HANDCLASP UPDATE  - January 2010
Sponsors & Friends
With Don & Kay returning to USA in 3 weeks, we are busy setting up projects for our return to Thailand in June.
We expect many people to visit Museekee area this year. By 2011 it will be a Tourist Resort area! The Center will remain a place to visit always, because the children are so real. To help them in this transition is a privelege. Form a group & visit, it will affect your life as it has many others.
Rev Dr. Geoff Waugh, Don & Kays friend of 40 years & reknowned teacher, evangelist & author, will be at Museekee Bible School June 15 to 27 We hope this will begin a trend of good teachers at Retreats at the center. Many Pastors have also been invited to participate. Geoff's ministry has been in Renewal. With changes at Museekee & rapid development in this area, we believe his ministry is in God's time.
Don has worked for many years to establish a connection with Thai employers. This year 5 students have been accepted into good jobs. Noi is being trained in "cutting edge" technology in Chiangmai. 2 more boys will begin this training in the coming weeks. 2 girls are being trained in Food prep, Cook school & Travel while working. The new city will need many trained staff if we are to benefit.
We are encouraged by the quality of English spoken by students at Museekee Center. More English is spoken daily by Staff & Students.
Siami is encouraging students to study Karen Culture. Local celebrities Pana & Toadee are offering courses in music. Dance classes are available. Cooking will be taught. Use of herbal cures, cooking with local grown herbs, art & folk lore is offered. As we develop Tourist attractions, these activities will add to Village economics, benefiting the local people.
Students from the past have returned with great reports. Many are assisting in the development of new projects. Some are being invited as future staff when training is complete. Agricultural, rural development, animal husbandry, craft skills are offered to students. Some have developed outreach programs with music, weaving & craft.
The new City has begun. Miles of roads are being paved. Construction is everywhere as the District Buildings are under way. With 500 new workers being employed, a new economy is being developed. It is essential for Local Karen to remain in control of aspects of the Development. HRDC is moving into the "now" of its name as a Resource center. Siami stays in prayer for the development of the Karen people as God desires.
The HRDC Board of Directors is proceeding with the establishment of a Foundation for the Development at Museekee. Finance has been a block for years. Money has been promised so they can establish the Foundation. This will allow other donors to be involved. We trust the students will benefit from this as HRDC has many students ready to graduate High School with goals of further education.
There is no doubt that the Volunteers who come & stay at the Centers have a direct impact on the lives of students. Teens, separated from family need care & affection. Claire & Betsi have been recent examples of good influence. They were preceded by many girls & guys from USA & Australia.
The direction of Handclasp has always been to educate students. Over the years we have seen sponsors develop a relationship with their students. Visitors who become sponsors have been touched by their time in the Centers. It is noted that many sponsors have been visitors.
During their time in USA, March & April, Don & Kay are available to share photos, goals, stories & exciting experiences in Churches, Groups, Clubs... If you would like to hear more about this project please contact Don.

Don Fox