Dear Friends and Family,
How are you doing in this season? For us, COVID has pushed us out of our comfort zones and familiarities in life but we still see God’s goodness and blessings.
In our few years of missions, we realised that it’s important to have a very diverse range of skills so that we are ready for God to use them in unexpected ways for ministry. We have to #stayhome as much as we can during this time, so it has been the perfect window of opportunity to upskill. For Sheryl, she picked up machine sewing; for Jason, he is practising e-commerce skills. The process has been fun and importantly, we hope that these newfound skills will open up opportunities for friendship evangelism and community development.
We have also embarked on various small projects that God put in our hearts to be a channel of blessing and love to the people here in Thailand!
To date, we’ve made almost 100 packs of mango pomelo dessert and gave them out as a gesture of love to the neighbourhood around us. It may seem like a very random project but we have learnt so much from it! Read about our learning experience in our previous post.
The Hope Series
There is a huge community of Burmese Shan people in Chiang Mai and many of them are migrant workers in construction jobs. With the current covid-19 crisis, many of them lost their jobs and have to stay home. With schools closed until 1 July, children are also stuck at home with nothing much to do.
One of our ministry contacts highlighted this situation to us. What can we do to help to plug this gap? As everyone has to stay home, how can we assist parents in engaging their young children with meaningful activities and strengthen family bonds? How can we uplift and encourage in these stressful and uncertain times? With these questions in mind, “The Hope Series” was birthed together with a group of Thai friends!
“The Hope Series” is an 8-week homeschooling curriculum for young children. The materials are designed for self-directed learning with parental facilitation, which is important since children cannot be gathered to learn from a teacher with the current social distancing norms. Derived from 8 Bible stories but using neutral language and topics, the children learn English, Maths, Science through fun activities such as crafts. The stories are specially chosen to present the hope of Jesus using sensitive, neutral and culturally-relevant ways in this difficult covid-19 situation. We hope these tailored materials will bless many families during this time.
We’re also working on starting a few “Pantries of Sharing” to be situated around a few key areas of Chiang Mai. This allows needy individuals or families to obtain free groceries in these bad times. So many have lost their incomes and are struggling to afford daily necessities.
Banah: Church Online
During this season, we are offering free website design and hosting to Singapore churches who desire to have an online web presence. Many churches are probably struggling with upkeeping a website, hence we will also provide monthly maintenance and content updating for a minimal monthly fee. Although we are sure that nothing can replace physical connection, we trust that covid-19 has reminded churches of the importance of leveraging on online platforms to reach the next generation. If you know someone who would need help in this area, do let us know!
A New Normal
A new normal awaits us. It’s not a new normal of paranoia, “WFH”, or increased flight costs, but it’s a new normal of radical thanksgiving. Knowing that God is infinitely wise and good, we can be truly thankful and give Him the honour He rightfully deserves. It’s a new normal of seeing His goodness even in the smallest of things in life that can be so easily taken away from us. Join us in giving thanks to God!
In the book of Job, Job went through multitudes of suffering and in his anger, he challenged God’s sovereignty. In response, God reminded Job in Job 38 that He is the true, loving Saviour and Lord.
In Job 42:1-3, Job beautifully responded to God’s reminder in this way:
“I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
May we be like Job, running back to who God says He is and to cling to God, our living hope.
How to pray for us?
- Give thanks to God with us as we raise our financial support for the rest of the year till June 2021. At the moment we have raised 80% of our budget! If you wish to give to us financially, please contact us.
- Pray for the projects we have shared about to bless His beloved sons and daughters of this land we are in.
- Pray for our emotional and spiritual health, that we will continue to fix our eyes upon Jesus, our hope and righteousness!