Through the gift of some special funding Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) was able to do a project to help school children in Guiburi District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. With the title of “Bright Teeth and Happy Feet” the project focused on a need that the LHMT director and staff discovered during the Christmas school outreach in December 2010. They learned that some schools weren’t having the students brush their teeth after lunch, because the schools didn’t have enough money in their budgets to provide toothbrushes, toothpaste and cups for the students.
From May 25-27 the LHMT director and some staff visited 7 schools in Guiburi District. They took with them gift packs for each of the 643 students. The packs contained 2 toothbrushes, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 1 plastic cup, a pamphlet that explained why it’s so important for the students to brush their teeth every day and a Christian pamphlet. Every student also received a paper model of teeth, so that they could practice how to brush properly.
School uniforms include socks, because a lot of bacteria can be picked up by the children’s feet. That’s especially important in rural areas like Guiburi District. During the Christmas school outreach program, the LHMT director also noticed that many students didn’t wear socks or their socks had big holes in them. So, the gift packs also included 3 pair of socks for each child.
The LHMT team was assisted by Pastor Wichian Rakkhanto from Guiburi Full Gospel Church and some of his church members and several dentists volunteered to teach the students the proper techniques for brushing their teeth. Pastor Wichian and his church members made all of the arrangements for doing the project at all of the schools and for the dentists to help. Pastor Wichian also invited the students to visit his church on Saturday mornings to attend free lessons to learn how to play the guitar, drums and keyboard and he closed each program with prayer.
At each school the LHMT staff led the students in some fun activities and singing songs about the importance of brushing their teeth. They also sang a Christian song about God’s love. The students were very happy to get the gift packs and really enjoyed the activities and singing. It was a good way for them to have fun while learning important information about taking care of their teeth.
All of the school principals agreed to provide time and supervision for the students to brush their teeth after lunch at school every day. Pastor Wichian and the dentists plan to visit the schools 1-2 times each month to see if the students continue to brush their teeth after lunch. It’s also a good opportunity for him to build relationships with the principals, teachers and some students, because he is very interested in sharing the Gospel in as many schools as possible.
Included in the regular curriculum is a class about some of the different religions. Several school principals invited Pastor Wichian to teach the section about Christianity. This will give him an excellent chance to be involved in the schools and to share God’s love through his teaching, as well as through his actions.
Because the LHMT director was able to purchase the supplies for the gift packs at a greater discount than expected, some of the money for the project wasn’t spent on the 7 schools in Guiburi District. As a bonus, the LHMT staff plans to repeat this project for an additional 774 students at 1 school inSamut Songkhram Provinceand 2 schools in Suphanburi Province in June.
We thank God that everything went so smoothly with this project and that we’ll be able to help more than twice the number of students than we expected.
Filed under: Holistic Outreach Project