Dear Family and Friends,
I am excited to share with you my decision to move to Chiang Rai, Thailand for missions work for one year. In April, I caught up with my friend, Lesa Morgan (a full time missionary in Thailand), while she was in the states for a few months. I have served with her twice before on short-term trips to Thailand. She shared with me her current ministries and how the Lord is working and moving in the hearts of the Thai people. Everything she was explaining piqued my interest. Lesa ended the conversation by inviting me to join her! I began praying about this potential opportunity, and I feel the Lord directing me to go.
The following are opportunities in which I will be involved:
CLAY Center (Changing Lives Among Youth): The CLAY center is a multi-faceted ministry incorporating athletics, teaching English, music, and the arts. These are the activities in which the center seeks to meet their goal of building relationships with students in order to lead them into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. Outside the CLAY Center, a pressing goal is to begin sports clinics at the local high schools. A large factor would be having enough people to help with the clinics. I anticipate being able to step in and assist in that area. Currently, the CLAY Center hosts a men's weekly soccer and Bible study night. They are seeking to do the same for the women and girls.
Grace Haven Children's home: Grace Haven is a home for at risk children and youth. It opened in May 2016 when two children arrived, a sister and brother, 4 and 3 year old respectively (pictured below with Lesa). I will be helping Lesa care for these children and others that may be joining them in the near future. As the home receives more children my responsibilities will increase.
The desire of the home is to fill three voids. The first void the home fills is to take in preschool children whose situations consist of no one to take care of them. Most of these children either go to a government funded home (which is not a loving and nurturing environment) or sold. The second focus is helping teen girls in crisis pregnancies due to abuse or rape. Girls in these situations are kicked out of their family or village with no place to go. Grace Haven will be a place the girls can learn life skills and develop a work ethic in order to care for themselves and their child. Most importantly, the third is to help all of them above realize God loves them, God made them, and He wants a relationship with them.
Child and Family Prison Ministry: For school age children, this is a home whose parents are incarcerated. I will be assisting Lesa as she teaches English to the children at CFPM. As I am preparing for Thailand, I am praying for the right team of people to join me for prayer and financial support and encouragement. I realize that this trip is not possible on my own; I can only do what I mentioned above with the help of others. Would you please pray for me as I prepare for Thailand? Would you also prayerfully consider supporting me by giving financially? I need to raise $15,000 for the year spanning December 2016 through December 2017. My home church, Grace Point Church, is supporting me financially and will be helping me by receiving all the funds for my trip. Checks can be made out to them with "Missions- Thailand" written in the memo. Their address is as follows: 3107 Vestal Road Vestal, NY 13850.
Thank you for being a part of my life, and being willing to take part in what God is doing in the lives of the people in Chiang Rai, Thailand through your support.
Sincerely, Heather Dodd