According to Orphan’s Promise ministry partner, Gary Hays, drug use by children in Thailand is at an all-time high. He says that one out of every 55 Thais are addicted to drugs. To help tackle this problem, Orphan’s Promise has agreed to partner with Gary and his organization to run drug prevention programs in schools in the northern Thailand province of Phetchabun.
The goal is to train thousands of children in target schools and have them commit to remain drug free. A Drug Free program is run at each school through local churches who partner in the project and who then continue to follow up with students throughout the year with ongoing training and support. As schools permit, the Good News of the Gospel is also shared at each major presentation with students and teachers. Local churches follow-up with new believers, sharing the message of love and hope, and building deeper relationships with schools, families, and the wider community.
Orphan’s Promise has provided funds to support this program for this Phetchabun project and to cover the program costs for a year.
In June 2012, the Phetchabun project kicked off and the Chon Daen Church ran their first “test” outreach with 120 people at their local church. This was also to present the program to 6 government leaders and 5 school principals who attended, to see if they would be interested in the program at government schools. The response to the program was amazing. After the presentation, 25 of the people who responded to the alter call confessed they were addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Gary reports, “The church is now helping them to find a ‘way’ through medical treatment and the power of the Holy Spirit to recover into a ‘full life’.” All of the 5 Buddhist school principals who attended requested that this 1 year program be installed in their schools as soon as possible. As a result, through the help of Orphan’s Promise, will now begin this Gospel Drug Free program in their first school in Phetchabun in July!
Praise God that Orphan’s Promise can partner with ministries who are not only working to build awareness and protect Thai children from the harmful effects of drug abuse, but who are also working to bring the hope and Good News of the Jesus Christ to all those they meet.
I am sure there will be more good news to report on this wonderful drug free program over the coming year, as thousands of children take part for the first time. Thanks to Orphan’s Promise donors for giving these children the chance to be better informed and protected.