Bright Teeth and Happy Feet Project Reaches Another Three Schools

BTHF Suphanburi06The Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) director and staff conducted the Bright Teeth and Happy Feet project for three schools in Nongyasi District, Suphanburi Province on March 15-16, 2016.  The first school was Ban Thaptatan School.  The program was very well organized by Pastor Chumpol Khumphanyaem from Porntawee Church.  A total of 135 students participated in the program.  After lunch the older students led everyone in brushing their teeth with the items that they received in the LHMT gift packs.  They also checked the teeth and tongues of the younger students.  In the afternoon the LHMT team went to Ban Nong Nae School where they repeated the program for the 92 students there.

Ban Thapluang School was the site of the program on the second day.  There the LHMT team did the activities with 136 students.  In the near future Pastor Chumpol will visit these three schools again with some of his church members to do follow-up activities.

This was not the first time that Pastor Chumpol had contact with these schools.  In the past he has invited students and teachers to visit his church for the church’s Christmas programs and other activities.  Because Pastor Chumpol has developed such a good relationship with the schools, the students know where Porntawee Church is.  It is expected that there will be more interactions between the church and the schools in the future.

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Bright Teeth and Happy Feet Project – February 9

Ban Don Tan Sian9On February 9, 2016 our LHMT staff did the Bright Teeth and Happy Feet project at 3 schools in Kanchanaburi Province. The first school was Ban Nongsonpung School. Our team led the 142 students in some fun activities and songs and a village health volunteer taught the children the proper way to brush their teeth. Pastor Mai Phungubol from Uloksemun Church and his wife arranged our school visits and partnered with our team in doing the activities and distributing the gift packs to the students. The village health volunteer didn’t go to the second school, so our team taught the 162 students at Ban Dontansian School the proper techniques for brushing their teeth.

After lunch our LHMT team was able to observe the students using the toothpaste, tooth brushes and cups from their gift packs. Some students also were reading the Gospel tract from their gift packs. After lunch our team and another volunteer did the same program for the 153 students at Uloksemun School. In the coming weeks Pastor Mai and his wife will do follow-up activities at all 3 schools.

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Bright Teeth and Happy Feet Project – February 4

Ban Tha Fang2February 4, 2016, the third and final day for the Bright Teeth and Happy Feet project in Kuiburi District in Prachuabkhirikhan Province began at Ban Tha Fang School. As the 145 children sat squeezed together on the ground, our team led them in a song about not forgetting to brush their teeth and some fun activities. Along with Pastor Wichien Rakkhantho, his wife and some of their church members our team then moved to Ban Nong Moo School.

After finishing our usual program and giving the 83 students their gift packs and Bible story books it was time for lunch. We had a chance to observe the students using the materials from their gift packs. Our team really enjoyed watching the students use the tooth brushes, tooth paste and cups from their gift packs and seeing that they were using the proper brushing techniques that they learned during our presentation. The last school on our Kuiburi District schedule was Ban Pak Muang School. The 69 children at Ban Pak Muang School really loved getting the gift packs and the Bible story books.  Some of them immediately opened the books and began looking at the colorful pictures.

It is our prayer that they will open the books often and read the many stories that they contain. One of the benefits of doing holistic programs like Bright Teeth and Happy Feet is that they provide opportunities for us to tell the children and teachers that God loves them and that Christian people in the United States also love them enough to donate all of the materials that we give them.

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Bright Teeth and Happy Feet Project – February 3

Ban Ruam Thai18

Students enjoy using their new toothbrushes and toothpaste

February 3, 2016, the second day of our Bright Teeth and Happy Feet project in Kuiburi District in Prachuabkirikhan Province, started at Ban Yan Sue Border Patrol Police School.  A total of 66 students attended our program.  They enjoyed the fun activities, songs, gift packs and Bible Story books.  The students also liked learning the correct way to brush their teeth.  The 2 dentists and 2 interns from Kuiburi Hospital checked the teeth of every student.

The second school we visited in the morning was Ban Ruam Thai School.  We did the same program for those 143 students.  In the afternoon we repeated our program for the 99 students at Ban Rai Bon School.

Our Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand team enjoyed working with Pastor Wichien Rakkhantho, his wife, some members of Kuiburi Church and the dentists and interns for a second day.

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Bright Teeth and Happy Feet Project – February 2

LHMT director introducing the Bright Teeth and Happy Feet project to students.

LHMT director introducing the Bright Teeth and Happy Feet project to students.

February 2, 2016 was the first day of the Bright Teeth and Happy Feet Project that Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) did in Kuiburi District in Prachuabkhirikhan Province. We did our program for 87 students at D. Markaret Fuller School and for 96 students at Ban Pongasung School.

A dentist and 2 interns from Kuiburi Hospital explained to the students how to brush their teeth and the importance of taking good care of their teeth. Our Lutheran Hour Ministries team led the students in some fun activities and songs (including a song about brushing teeth) and distributed to each student a gift pack containing 2 toothbrushes, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 1 plastic cup, 3 pairs of school socks and a Gospel tract.

