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"July" is one of our favourite words to say in Thai. "ka-ra-ka-da-kom" Say it quickly and try not to smile. More than it's name, we've enjoyed so much this month. Learn all about it here.
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WITH REFUGEES

OUR COMMITMENT TO URBAN REFUGEES
We've shared with you our growing heart and engagement with the refugee community here in Bangkok. It began with noticing trucks with cages on the back transporting people down our street. With research we learned about the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) system. We began to volunteer, to learn, to get involved. Life Raft International, an organization focused on bailing out detained refugees and helping them succeed, has been our entry point into the world of urban refugees. This month we made 3 commitments. Somethings are new and some are simply formalizing things we've been doing for over a year.

1) Matthew has committed to helping lead Life Raft's involvement at the main IDC (located near our home). In many ways this has developed organically and is more a formalization of what's already been happening.

2) once a month, in partnership with Life Raft, we have a refugee lady cook her traditional food for 20 detainees in the IDC. We then take this food into the IDC for the detainees. This lady is a lovely soul with kids and her husband is detained at an IDC in a different province (he was transferred there at the end of last year and she has been unable to visit him). She's on her own in Bangkok and this gives her the opportunity to earn income for her family.

3) through Life Raft, we've agreed to advocate for one refugee here in the city. Some of it is helping to manage finances, but most of it is relational and supporting them as they journey through the systems here.

This month was also the first time a refugee family asked us for help in finding a sponsor for resettlement in Canada. This is a family we've gotten to know over the past few months and so we began exploring what is involved in helping a family resettle. We learned a lot about the process and in the end it won't be needed for this family as a different Canadian NGO has submitted their resettlement application. We're full of hope and expectation for their future as their kids are bright and the parents are determined and creative (and wonderful cooks). We share this with you to say that one day we may call on you to help a refugee family find their home in Canada.

We've shared about the Montagnard refugees before and this month Matthew visited a Montagnard refugee community north of Bangkok. A friend of ours is an artist and does art therapy classes with women in this community. In stilt homes over murky waters, we shared stories and had a lot of fun. Translators are required as the adults only speak their tribal language - but their kids are learning Thai and had lots of questions for the big foreigner! Matthew was also invited to visit their community garden. A Thai land owner has gifted the use of their land to 9 families who grow vegetables for themselves and to take to a market. These women, on their own, have put in huge amounts of backbreaking labour and it was a powerful reminder of how engaging with refugee communities is not about what we can do for them, but coming alongside what they are doing for themselves.
our friend and translator with one of the refugee women in the community garden
art therapy class is done sitting on a wooden floor with lots of kids climbing through

JULY IN THAILAND

THE MONTH IN HIGHLIGHTS

We took some time away as a family this month. It was needed and good and nice to not be at home. As parents vacations are not really restful, but they are memory-making times and that is something wonderful. So we're tired, but our tanks are fuller in other ways!

Zala turned 7 this month and we want to say how over the top we are in love with her. She is rainbows and imagination and songs and dancing - honestly, the world could use a little more Zala right now. Happy birthday Zala!

There were fun and meaningful opportunities to be present, both physically and digitally, with churches this month. Matthew spoke at OASIS, an English congregation of a Thai church, as their pastor is currently unable to return to Thailand from abroad. We also were able to join churches in Canada and it's great having the technology to connect.

Our home church here in Bangkok has 2 locations and we're part of the smaller downtown plant. Matthew has been helping lead the kids' ministry for the church. We've re-opened the main site for a limited number of people (including families) and we're getting ready to re-open our downtown location next month. Honestly, it's been a lot and at times has felt like a mad scramble to make it all work. We're shifting our focus from creating online content to rallying our team to be ready for in-person. We hosted a Team Night for all of the team leaders for our downtown location and the excitement for these next steps was tangible! We're thankful to be part of this church and we have the highest respect for the pastors and leaders.
life on the big screen as we're able to connect digitally with churches in Canada
it's sometimes a full body experience for interpreters with Matthew as he speaks at OASIS.
Team Night at our place as our church prepares to re-open our downtown location.
Happy 7th Birthday Zala. We're learning a lot from you and we love you so very much!

ENGAGE WITH THAILAND

The reality here on the ground is shifting as restrictions relax. We are not back to normal and many families are coming out of lockdown in a position of deficit. We continue to support refugees and women in the red light districts (which have reopened). You can be part of providing needed supplies.
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Website
Matthew
Matthew
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Insta

CHILDCARE PLUS

Thai government schools opened for the new academic year on July 1st with social distancing rule in place. Everyone is adapting to life in the classroom again. A few schools in the provinces east of Bangkok had brief closures over the risk of potential exposure, but for the most part this first month of school has gone well.

The borders are still closed with few exceptions. The tourism lifeblood remains choked off though domestic tourism is returning. The economic impact of COVID-19 continues to make itself known. The Rice Exporter Association put out their figures and 2020 is predicted to be the worst year in the last 2 decades. Like tourism, rice export is a huge national industry and a gauge of economic health.

For many of our CCP sponsored families, there is little to no work.  Through partnership with ERDO we completed our distribution of food and hygiene parcels. In total 315 families were provided with these parcels. It does not solve all of their challenges, but it is a powerful reminder that they are not forgotten or alone.
@CCP_Thailand
@CCP_Thailand
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@CCP_Thailand

PRAY WITH US

we believe there is strength in numbers

  • continue to pray for children and school staff as everyone is still adjusting to the return to school
  • continue to pray for our CCP program manager who is battling stage 3 breast cancer
  • pray for the refugee family who has just begun their resettlement application with Canada
  • pray that the refugee garden would produce more vegetables than what is natural - that divine provision would literally grow from the ground
  • pray for insight and creativity as we continue to walk with refugees. We're not sure where God is leading this, but we know there is more to come.

CANADIAN residents can partner with us through the International Missions department of the PAOC to receive a tax receipt.
AMERICAN residents can partner with us through our American sister organization to receive a tax receipt.
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