WOW….so a lot has happened recently, I hope I remember everything…
COMMUNITY KIDS PROGRAM
Sadly, the afterschool program is coming to an end for the summer. Tuesday we will be having a party at the community kids center, which should be super fun – We’re hoping to have a slip n’ slide and water ballons and ice cream. We’ve continued to grow in numbers of kids and volunteers, which has been a blessing. This first semester has been such an awesome one, the people in the community have made Erica and I feel so welcome, and it’s been a great period of trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t work, as well as just get a feel for the community and the kids. We couldn’t have asked for a better first semester, so that is a huge praise. We want to say a big thank you to all of our volunteers, all of our prayer support, and to all of you who have donated things like games and snacks – This would not have been possible without your help!! I hope that everyone has a wonderful summer break to relax, and hopefully we can continue just as strong with the program when the kids start school back in the Fall. Here are a couple of recent pictures from the program, I will post the rest of them on facebook:
We had a photography day and I let some of the kids borrow my camera to take pictures. Here are some of my favorites:
WHERRY WORK DAY
Wherry Work Day was Saturday and we had so many volunteers. They moved furniture into a unit for a new Karen family, which Erica and I saw moving in yesterday, they mowed lawns, tore down a shed, tore down some drywall, painted, cleaned, scraped, and just about everything else you can think of. My personal favorite thing that was done – some guys started to tear down the SPEEDBUMPS!!!
Hsar Nay, a middle schooler from our program saw the guys tearing down the speed bumps and decided to help them all day. That was awesome to watch, because he’s usually very shy and kind of sits back, but I’ve noticed a big change in him at the center as well wanting to help out more. I also feel like he connects and looks up to Whit Kaminh a lot, so that was awesome for him to be there yesterday. They met at the Wherry Easter party and were speaking Thai with each other. On that note, could you please keep Hsar Nay in your prayers, his best friend, Jonathan, moved away not too long ago and he keeps saying that he has no friends and that he misses Jonathan. He seems very lonely and I think having guys come and mentor him really boosts his confidence. His English is improving soo much as well! He even got two awards from his school for English learning! That’s a major praise, I think he’s finally starting to believe everybody when we tell him how smart he is.
Wherry Housing Community
Erica and I have continued to spend more time with the people in the community. We each have our own certain families we focus on, and they keep inviting us in their houses! Erica has been able to help one of our neighbors a lot with computer stuff, which has helped their family out a lot. Erica and I also have this sort of movie rental system out of our house, so there’s always kids in and out of our house. Sometimes they just come over to hang out and watch tv and play games, it’s been so much fun getting to know them all better. We’ve also gotten a lot more one on one time with the kids recently. Wednesday night, I got to take Paw and Hsar Moo to Lifepoint’s children’s worship arts production, It’s Cool in the Furnace, which they enjoyed a lot. They even recognized some faces on stage from the program, like Benjamin Bishop and Cameron Graf, who help at the program, which they found so awesome – that they actually knew some of the people on stage. Erica and I also took Paw out for dinner one night and Sunday we took the Cruz family to the splash pad after church. It was soo much fun, and we even ran into their cousins and another Karen boy from Wherry Housing there.
So the Lord has also answered our prayers and exceeded any expectations in regards to Wherry Housing’s future. Community Servants now has SIX new interns coming this summer! Living in our house will be Mariah Lidia and Jessica Irwin, and across the street will be Brandon Tomlin, Trent Wilkinson, Nick, and Taylor. We are sooo excited to have these people on board. Mariah, Jessica, Trent, and Brandon have all helped with the afterschool program this semester and I’ve seen them all grow a lot just within the past couple of months. I’m so excited to see what the Lord is going to do in their lives and in the community through their experiences this summer.
Wherry Housing Network
If you haven’t already heard, we’ve created a Facebook group for Wherry Housing. This is where we will send out individual prayer requests, blog update notifications, supplies we need, info on work days, etc. If you’re interested, please join!
I will be leaving for Brazil for three months this Sunday, May 30. It’s been a wierd past couple of weeks as I reflect on everything. I’m sad to be leaving Wherry, I will miss everyone so much, but I know so much good is going to happen while I’m gone so I’m extremely excited for everyone and I am also so thankful that I have such a loving community to call home and a place to serve when I return. For the summer, you will be hearing from either Erica Pope or the new interns listed above. If you are interested in what I will be doing in Brazil, you can follow my blog at emilyjohnsonmissions.wordpress.com. Thank you all for your prayers. I really feel like everything that has been happening at Wherry this past semester has equipped me so much for the work I will be doing abroad. I want to say a big thank you to John Key, for his wisdom and guidance throughout this. We got to meet and pray together last week, which was such an awesome experience. Also, a big thank you to Allen Bishop, Tim Patterson, Kyle Goen, Pat Hood, and Chris Holloman – you guys have mentored me a lot through this process.
THANK YOU EVERYONE AND TALK TO YOU ALL IN A FEW MONTHS!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!