Wow! It seems to us that February 2021 just flew by, I know it was only 28 days this year, but it sure seemed to go quickly.

As many of you know, we have often taught or tutored English on the side, and since December 2018 Karen has been teaching English with AUA Language Centre in Chiang Rai, this little bit of extra cash helps us to purchase some of the little things we need, keeping even more of your valued donations focused on the projects you are supporting. Well, February was a whirlwind here because Karen started a teaching contract through AUA with Chiang Rai College.  AUA Chiang Rai teachers are on-site at the college teaching elementary English to 1st to 3rd year Nursing Faculty students. Karen taught an intensive course over a three-week period, that had her at the college 5 or 6 days a  week. Karen’s dust allergies have been acting up and turned into a sinus infection and she also contracted a weird stomach bug, that lasted about 6 hours and then subsided, thankfully on one of her days off from teaching, but it definitely added to her exhaustion. Two of our girls had colds this month, sniffles and cough, but nothing too serious. There isn’t any Covid in Chiang Rai, so daily routines are pretty normal, there are still some precautionary measures in some places that draw crowds, like malls and big supermarkets. Travel within Thailand has also opened up again. We send the girls to school with toilet paper and hand sanitizer as it is common here to not have toilet paper, paper towels, or soap in the bathrooms. We were doing this long before there was any sign of Covid. We have always had soap and hand sanitizer stations around our home because there are so many public places where it isn’t common to provide these necessities, and we have been teaching the necessity of washing hands to prevent the spread of germs since day one. This is why Karen always has a stash in her purse wherever she goes. The other night while driving home, Olivia asked Karen two or three times for tissue and hand sanitizer and Olivia told her, she was a good mother because she always had these things in her bag. In January, Brian started teaching English phonics and vocabulary one hour every weekday morning to special needs kids from Grades 1 to 4, at a bilingual school and he continues this project through March. Our regular evening routines with the girls didn’t waiver during this extra busy time, between us we continued our evening English studies, Bible Studies, game nights, and Wednesday and Sunday night Church activities with the girls. One of the fun game night activities we’ve been playing with the girls is “English Only” Yahtzee, it is a great way for them to practice speaking, their numbers, and math skills in English, combined with some family time and healthy competition.  We had a lovely February surprise from Canada, our friend Mikayla, who stayed in Thailand with us a couple of years ago, sent some Christmas packages on December 4th from Alberta, and YEAH, they arrived on February 26th. Thank you it really brightened everyone’s day getting to open our treats from Canada and to each get a handwritten note from Mikayla. Gestures like this mean so much to us all!!  We have been joining Sunday Night Church in Mae Sai at Victory Church Mae Sai, hosted by Pastors Kris and Tabitha Pagan who we’ve known for many years since one of our early part-time mission trips to Thailand, probably about 14 years ago. This is a great community for the girls, with solid Biblical teaching, great live worship in a comfortable atmosphere, fellowship for everyone, and fun after church activities for the girls. Starting later in March, our daughters, Thip 20, playing guitar and singing, and Olivia 16, playing drum box and singing, will join the worship team and be included in the rotation to lead worship at Victory Church Mae Sai. They are talented young ladies and we are grateful they have this opportunity to share that talent with the church. YES, this is a BIG DEAL!  as they will be worshipping in their 3rd language-English. These girls have come so far considering they could barely speak English when they first became part of our family, a few years ago. We are so proud of them. For those of you who don’t know Mae Sai is about one hour north of the city of Chiang Rai at the Myanmar border. Friends many of you may have also heard about the devastating situation in Myanmar, the Military Coup that took place in early February.We can’t ask you enough times to continue to pray for these people. Many of us in the north of Thailand, have people dear to us on the other side of the border, or families on the other side of the border. Some of the girls we have raised in the past and are raising in our home now are from Myanmar. Whatever you may hear about this, we assure you, this is an evil situation and an absolute violation of human rights. The people are peacefully protesting because they want their democracy back and are being shot on the spot for doing so. Please spread the word and pray! Finally, the other thing we can never say too many times to you our friends is THANK YOU! for your financial support, your encouraging words, and your prayers. Together we are changing lives and shaping futures for the Northern Hill Tribe people.

#educationempowers #everychildmatters #povertysucks #globalcommunity