Abundant Life Orphanage – A Gift of Hope
Abundant Life Home (ALH), an orphanage for HIV positive children in Chonburi, Thailand.
During a two-week period in July, Neil Andrux, our Eagle West Maintenance Manager, brought his wife and children on a labour mission to Chonburi, Thailand.
The idea began one evening when Neil, his wife, and their friends discussed the option of sacrificing family vacation, and instead volunteering on a service-oriented trip. Having prior knowledge of MB Mission’s Abundant Life Home, the idea of travelling overseas and helping the orphanage was appealing for all five couples.
When the rubber hit the road, Neil, his wife Wendy, and their three children Curtis (21), Shaylee (19) and Janelle (14), along with one other family, braved the journey to fly 11,798 kilometers to help restore, rebuild and improve the orphanage through project work.
The Abundant Life Orphanage cares for children who have contracted HIV, and who have lost their families due to AIDS. In Thailand, children with HIV are considered completely worthless and hopeless.
Thankfully, through the vision of Karen and Ricky Sanchez, and the support of MB Mission, there is now a home run by people who think otherwise. This orphanage gives children a chance for hope, a place for dignity, and an education to help with their future. Instead of facing a life on the streets, these children are provided well-kept homes and loving housemothers.
The orphanage consists of four homes. Each home has one housemother for every six children. According to Neil, as far as orphanages go, these are really nice homes. When you think about the ratio of children to housemothers, it’s a pretty amazing statistic.
The children who live in these homes are exposed to education and programs which seek to develop skills. These skills then become a child’s opportunity to, as an adult, go out into the world as an employable and productive member of society.
When you consider what Abundant Life Orphanage does for these children, you cannot help but feel amazed at the hope for a brighter future for each of these children born into inequity.
The main job for Neil and “the crew” was to help lay tile in the orphanage’s open air building. They installed over two and a half pallets of tile on an uneven floor. Neil’s partner at the orphanage is a mason by trade, which was incredibly handy considering the condition of the floor. In spots the floor would vary from 1 to 3 inches in height. This made laying the tile incredibly challenging. Anyone who has laid tile (oh, the back pain!) understands what type of undertaking this truly is. Neil, his family, and his friends worked hard to get the job done, and done right.
In listening to Neil share about the experience, it is evident he and his family chose to volunteer in this way because they believe all children, regardless of their condition or circumstances, should be provided opportunity. It is inspiring and motivating to witness a man and his family live out their faith in what they believe in, and serve others. For me, it was a honor to hear their story.
Thanks Neil for sharing your story and giving back to people in need.
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