All of the students also received a free copy of A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories. Our thanks to the children in the Vacation Bible School program at Brookfield Lutheran Church in Wisconsin for donating money for us to give 540 copies of the Bible story books to children in Thailand. We also thank Pastor Wichien Rakkhantho from Kuiburi Church and his wife for coordinating the first three days of this project. And we thank our Lutheran Hour Ministries headquarters in St. Louis for providing the special fund so we could do this project.

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Flood Relief Cleaning Packs Project Extended

When we had used all of the funding that was provided for our flood relief project, we thought that we wouldn’t be able to help any other flood victims.  However, several more donations arrived, so both Lutheran Hour Ministries and LCMS World Relief and Human Care decided to send additional funds.  This gave us the opportunity to assist another 1,000 families.

On Saturday January 28 our Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff and two volunteers took 400 flood relief cleaning packs to Sinsamut Community in Thanyaburi District in Patumthani Province.  When we distributed the flood relief packs in the past, the residents gathered together and we gave them the packs in one place.  This time we had to do it a different way.  Because it was close to the time for the election of the new community committees, the community chairman decided to not have the residents meet in a large group.  He was afraid that it might seem like he was trying to affect the election.

Instead, he asked our LHMT staff to deliver the packs individually to each house.  Although this meant a lot of extra work for our staff, it also provided a good chance to spend a few minutes talking with the residents in their homes.  Throughout the morning we delivered 310 flood relief packs to people who owned their homes.

Another 90 families were renting their houses, so they were not eligible to vote in the community elections.  These families collected their flood relief packs later from the community committee.  Although we had to do things differently, the day turned out very well.  We were able to interact more personally with many people and they all appreciated our help very much.

On Sunday afternoon, January 29, the LHMT director, LHMT staff and LCMS missionaries traveled to Sainoi District in Nonthaburi Province.  This area is quite far from any big city.  It’s mostly a lowland farming area, so it took much longer for the flood water to recede.  Many of the residents are orchid farmers.  Almost all of their orchids were destroyed or badly damaged in the floods.  The financial loss to their families and community was very great.

We distributed 570 flood relief cleaning packs to 4 small villages.  We gave 170 packs to Village #8, Village #9 and Village #11.  In Village #12 we delivered 60 packs.  The people in these villages were very surprised that anyone would still be helping flood victims in January.  Because their farms were some of the last to become dry, they thought they wouldn’t receive any help.

Most of the residents are afraid that the water will come again this year, so they are not starting their farming again.  They don’t want to make the large financial investment necessary to get their farms operating again, if they will lose everything in the coming rainy season.  The LHMT director plans to make follow-up contacts with the village chairmen in the coming months to find out how they’re doing.

After delivering 570 cleaning packs, we still have 30 packs left.  So we plan to deliver those packs to the churches where some of our staff attend to help their members who suffered from the flooding.  Our thanks to LCMS World Relief and Human Care and the Lutheran Hour Ministries headquarters in St. Louis for providing the funding for this project.  We thank God for the opportunity to help another 1,000 families.

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Project to Help Flood Victims is Completed

We distributed 2,100 Flood Relief Packs through this project

The original goal of the Flood Relief Packs Project was to provide 2,000 families, who suffered because of the floods, with rice, instant noodles, sardines, cooking oil, fish sauce, salt, sugar, medicine, a flashlight and batteries.  Although modifications had to be made, the project has been completed successfully.

After the first 1,000 packs were prepared and delivered to flood victims in several communities, the water began receding.  The time for cleaning homes and businesses was beginning, so the project team decided to make a change for the remaining packs.  Cleaning supplies were purchased and another 1,000 packs were assembled.

The houses in Ruam Gua Community in Tawee Wattana District in Bangkok had been flooded for 4 months.  When our team arrived there on December 22, the area finally was dry and the residents were beginning the big task of throwing out destroyed furniture and personal items, sweeping away trash and trying to remove the mold from the floors and walls of their homes.  They were very happy that we could provide Flood Relief Packs of cleaning supplies to all 672 families in their area.  The packs contained a pail, a brush, 3 sponges with cleaning pads, a container of cleaning liquid, 2 bottles of mosquito repellant, 2 pair of rubber gloves, a dozen cloth masks, 3 cleaning cloths and a container of skin balm.

On December 26 our team traveled to Tahan Bok Community and distributed cleaning packs to 300 families. The remaining 28 packs were given to the victims in the neighborhood around our Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand office, who had been volunteering to help us with this project.

After delivering all 1,000 cleaning packs, we had some project money left. So we purchased more cleaning supplies and were able to deliver an extra 100 packs to more victims in Tahan Bok Community.

Our thanks to LCMS World Relief and Human Care, the Lutheran Hour Ministries headquarters in St. Louis and the Garuna Foundation for providing the funding for this project.  We thank God for the opportunity to help a total of 2,100 families who suffered from the flooding.

We’re happy that this project made it possible for us to get to know a number of our neighbors, who very generously volunteered their time and energy to help us assemble and distribute the Flood Relief Packs.  In the weeks ahead we look forward to following up with some of the communities we helped.

We also want to thank all of you, who donated money to this project and who have been praying for us and the Thai people affected by the worst flooding in Thailand in more than 50 years.  We very much appreciate your support and partnership in our ministry.

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