The Olivers In Thailand are involved with a variety activities related to children, in and around the North of the country.

We are using out blog to enable friends and family in England and around the world to keep in touch with us.

"Operation Beowulf"

As part of their English Literature course, Tom was involved with the following masterpiece:

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PocketWeather for the iPhone/iPod Touch Released!

(YouTube Video)

SBSH PocketWeather V1.0 for iPhone/iPod has finally been released!

Download link from the Apple iTunes AppStore





Now, back to work on V1.1 with lots more features!

Trip to Simba Home

On Nov 31st-Dec 1st, I was able to join a team to visit the Simba home. It was a long journey starting at midday on Sunday and stopping overnight on the way. We then travelled on the next day.

The Simba home is a small children's home run by Mufasa and his family. There are about 25 children. Some children are orphaned.

Some children have a relative who is able to have them at the weekend but the home enables these children to attend school. Some children have been forbidden to attend school in a remote area and so are able to attend a city school by hostelling at Simba.

The home has been very under-resourced and do not have a regular income.

The idea was to see if we can help them to develop using some of the lessons we have learnt at Hoay Maw.

They have two buildings. One is a purpose built facility which is quite well finished. Mufasa, his family and the younger children stay in this building. The other building is Mufasa's original home and is wooden and rather run down. The older children stay in this house supervised by Mufasa's brother-in-law. The sleeping arrangements are quite cramped with the children having to lay out mattresses each night and roll them to the side to make floor space during the day. They could do with some simple plastic storage units to keep their clothes in.

We saw the newly constructed covered area which will provide shade for the children to to do activities outside during the hot and wet seasons. This was supported by a Norwegian family.

They have dug a simple 3 tank fish-pond which was currently populated with catfish. They are trying to grow some vegetables but the soil is very poor and so they need to dig up the land and introduce a couple of lorry loads of good soil. Money from the HBC children's holiday club supported this.

The water is also a problem as they are using city water and it is costing a lot to get water to top up the fish and water the vegetables.

As is common, they have to burn their own rubbish. There was an unsightly pile of old burnt rubbish. It would be beneficial if they can use a metal dustbin as an incinerator to contain the rubbish remains and to burn it more effectively. This would leave more land free for vegetables.

The children blessed us with singing and dancing and we were able to teach them a song.

Later the helpers and children gathered round with a guitar spontaneously to sing worship songs.

It is a blessing that a donation has already been given to build a well which will give them unlimited water for their domestic and agricultural needs.

Simba also received some support for Christmas blessings for the home, support for a Christmas outreach to remote areas and some further support towards the running of the home.

As well as encouraging them to make the most of the limited resources that they have, it would also be good in the future if some regular support can be established, in particular in the area of a regular wages for Mufasa. He doesn't receive a proper wage because his work is considered "unofficial".

They have a boy and a girl teenage volunteers who don't receive any payment. It would be great if these helpers could receive a small wage e.g. 1,000 baht (£20 / $35) per month. A similar amount would cover the living costs of a child.

They also have a van which they have completed payments for. They use the van to reach out to remote villages.

If you are interested to pray for or support Simba home then please contact us.

1-2-3 Party!

1-2-3 Party! is an event that has been run by our church for a season - the brain-child of the other Jenny!

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Dr Jane making candy floss!
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Jenny M eating candy floss!

On the 3rd Sat of each month a combined team of Thai and international, adults and juniors have put on a range of fun activities for children.

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Children came from a variety of children's homes and also from the community to join the fun.

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From art, craft, nail art, hair brading, crazy golf, basketball, English room, as well as hot dogs, candy floss, soda and ice-cream.

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A lot of fun was had by all - not least the team!

Scripture Engagement Workshop 14th-15th Apr

P1040205 In April, Jenny had the privilege of sharing over 2 days as part of an extended workshop hosted by Payap University Linguistics Institue and SIL International.

The workshop was on the subject of "Scripture Engagement - Translating the Bible Into Action." Through the workshop, organizers wanted to help participants to learn how to apply and use the Bible in more practical and creative ways in order to impact lives more effectively.

The 15 delegates were from 5 different people groups: Akha, Shan, Karen, Wa and Lahu. They had permission to travel to Chiang Mai for the 10 week duration of the course.

I became involved when having coffee with a good friend who had the responsibility for 3 days teaching on children and family. As I shared thoughts and lessons learnt through past experience mainly with Powerpack, I was invited to share the teaching of this topic.

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P1040233 I am not used to speaking or teaching and therefore it stretched me to prepare notes and Powerpoints. I prepared teaching on "The Importance of Children's Ministry" and "A Biblical Basis for Children's Ministry".

I adapted the "Aim Lower, Think Smaller" video to incorporate Burmese text and narration.

We particularly wanted to demonstrate how children can be involved in ministry and so we involved the Baan Saan Fan children to lead an interactive worship session.

It was very moving and I believe impacting as the children ministered to the delegates. Apparently they were talking of it for some days afterwards and expressing that God had touched them powerfully through the children in a way that they had not experienced before.

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The feedback was that the delegates plan to encourage churches under their influence to actively involve children more.

Transformers Trip to Mae Sot 6-8 Apr

It seems like a long time ago now but we would like to share about our Transformers trip to Life Impact International, Mae Sot, 6-8th Apr.

Transformers is the name of the children's work at our church for Elementary/Primary aged children.

This was the first opportunity for children from this group to go away on a trip to serve and to reach out.

Our team consisted of 9 children aged 9-12yrs, 6 junior leaders (teenagers) and 6 adults. The aim was the children do the presentations and "ministry" themselves.

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We took a Sat afternoon to meet at our house to prepare. The children learnt dramas and stories and prepared testimonies and Bible verses to share.

After learning, practising and praying, we enjoyed bolognaise, chilli and ice-cream (not all on the same plate!) followed by a movie on the big screen.

On the 6th, we met at Grace school with 2 mini-buses. Ours didn't have air-con and I nearly expired on the way down looking very red when we stopped for a welcome break at a 7/11 services.

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Eventually we arrived tired and hot.

We were extremely privileged to be the first team to be allowed to actually stay at the centre.

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During our time we got to know some precious children. The Transformers children led worship, craft, games, devotions and fun activities.

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We had the opportunity as a combined Transformers/Life Impact children's team, to visit a migrant school beside a rubbish area. We saw how some families live by, or even on the rubbish. They (including the children) have to scavenge to survive.

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In the simple school, the children presented dramas and stories and shared testimonies of their own faith.

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We gave the school children gospel bracelets and some snack and hygiene packs.

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In the afternoon we took the children out for an ice-cream treat.

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We loved meeting and getting to know the children and we would all like to return some day.

Thank you to Life Impact Centre staff and children for having us!

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