Fun in the Sun!

With rising temperatures in Bangkok up to 40 degrees C, and local schools closed, the children at many of shelters and institutions we work with, were asking to go to the beach.

On May 6th, we organized a trip for more than 30 kids, teens and caregivers from the Emergency Home, to the Hat Chao Samran beach in the province of Petchaburi, a few hours south of Bangkok. (read story below)

The following week, on May 13th, we organized another beach trip – this time a little close, to the Bang saen Beach which is just a couple of hours away.

Though we organized this trip, it seemed like God had more a hand in engineering some wonderful situations in answer to prayer.

The director of the Thanksgiving Home explained to us how he has two sisters – both of whom have autistic children. Due to some misunderstandings, all three siblings haven’t met together for the last 15 years. Because of this excursion, all three siblings along with their children met again. For the younger sister, this was the first time, she was taking her 15 year-old autistic daughter to the beach, a first time she could just relax socially with her daughter, with understanding and support of those around. Just a couple of months ago, her husband walked out of their home, never to return, which left this single Mom rather distraught. It was a wonderful reunion and healing for these families as they embraced and enjoyed their time together at the beach.

Fifteen-year-old Pat squealed as she ran into the waves cascading on the seashore on Bangsaen beach. This was her first-ever experience at a beach. Along with almost 30 other children/teens and adults with the mental challenges/handicaps, autism & forms of Asperger’s Syndrome, this beach excursion left an indelible impression of bonding, freedom, fun, discovery and so much more. The kids were mainly from both the Thanksgiving Home as well as the Rachawadee Home in Pakred which cares for almost 540 children (200 of whom have cerebral palsy) . It was nice to see how the kids took delight in every little thing they found, as they were just fascinated with the little crabs, and other creatures peeping out of their shells, and coming out from under the sand. Several of them, like Pat, spent almost every minute in the water – relenting to just come up to the beach for some lunch – relishing the salty splash on their faces, bouncing with the waves and finding their balance on the banana boats. So much to enjoy, when you can appreciate everything from that first-time perspective. Special Thanks to our volunteers – Steven, Meg and Nina, who were quickly attached to several of the kids. One afternoon of bonding and the kids were almost in tears when we had to part. What a precious experience for all — almost 40 kids, caregivers and volunteers there.

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