Reflections on my first visit to Bann Fueng Fah Orphanage
It’s time I put my reflections about my first Far East trip down on virtual paper – mainly about visiting Bann Fueng Fah orphanage at Pakkret, Nonthaburi, near Bangkok, Thailand, writes John Slee, 1Step2Step Trustee & Treasurer.
But let me rewind a bit. I started off with a few days break in Hong Kong. My plan was to acclimatise but that didn’t happen – the contrast in temperature (10ºC to 33ºC) and, more importantly, humidity between Hong Kong and Thailand was very noticeable – but it was only in Bangkok that I really struggled with the humidity. Otherwise I could cope with the temperature. That was mainly because I went at the right season, I think.
The other thing I noticed about Hong Kong was how, despite it being crammed to the sky with buildings, green was very evident – in parks, flowers and trees. I’m not sure if that’s down to planning regulations or not, but it made the experience much more pleasurable than a purely concrete jungle might have been.
That idea of the importance of colour in what could otherwise have been a bland lifescape is one that recurred.
It might seem strange that the featured picture on this post is of a girl in a boat with her skipper about to start the engine. The New Testament has several stories about Jesus and boats on lakes. Many of them relate to faith and the story of 1Step2Step is the story of a young woman with a vision and faith in that same, loving Jesus.
In case you had forgotten, Nicola (our founder and full-time voluntary field-worker), Sally (our Chair) and I took a break to Chiang Rai’s International Balloon Fiesta. Unexpectedly, seemingly out of the blue, Nicola was invited to get into a little boat and go to the central platform for a better view:
At the time I commented that I thought it was one of God’s blessings for this faithful servant of Christ.
A colourful interlude – time for relaxation set in the green Singha Park and rural north east of Thailand – including a trip to the Golden Triangle and Mae Fah Luang Garden.
Nicola’s work may nominally be 8 to 5, five days a week, but that is far from the truth. Most evenings and parts of weekends are spent doing things relating to the charity’s work with the children and Bann Fueng Fah orphanage. Not only with that orphanage, either – she administers funds that are distributed among other orphanages too. So it was good that she was able to get away for a few days. And it’s good that there are other retreats to go on from time to time so she can recharge her batteries. And the english-speaking Chaengwattana Community Church is a great source of encouragement and fellowship too. Thank God for them.
Which brings me, finally, to the most important part – the children. Without Nicola and the Ward Mums’ input, their life is potentially bland, boring and pretty colourless. A daily routine spent lying on a low bed or mattress or perhaps a raised cot with washing, feeding and changing to break the monotony – oh, and a TV in the corner. But Nicola adds colour to their life – hope, fun, exercise, music, DVDs, outings, cuddles, love:
Thank you, then, Nicola for letting me come and see what you and the children are doing together for awareness of what God wants for us all – colourful lives of light and shade where love and hope rule.
And I’ll keep praying that all of them will be able to go on holiday this summer. Lots of love to you all.