July 2020

Thank you for your continued prayers in these challenging times. We very much appreciate all your prayers and support.

We, like many countries, have been coming out of lockdown cautiously and even though the foodbank continued to run during lockdown with special measures in place, the rest of the activities at the Place of Grace have been able to restart with appropriate social distancing and safety measures. Face masks have been the normal in Thailand for a long time, firstly due to the pollution and then a thinner version taking over for COVID measures. We also opened the Learning Centre on 1 July for the first time - the day that the government gave permission for school to open - and all the students are doing amazingly well.

Our aim in opening the Learning Centre was to stop the young people in our clubs dropping out of regular schools so easily and therefore give them a better opportunity to escape poverty in the future. Being able to learn in English will will also benefit them hugely in future job opportunities. They are also enjoying having Christian education where we do moral and spiritual teaching to counter the influences around them in the slums where they live. We very much appreciate your prayers for this work.

The foodbank and childrens' clubs, as well as teenage groups, continue to go well and the children are pleased to be meeting up in person again. The need for the foodbank rose as tourism fell dramatically and many people were laid off from working in restaurants and jobs related to tourism. With latest reports saying that approximately seven million people out of a working population of around 35 million have lost their jobs during the pandelic, this has hit the people we work with particularly hard. The vast majority live hand to mouth. We were able to give out care packages to the children every two weeks all throughout the lockdown, with simple activities to do, helpful things like soap, as well as milk drinks, snacks and noodles, which they appreciated.

Thankyou so much for your continued support and prayers,

John and Gillian

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