Day 17: Future Leaders

Today Tanya and her friend, Phern, traveled to Su-ngai Kolok, a town on the Malaysian border. It is Tanya’s third trip and Phern’s second, to help Kylie Hobern and her team do some outreach for Christmas.

Two and a half years ago Tanya came to live with us, just after she had finished high school. Her mother was at The Well, but they were not doing well together. Tanya was depressed, and despite being a good student, had not applied to a single college. With the help of See, our staff counselor, we convinced Tanya’s mom to let her join our family for a while.

I could brag about a lot about Tanya but won’t embarrass her since she might read this. Suffice it to say that it’s been a joy having her in our home, and not only because she’s a great Thai cook. When she came, we sat down to lay out expectations. “We don’t know how long you’ll be here,” we said. “A month, a year, we don’t know. But while you’re here, we’d like you to be willing to be accountable and let us teach you as a daughter.” Tanya agreed, and has fully followed through. She’s now in her third year of an English major, doing very well.

Phern and Tanya were best friends in high school. Phern is studying English and Humanities in Chiang Mai. When we asked Phern about her dreams, she said, “I want to bring justice and opportunity to the poor.” We can work with that. Both Tanya and Phern are personable, hardworking and ready to initiate: we expect exciting news from their work this week.

On Saturday I sat down with Yean, 18, and had a conversation in English. He would like to take a gap year, or at least have an English immersion experience in the U.S.  I haven’t written yet about Dao and Bpop in this month-long project, but those who have followed The Well over the years know that Dao, whose name means “star”, is indeed a hero to us. Her four children, Dear, 23, Yean, 18, Dis, 17, and Burchet, 15, have all been blossoming into very impressive young adults. Yean is in the top ten of his class of 400, and would like to study electrical engineering. Dear is in her third year of a psychology degree, and is equally impressive; a quiet, conscientious worker. 

We are talking with folks in the U.S. who might like to host amazing young people like these for work and or ministry internships, ranging from two weeks to ten months. It is a way that you can impact Thailand long-term tremendously through these budding leaders. Please contact us if you are interested.