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December, 2016

Dear John,

Ah, sponsorship has real benefits! Those precious degrees of separation!

For the past few days, Warm Heart has been paralyzed by an epidemic of the 72-hour bug – fevers, tummy troubles, droopy, weepy, sweaty kids everywhere. It has not been pretty.

It could have been worse. The mosquitos have been awful and we all feared dengue. Four loads of kids – every vehicle we own – made off to the hospital, but the blood tests came back negative. The kids felt no better, but we sighed a huge sigh of relief.

The hospital visit, however, triggered a return visit by everyone who is anybody in the district from the Nai’Ampure – the head honcho himself – to representatives from the hospital, central public health, local public health and the school district. What was wrong at Warm Heart? Luckily, there had been another outbreak elsewhere. It was merely an investigative expedition, not inquisitorial, one that left as puzzled as when it arrived.

We are just happy to see more and more kids mustering for the school buses!

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About Fang

Fang is in her second year at Payap Business and Commercial College, an excellent, private vo-tech. She is studying computers and is at the top of her class (number 2 only to another Warm Heart girl!), testimony to both her intelligence and hard work. She was here recently to discuss her plans for the next few years. This talented, personable young woman will have a great future!

Fang and Onanone at Votech Field Day

Fang and Onanone at Votech Field Day

I should not make too much of everybody getting sick. It has been a remarkable year for everyone at Warm Heart, truly remarkable.

Nit, our eldest, finished her second year of university in Bangkok and departed for an internship in Turkey. Her travels will take her on to Tiblisi, Georgia and to Belgium. New, our most recent university entrant has just finished a strong first year in languages – Chinese, Korean, French and English. Two of our boys received full scholarships to good vocational-technical schools, bringing to six the number of kids we have training in the trades.

Right now, all eyes are on high school. We have one senior who is contemplating what to study next year at university. What really worries us, however, is that we have seven – seven – 11th graders, every one a potential university student!

Ah, Warm Heart, casualty of its own success.

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And if this were all! The kids just keep coming. At the start of this school year, a lovely young woman joined us from our partner school where she finished 6th grade last year. Unlike Naan a year ago, who is the first person in her village to go beyond 6th grade, Lalita is just the first in her family to go beyond 6th grade – but like Naan, she will go far, far beyond. Then Pagu arrived. All by himself. He walked three days, by himself, to Warm Heart. We couldn’t say no. He has serious developmental disabilities and is subject to constant seizures, but no one else will take him and he is settling in, so here we are. Oh, and then last week the son of one of our most important partners in the mountains got tossed from his housing, so he just moved into our annex. Super mother, good kid who will be a good role model for our younger boys. We can handle it.

But all this is business – and I am proud of how well we do our job.

In all of this, however, what makes me happiest and proudest is the extraordinary feeling of family our kids have created at Warm Heart. Our kids do not come from happy places. Our kids do not come from happy homes. But Warm Heart does something special for them. A few days ago a visiting video team member commented on the “synchronized performance” of dinner and the multitude of intense conversations underway, the homework and cellphones being shared between the trays and the laughter.

It’s what I love most. I hope you can visit someday to experience it, too.

And, to you, thank you always for making all of this possible. You give your child and all of our children this wonderful home. Evelind and I love all of Warm Heart and all that we do. But from the very beginning we have made sure to build the Children’s Homes on a safe, separate financial foundation supported by you and other sponsors. No matter what happens to the rest of Warm Heart, no matter what happens to us, the Children’s Homes are secure, thanks to people like you. Thank you.

Michael Shafer
Warm Heart

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PS. And precisely because you are already doing so much, I feel I can ask a favor: could you please persuade a friend to sponsor a Warm Heart child? You are absolutely the best possible person to convince someone why sponsorship is important. Would you please try? Sponsorship is a wonderful holiday gift to a caring family member, a gift a family can give itself, a special assertion of faith for a group of friends, young or old, in a congregation at a church, mosque or temple. And a sponsorship is a wonderful living memorial for someone important. Please help us create new futures here in the mountains of North Thailand.

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2015

Michael says Fang is pretty, poised, serious, hard working, and hard studying. Fang is every parent’s dream of the perfect teenager!

Fang is pretty, poised, serious, hard working, and hard studying. Fang is every parent’s dream of the perfect teenager!

Journey to Warm Heart

Fang is not the first person in her family to be connected to Warm Heart.

Her father manages Warm Heart’s coffee nursery in the village of La Wu. La Wu is a small village on the Thai-Myanmar border known for violence and its location on a drug-trafficking route.

Knowing his children were in danger in La Wu, in 2012 Fang’s father asked that Fang, her younger sister Jangun, and her older brother Poon be given spots at the Children’s Home

Today

Since moving to Warm Heart, Fang’s older brother has moved to Warm Heart’s annex home which takes in high school boys.

Fang and Jangun remain happily at the Children’s Home and Fang says she loves the community living.

Her favorite activities are listening to music, going on Facebook and watching movies.

In school Fang enjoys both Thai and English class. Fang and her best friend On have just embarked on a great adventure as boarding students at Payap Business and Technical College in Chiang Mai, the first time either has been on her own.

Someday Fang wants to be a nurse so she can give back to her community.



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