Back in December, we wrote about the new stage we’re beginning at The Well — one with a greater outward focus, closer to our hope of sending transformational leaders into our community here in Bangkok and beyond. Here’s an update on a few things we’ve been focusing on so far in 2018.
Our Day Program
Every week, a small group of volunteer and staff visit an area of Bangkok where women are working on the streets and reach out to them. It’s a desperate area, and the women have had very rough lives. There are several women waiting to join our day program at this time, women who need a safe, stable environment to rebuild.
For many years, The Well has functioned as a day program for women and their families. We provide services for them in a sort of “contained community,” including counseling for trauma and addictions, vocational opportunities, training in life skills and continuing education. Every woman at The Well has a personal schedule and plan for healing and growth, addressing her unique needs and goals. Over the time a lot has changed, but it’s clear that a consistent program which addresses the whole person is important. Our staff teams have been busy and productive as we continue to find ways to bring wholeness and opportunity to our students.
We’ve realized that we can find more opportunities for them by strengthening our connections outside of our little community, so this year we’ve begun to broaden our focus and look outward. We hope to connect women with organizations, businesses, and people outside The Well to help them grow and lead. We also feel called to reach into our immediate community, the On Nut (Ohn Noot) neighborhood in Bangkok, at the same time.
Leadership & Staff Development Update
Some of our direction for becoming more outward focused happened at the end of 2017. In preparation for a new year, our staff spent a day focused on goal setting both as individuals and as a team. Some of the individual goals included networking, connecting better to our community, finding resources in Thailand, and providing services to women and families who are transitioning out of our day program. We shared our individual goals, then worked on turning them into a unified plan that included an outward focus.
In January, our Program Director, Gik, left her role at The Well to take a position at the Thai Bible Society. Many of you have heard us speak of Gik; she was a good fit and we were sad for her to go, but we are excited to see how God will use her in this new direction. We have not yet found someone to take that position and will continue to keep our number of students low to fit our present staff size. We intend to focus on developing staff and make good plans for moving forward during this season.
We invited another Thai organization to come in and teach us about Thai child protection laws.
We have a weekly staff training time built into our schedule this year. One high priority for staff development is training that will ensure The Well is a safe space for people who have experienced trauma. Last year we studied trauma recovery and re-committed ourselves to doing everything we can to create a safe space for healing. Our Thai staff have participated in a six-week weekly group training on non-violent communication. We also invited another Thai organization to come in and train our staff about the Thai Child Protection Laws. We are putting a Child Protection Plan in place. Other training this year has focused on leadership, teamwork and management. Staff are learning how to organize their work and be efficient, and how to be godly leaders. It’s been encouraging to watch people develop management skills, own their work and understand their call. We are also committed to prayer and hope to develop a stronger prayer walk together.
We are also working on a building a new board of directors for our Thai-based foundation. We have found some new Thai board members committed to pray and develop vision for The Well, so please pray with us as we transition new members in and develop the foundation, which is a Thai non-profit. We have begun some new relationships and are excited about having new people on board with us.
This Month, Help Support Staff at The Well
- Pray for our staff – all of us need wisdom and grace. Names and photos of our team are available here. If you’d like to know some specific things to pray for, email Judy Larson.
- Donate to The Well to help with the daily needs of our program, including staff training and development. Click here to donate online.
- We would love to raise additional funds for a staff retreat in 2018. If you’d like to help us make that a reality, please email Judy Larson.