Hopeless. Lonely. Abandoned. Alone.
That’s how Grandma Dha, an elderly woman living in the slums of Bangkok feels much of the time. Grandma Dha was married, but her husband is now living with another woman. Her mother and her brother passed away and she is left alone in a slum community in Bangkok. She sometimes feels so hopeless that she has even contemplated stealing something at the market so that the police would put her in jail.
There are many other people in the slums of Bangkok in similar situations to Grandma Dha - no longer able to work to earn enough money for themselves, let alone anyone else in their family. Even so, some of them are the sole providers for the other family members that live with them. Often faint from hunger, many of them must continue to do what little they can every day to find any sort of income for those that they are responsible for.
Many of these people may feel like they have been forgotten. But God has not forgotten about them. And the Ruth centre, a ministry under the Project Life Foundation and a part of YWAM Thailand, is committed to being His hands and feet in the communities where these people live.
Noi, a young Thai woman who started the Ruth Centre says of their work: “We go into the communities and visit the elderly every day, encouraging them and giving them hope as well as helping them to see value in themselves. When we visit the elderly we also bring them the basic necessities for life… we help build houses, bridges and clean the communities. When we see the elderly people smiling with happiness it brings us a great, great joy.”
The staff at the Ruth Center is concerned about the well-being of each of the elderly people they meet and Grandma Dha is just one of those whose lives that God is touching through the work the Ruth Center team is doing. Other elderly men and women in the community have said:
“They bring rice to me. When I don’t have anything, they bring it.”
“They visit me, comfort me, bring things for me. They help to lighten my load.”
“ I’ve been encouraged by this… that people visit us often.”
“Although I live alone, I still have happiness in life. I feel like I’m a part of a family, the Foundation’s family.”
Loving the elderly like a good family should is what the Ruth center is all about. And for people like Grandma Dha, living in the slums and abandoned by their families or bereaved, the team at the Ruth Center is the only family that they have.
To find out more about the work that the Ruth Center is doing visit: http://www.ywamthai.org/ruthcenter/