Much to do before departure
On April 16th 2018, I will be flying back to England for two months of busy fun. In the last few weeks, life has been manic.
The charity NNR, who visited a few times this year, gave funds for many vital resources for the home which included much needed medications. Sourcing these and getting them ordered has been a mission, but a fruitful one. It was a blessing to have one of the NNR team help me get from shop to shop buying the items. The big TV for one of the wards just fitted in her car with less than a centimeter to spare. That would have been a nightmare in a taxi.
We had a great trip to Disney on Ice and the twelve children got a great experience. One child cried rather a lot, but got much comfort, which he would have had less of at home and another cried at the end as it finished. The volunteers were really smitten with their sweet children and all went safely and well.
Back when Sally and John were here, you’ll recall from previous posts that we had a meeting with the boss and senior staff over a lovely meal. The study tour we discussed then was approved on the 28th March and we have been working on getting that sorted. The seven Thais will come to the UK on the 19th or 20th of May and visit many schools, a hospital, some home visits and much, much more. The staff who wish to go to England have been applying this week and as of tonight (Monday 9th April 2018) that is closed and interviews will be tomorrow. God willing, I will hear who is coming before I leave for England next Monday.
In Thailand, this week and last week have had many Bank Holidays, which are mainly due to the Songkran festival, which is the Thai New Year, with a water blessings celebration. We had our’s at work with the children today.
Our Monday volunteer, Jessica, came in and joined the celebration for the dry part in the morning, which was nice and very sweet of her, as she had a biking accident just last week and is now having to wear a boot. Please keep her healing in your prayers, especially as she tries to visit the kids for me while I’m away.
Mr B was in a full mischief mood for the activities this morning, which had Miss K in stitches and a mass of spring onions go flying. It must have been fun, because Mr B was quick to fall asleep at midday.
The afternoon was the water play, so Miss N and Mr C came to enjoy the splashing and squirting of water. On returning to the ward, both had showers and relaxed. Miss N had snack food at the event, but then ate the evening meal and within ten minutes she was asleep.
Mr G has recently been so reluctant to go in the strollers, I didn’t end up taking him, plus he hates having a wet nappy and that is extremely likely in Songkran with my children, so it seemed better that he didn’t go.
Mr C also didn’t go either, but recently with his heart and breathing issues, I felt it was unwise.
In the lunch break, I got him in the stroller, had a short walk to the gate to watch traffic, but that was short lived as he was coughing a lot, so we got suction, which the nurse has trained me to use and then he stayed in his chair. The chance to be trained in suction has been wonderful. I was unsure at first that he would be willing for me to be doing such a medical thing, but on that I was clearly wrong. As soon as the nurse suggested it and I said ok, he was waiting with a wide mouth and communicating a need for more or if he was sorted. It was so very cute and now we are in the position where I can do something when he needs that respiration help.
Sadly, today came with a final bitter sweet scenario. The head of our orphanage, who has been massively effective, hugely open to assistance from 1Step2Step and keen to see the lives of the children improved, is being promoted to be the head of all the homes under the DEP (Department for Empowerment of People with Disabilities). Although it’s with great sadness we see him leave the orphanage, we hope that his positive energy and masses of knowledge will also have a great impact in the Department. He was one of the seniors who came on the study tour before last and the whole thing encouraged him greatly. He was always writing notes down about the visits.
His help pushing this coming study tour through and the hopes for the children’s holiday in August has been really wonderful. One of his final tasks was to sign all the paper work for the renewing of my work permit.
This runs out in May, but I will be in the UK, so it needed doing before I leave for England. This has not been an easy task. The lovely people in the office got everything sorted and even got me a ride to the office with the orphanage car, but when I got there, the office for work permits had moved to the other side of the district. I traveled over there to find there were two more difficulties: they don’t accept paperwork after 2pm (and this was at 3pm) and they don’t accept paperwork for renewals more than one month before the permit runs out. We explained how I was leaving on the 16th and that they were closed for Songkran on the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th. They said I need to come back on the 11th, before 2pm and resubmit it. It was a wild goose chase with not goose at the end, but Wednesday 11th April is my new day to try, God willing. Please pray for this.
So all in all, it’s been manic. One other huge blessing has come to me, which is that my international church have given me some funds from the ‘Quarterly love offering’ to get the back yard kitchen of my house fixed. I was able to find a builder and get the quote and the funds have kindly been given. If only there were more hours in the day or days in the week or less issues with the children, I would have managed to get that fixed already, but we will have to do it on my return from the UK. This is really a kind blessing, as the creatures that come and go due to the roof and wall not meeting and the waterfall that happens on the inside of the wall when it rains may soon be a thing of the past.
Anyway, all I feel I can round off with is that I will be home in Lancaster UK in just over a week and embracing the rest for that first week. I’m excited about the opportunity of the study tour, as some of the people that might come are people on whom it could have a huge impact. Please pray that God gives wisdom to those who do the choosing and gives us clarity on how to impact them best. Please pray also for the logistics with the schools etc and people to help out in practical ways.
Wishing you all much love.
Loving God of resurrection power, give Nicola the physical and mental energy to do all she needs to do before she returns to the UK.
We pray for all involved in making the arrangements for the DAT tour, both in Thailand and England, that it may benefit all who come and the children that are in their care.