“…Grace. It’s a name for a girl…it’s also a thought that changed the world.” — U2, All that You Can’t Leave Behind, 2002.
How does one grasp the concept of grace? Webster’s defines grace in one way as: The exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor; disposition to benefit or serve another; favor bestowed or privilege conferred.
Joel and Jodie Haberstock have put this word into action at the House of Grace in Phrao, Thailand.
The House of Grace is a boarding home run by a Thai pastor named Satit Kantatiam in North Central Thailand. The house is currently home to 37 students, ages eight to 16. These students come from neighboring villages that do not have their own schools. The students are housed and fed while they attend public school in Phrao. They are also given English lessons and are taught about God’s grace.
Familiar faces to many in Vernon, the Haberstocks left their home, friends and extended family to move to Thailand in August. In his work as Youth and Family Ministries Pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Joel was prompted to go, to extend grace, both of the human sort and God’s variety, to the people of Phrao. He was teaching the youth of his church that God will take care of you when you follow his leading and realized that he was being led to “practise what he preached.”
Joel and Jodie had spent time in missions work in the past and have been excited to share the experience with their own children. Caleb, Anica and Rebecca have adjusted well to their new home away from home and have settled in to daily life in Phrao. Aside from homeschooling their own kids, Jodie and Joel are both teaching English. They have also been given opportunities to teach Bible lessons to both children and adults, with Pastor Satit acting as translator.
Joel and Jodie have sufficient support to fund their own needs in Thailand but now have caught Satit’s vision for the House of Grace and would like to share those dreams with you, in the hopes that you too, will catch the vision and come along side them to make them come true.
One of the projects that they’ve taken on is to provide a place for the children to play. The boarding house has one swing. One rusty old swing. The vision is that a new playground could be constructed on the boarding house grounds to accommodate the kids in residence as well as offer a place for the neighbourhood children to play. Will you consider partnering with the Haberstocks to make this dream a reality?
Please go to their blog at www.haberstocksinthailand.com to get more on their story and go to the link to give towards the realization of those dreams!