keen to come, but the coronavirus has them a bit understandably nervous at present. Your prayers for this and their preparation would be so very welcome.
After this ‘holiday’ has happened, I will plan to return to the UK (end of April till August) and prepare for a final study tour as a means of finishing well with the orphanage staff team. The study tour is when we bring some of the orphanage staff to England to see what disability services are available and what people with disabilities are managing to do in England. The aim of these trips is to encourage the orphanage staff to have a ‘can do’ attitude and to give them ideas that can impact the children in their care. Our daily example is like drip feeding the possible changes and the study tour is like flooding the group with the ideas and concepts, in order to help them long for improvement for their children. In August, I will be back in Thailand working with the orphanage to prepare the group of staff who will be going and take them to England in October/November 2020.
In both these stays in Thailand, I will be packing up my house and preparing to leave Thailand.
2020 will be a year of much change and your prayers are greatly appreciated as I manage all these practical things and the emotional challenges of leaving the life, children and friends I’ve made in Thailand over a total of 14 years. For us to manage these last projects, so that we follow God’s calling to ‘Finish well’, we will need people to help. Just as before, help in practical assistance, prayers, finances and encouragement up to the end would be a huge blessing. I know that none of what 1Step2Step has done over the years would have been possible without all the wonderful help and God’s almighty hand of guidance and power. We are thankful for it all.