In The Gap

Ministry in Pattaya is vast, thereby making it much more fruitful to work with like-minded people.  We have knit ourselves together with a ministry that has a heart for children, children at risk to be exact.  Hand to Hand started one year ago in a very small, windowless commercial bay with six children in attendance; but today is a bustling nursery school and night drop in centre caring for over thirty children every day!

Monday through Saturday there are thirty six children ranging in age from newborn to fifteen years old from surrounding slum areas that come to Hand to Hand.  It is a safe place where they can come to have good meals, receive showers and clean clothes, they learn about Jesus and how much He loves them, they are taught the basics of education to get them ready for school; and for many, it is a safe haven - a place where they can escape abusive families.

In serving these children, we in turn serve their entire family.  We see buddhist parents turning to Christ because their own children are sharing the hope and love that they themselves have learned about from our centre!  Our hearts are to see families turned from ones of poverty and hopelessness to ones of self-sustainability, joy and hope.  We want to eradicate child exploitation, and the most effective way to do this, is to show families that there is another way.  Their children are a gift from their Creator, and once they understand, that He can, and desires, to be the centre of their lives, they too can see them for the precious gifts that they are.

At Hand to Hand we minister to all the needs of impoverished families; spiritually, mentally, and physically.  We offer training and assistance wherever and whenever we can.  One of the most important and practical ways that we can meet physical needs is with a child's education.  The Hand to Hand nursery school was intended for children aged three to five but we have many children that should be attending regular school but are not simply because their families cannot afford it.  With 98% of our children being raised by single moms, the number of children unlikely to see the inside of a classroom, without some kind of assistance, grows exponentially.

To a single parent, the money needed to send a child to school is unattainable.  To us from the West, it is probably the amount we spend on coffee each year!  We currently have seventeen children that we are seeking scholarship for so that they can attend school this upcoming year - Thailand has this crazy law that prohibits children from being enrolled midway through a school term.  Thankfully, the new year starts in May.  Please read through the list below and pray and seek God about helping a family send a child to school.

The cost listed is for an entire school year and includes all fees, uniforms (all Thai schools have uniforms), supplies, hot lunch everyday, and transportation to and from school.  We at Hand to Hand will be registering all the children ourselves to make sure that the children are enrolled and the families will be held accountable for ensuring the children attend each day.

  • Kindergarten       $385 
  • Grade One           $385 
  • Grade Two           $385 
  • Grade Three        $410
  • Grade Five           $425
  • Grade Eight         $480

"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today."
Stacia Tauscher

Please email Dean and I to let us know if you would like to "adopt" a family and give them the amazing gift of education!


Well, little SaiRoong was placed with her "Forever Family" just before Christmas, on December 23, 2010.  It was very difficult to kiss her little face and say good-bye, but it was the plan all along.  Brent and Julie Pennington flew to Pattaya completely on faith, as we did not know for sure if the birth mother still wanted to let her go.  We arrived at the prison with a Thai social worker and a whole lot of prayer covering.  SaiRoong's birth mother was relieved to know that her daughter would be brought up in a good family who would be able to provide her with everything she could ever need.  There was a lot of tears shared as Julie sat across from the woman who was giving her a new daughter.  A very emotional time.

We keep in contact with the Penningtons and we all know that God was, and is, the one in complete control over this baby, now named Joy Janelle Pennington.  There is no doubt that there was a reason she came to Hand to Hand and our family is excited to have played even a small role in her destiny. 


Wow!  Two and a half years after leaving Rwanda, and we are planning our return - and oh, how excited we are about it!

The three week plan for Rwanda includes building two homes for widows and their children; running one, possibly two children's programs, and feeding a village or two....

We need to raise at least $15,000 and a team of people with a heart to join this you?  If so, email us as we would love to have you join us.

While we lived in Rwanda we were told by a fellow missionary that "you can leave Africa, but Africa never leaves you" and we have found this to be completely true.  We fell in love with the people, the land, and of course the children and we simply cannot wait to see their sweet faces again!

The ladies whom we plan to build homes for are woman that Dean and I worked very closely with our entire time in Africa.  They both have children that they love and struggle to feed.  One home in particular was falling down around them while we were there, so we fear what it is like now, two years later.  The other lady has had to rent homes as she has never been able to build a home on land that she owns.  We plan to build them solid homes made out of cement blocks.  We want them to have good windows and doors.  We want color inside for the children to see, curtains on the windows, beds for them to sleep on, and good pots for cooking.  We don't want to give them a shell of a building to sleep in, we want to give them homes that they love and can be proud of.  

Fulgence will be returning to Rwanda during his break from VBCI here and he will be our project supervisor.  We will have him get all the building started as soon as he gets back in May so that by the time we arrive at the end of July the construction should be almost completed and we can put all the finishing touches in....taking both ladies shopping so they can pick all the things that makes a house a home for them and their children.

After sitting and planning with Fulgence, we estimate that we can build each home for about $5000.  With the rest of the money we raise we will outfit each house to make them homy and we will have outreach feeding programs in as many villages as we are able.  We will also run kids programs at Victory Family Home of Champions and hopefully another children's home we were connected with in Gitarama city.  

We are calling this mission Operation 1:27 as James 1:27 says that "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." (NLT)

If you want to know when we are going this summer, the cost of the trip, or how you can give financially to this project, please email us.

There is nothing worse than feeling like you are always asking for one likes to be on the asking end.  But unfortunately hands on, outreach ministry takes finances and resources.  Dean and I are very blessed in that we do not have to worry about covering our expenses and feeding our children each month, but there is not a lot left over at the end of the month to do all the things that we love to do and that opens the door for us to share the work, and the blessing of being a part of something incredible, with all those we know and love.  We have said many times before, not all are called to go, but all are called to play a part; either with prayers, and/or with finances.  We are blessed so that we, in turn, can bless others.  (Don't forget, all giving is tax deductible!)

Dean and I pray that you know how much we appreciate you all.  God has placed us in strategic places but it is not by our own might.  We need all of you.  We need your prayers, we need your support, and we need your faithfulness and generosity with your finances.  Since making the move to Pattaya and working with Hand to Hand Ministries, we are faced with endless need and our hearts cry out to do more and more.

In Him and for Him,
Dean, Kathy, Baylee and Julia

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