We get to do a lot of great things with some amazing people – thanks to God, and thanks to you.
If you supported The Well with your prayers, encouragement, or financial gifts, here are a few things you helped to make possible in Thailand in 2018 …
January: You Helped Develop Leaders
The management strategy of The Well is based entirely around training and equipping, following the core values of Servantworks. All but one of our Thai staff began as a student at The Well, and providing ongoing training is an essential part of our strategy to increase effectiveness. As much as possible we try to keep a decentralized, team-style structure that allows for workers to grow in critical thinking and leadership.
In January, we did training on how to write S.M.A.R.T. goals, and established both personal and team objectives for the year. Throughout the year we’ve worked on time management, professional writing, referrals, and networking. Your support has also helped us bring in people to train our staff on confidentiality, collaborative problem-solving, goal setting, writing notes, stages of grief, attachment, and child protection.
February: You Helped Reach Out to the Hurting and Desperate
An outreach team of Thai and foreign leaders faithfully visits in an area with extensive homelessness and prostitution. The ministry is co-sponsored by a local church that has completed a small room for this ministry to use. The team plans to conduct activities several days a week in 2019.
This team helped place a homeless man with chronic illness into a residential care facility, and brought his teenage sons, who had never been to school, to learn at our Faithful Men program.
March: You Enriched Children’s Time Off School
The Thai summer break begins in March, and each year we take this opportunity to build relationships and influence the children of the families in our program along with some others from the community. We hosted a day program with enrichment activities that included English, art, and science. Teenagers at The Well serve as assistant leaders in the program.
April: You Helped Build Faithful Men
Led by Dao’s husband Bpop, our Faithful Men’s program provides a safe place for men to work, learning basic construction skills as well as some Bible basic education. Throughout the year they worked on projects renovating our entire 3-building campus. During April they completed an addition to our “Center 1” that includes tool storage and a small office, and ran drainage pipe to eliminate a problem of standing water in the yard during rainy season.
May: You Helped Continue Education
May is back-to-school month in Thailand, and many of the women we meet have only a sixth-grade education. This year, you helped provide for 6 adult students studying high school equivalency, and 6 partial scholarships for university students.
All Thai school children must wear uniforms, and most schools have three kinds of outfits that children wear on different days. On top of that cost are fees for books, computers, and activities, putting a heavy burden on poor families. Your gifts provided back-to-school stipends for our women with school-age children, to help keep their kids in school.
June: You Helped Support Moms
In June, we moved from class-style parent training to a strong, functional, mom’s support group. Our community of moms understand that they need weekly accountability and encouragement to be the best moms that they can be. Volunteers came in to teach about attachment, play, child development, and discipline. Ultimately, your support helped provide a space for over 13 women to hold each other up and encourage one another as parents.
July: Your Generosity Helped Inspire Thai People
We have new board members for our Thai Foundation. When we asked Jirapat Junnawatt to consider being president, he jumped at the opportunity. He had heard of our work for some time, and wanted to be a part. Jirapat has an active ministry teaching child protection throughout Thailand.
When Thais find out how people from other countries are generously giving to help Thai people, they are amazed. Sunisa, our Executive Assistant, regularly hears surprise and appreciative comments from the people in government offices she visits.
August: You Helped Plant Seeds for a Church
A small team led by Sorn and Tracy began meeting weekly at Connect Center on Saturdays with a goal of moving towards becoming a full-fledged church. Eventually they hope to have gatherings on Sundays as well as other times during the week. Right now the focus is on training young members to care for each other and share about Jesus.
September: You Helped Start a New Enterprise
One of the lessons from our years of making and sending jewelry to the U.S. is that we needed to involve people in all aspects of business—not only production but also planning, management, sales and marketing. We have been developing Connect Kitchen as a social enterprise that sells Western-style food products to a growing market of both foreigners and curious Thais. Our main product so far is natural peanut butter, and we are also developing granola and baked goods.
October: You Helped Strengthen Families
A highlight of this month was a weekend family camp, with teaching sessions on parenting led by Jirapat Junnawatt, our new board president.
We also did an outreach with some of our students, a staff and volunteers to a psychiatric long-term care facility, as well as a smaller ministry for older men who have HIV. It had a very big impact both for the people ministered to and for our women.
November: You Helped Complete Our Campus
For years, we have felt hindered by inadequate facilities at The Well, split between three buildings. Our staff offices were spread out, making intra-team communication unwieldy. When a new, larger house became available we were able to rent it with a long-term lease and move our offices into a single building.
We were then able to move our Recovery Center from a tiny, dark house to a bright, peaceful location with double the space. Judy reports she is already seeing the difference in an extra warm, positive atmosphere. This month, one new woman coming off of years of addiction was so taken by the love she was experiencing that she literally demanded that the others in the group to help her receive Jesus.
December: You Helped Share the Coming of Jesus
Our newly renovated Connect Garden enabled us to do something we have wanted to do for a long time: invite the community to an event sharing the story of Jesus. Over 100 people, including alumni of The Well and friends from the neighborhood, attended this Christmas Eve. Our message was simple: Christmas is about Jesus; Jesus is about love, and we want to love you because we follow Jesus.
This year has brought big changes to our little community here in Thailand. Even from afar, we’re glad you’re part of the family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!
Year-End Matching Challenge
Through the end of 2018, our board members have pledged to match donations up to $17,500. Give today to double your donation and help us start 2019 well. Thank you!