No Less God in The Shadows


Prosperous Youth Foundation 2021 Wrap-Up

“2021 has shown us our resiliency in adversity and how there is no less God in the shadows we have had to wade through this year.”

It’s just the beginning of 2022 and the effects of Covid still remain.  Ministry and life are still not back to normal here in Chiang Mai. However, things are looking decidedly up, as we begin to reflect back on how God not only showed up in the shadows of regulations and fears, but also gave us no less of Himself in the midst of it all.



This year, we, as PYF, have overcome many challenges thrown at us, as wave after wave of Covid rolled through Thailand, up from Bangkok and into Chiang Mai.  We were forced to move interactions with youth online for a long period of time, making our God First program quite difficult and our YLA and respite programs nearly impossible.  As a team, we’ve had to think creatively and I’m proud to say, it looks as though we’ve reached more youth and youth homes individually than we ever have before! 


Because of the inability to meet in person, youth living far out of town were able to join in for our God First group online.  It gave them the opportunity to be involved in an accessible way.  We also held a party online for this group, as we celebrated how we could find joy in this season, by sending them a ‘party in a box’.  Many of them returned home to villages or sat alone in their dorm rooms as their studies moved online, so we were thankful to give them something to look forward to each month.   

Regarding YLA, students from different youth homes weren’t able to come together to create one larger service project.  Instead, students created a service project for their own youth home. This gave so many more youth the opportunity to step up and lead.  Some of the youth even admitted to previously never being interested in activities like this, but now have changed their tune as we acknowledged their potential. 



Our respite program normally sees us at 20 or so different youth homes throughout the year, leading a Bible program for the students, while providing time for the youth home staff to rest, do team-building, or catch up on other work.  This year, even though we were only able to visit eight homes before Covid made it impossible, we were able to deliver more than 20 activity boxes with games, sports equipment, and art supplies.  This gave us the opportunity to meet and build better relationships with some youth homes that we haven’t interacted with in a while. 

As churches started to close this year, the foster care initiative, One Family Ome Life, became increasingly difficult as normally presentations and follow-ups are made in person at churches or coffee shops.  But we were still able to visit 10 churches before Covid shut things down.  We saw one family register and adopt a young boy, and as many as 17 participants come to be involved with a seminar to raise awareness for families interested in becoming foster families.  We are also beginning to see some youth homes become curious about what family-based care could look like for them.

In the middle of the year, Covid surprisingly died down enough for a group of 5 interns from Wheaton college to brave the 14 days of isolation in Bangkok to come and serve with PYF.  This spunky and creative group taught fun electives every week at a youth home and even planned a 3-day camp up in the mountains.  We are thankful God’s timing worked out, as we saw Covid rise again and youth homes lock down once again just 1 week after they left. 

As the year wound down, we hesitantly decided to cancel our annual youth camp as it would exceed the maximum number of people allowed to gather by the government.  Instead, we decided to throw some mini-camps for any youth homes that would have us.  As December wrapped up, we finished our third such camp.  It was a joy to be able to see the youth laugh and participate in fun activities after being cooped up in their youth homes for so long.

2021 also saw the start of a new project! – a safe house for young women experiencing domestic violence or any kind of unsafe living situation. The ultimate goal is to provide care and resources to help them build a new life, get on their feet, or simply find short-term safety.  The house is called Selah Home and is an exciting new opportunity for us to grow because of a new need we’ve seen in our community.  Women will be able to stay in the home starting in January.

During the last month of this trying year, we also saw so much joy in hiring three new staff members.  We are excited for PYF to grow and already see their contributions and personalities shining through in projects such as Selah Home and the foster care initiative.  2021 has shown us our resiliency in adversity and how there is no less God in the shadows we have had to wade through this year.

I think I speak for all of us when I say we are excited for what 2022 holds for our ministry, but looking back, I can’t believe the impact a few new ideas and some creative problem solving had for what could have potentially left us completely stalled.  Even as we saw many positive things occur despite the situation, we are very excited to move out of the shadow that Covid has put over us and follow God into the new year.

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