In 2006 I moved from Newcastle, Australia to take on an early childhood teaching position at an international school in Bangkok. I straight away got plugged in at ECB and loved being a part of this vibrant community of believers and worshipers. ECB was a constant in my life – leading at youth group, involved in home groups, service projects, serving on committees, Sunday school, worship team … it was such a wonderful growing time for me.
In 2008 a young Mongolian family came into my life through ECB. They came to BKK for medical treatment and lived with my housemates and I for 4 months. What a wonderful friendship God formed in this time, and I promised them before they left that I would come to visit them someday. Around that time God was speaking to my heart about my willingness to serve Him wherever He might send me, and where others may be less willing to go. I knew that when my contract at the school finished I would be moving on, but with no idea where or what to. The following April I visited Ulaanbaatar and my Mongolian family, and I soon realized that this was the place that He had in mind for me. 3 years on and I am living in Mongolia and living an amazing adventure every day!
Education is an area in Mongolia that is in real need of development. The dream is to open a kindergarten (preschool) that will provide quality, affordable early childhood education and serve as a model to facilitate teacher training. I would love to see student teachers coming in for observation, training and internships. I want to see early childhood educators inspired and refreshed, participating in professional development, trying new ideas and reflecting on their teaching practices. It’s my desire to see families connecting with their children, realizing their important role and loving their children. I long to see children delighting in their early childhoods, exploring, learning, creating, thinking, engaging and reaching their potential!
The plan was to open this kindergarten in September 2012, after I finished 2 years of language study, however, God has led us in a slightly different direction. Together with my Mongolian team, He has led us to start up a NGO called Мөрөөдлийн гэр бүл (Dream family) which is reaching children, families of young children and early childhood teachers. We are currently hosting mother and child playgroups, parent training and support, children’s clubs, day care and after school activity programs, as well as teacher training seminars. These activities are helping us to develop important connections and relationships with families and teachers in the community as we continue planning and preparing for the kindergarten. Our main need for starting the kindergarten is a building (or apartment) that we can own. We are fundraising and are really looking forward to seeing how God will provide. God is so faithful, and this adventure is turning out to be so much more than I first imagined – it’s really exciting to see how it is unfolding! And even though there are still many unknowns, and some days that I wonder how on earth it will all work out, I have confidence in the knowledge that He has called us to it, and so He will see us through it!
Please take some time to read the latest newsletter from Naomi.
Thanks for your prayers especially over these past few months with the set up of the NGO. I am so thankful for your support! Please do read my latest news, and check out my blog for the latest post.