It turned out that Christine had become much weaker than before and had times when she was very weak. Reiner therefore did not want to leave her alone. This meant that trips with the public bus were no longer possible, and we also had to stop the trips to Lum Sum village 11. So we were forced to give up services outside the house and to change our focus. Since February we had employed a hard-working, honest and reliable couple who took over the garden work completely and the work in the house to a large extent. With their air-conditioned pickup truck they like to drive us, and we can cope with that. Thus, short day trips even to Bangkok were possible.
For Reiner, the new situation meant that he could devote himself to learning the Thai language more intensively and regularly, and he enjoyed it. He usually held the Sunday afternoon services in our house in Thai and God helped him a lot. Sometimes Christine also preached the sermon. In May he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. This meant that the heart could do much less and he often had to lie down on some days and could not lift heavy loads.
Christine had to temporarily give up working with the children in the neighborhood altogether, but regained more strength in the second half of the year. She was now able to offer regular classes in English, baking and cooking on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., to which the children gladly come.
Children came to our house because they had nothing to eat at home. Christine invited the mothers to learn more. In the group of houses across from us on the other side of the state road, day laborers live who now in the rainy season cannot find work in the fields and thus have no income. On the one hand we support several poor families, on the other hand we are concerned about how to help them to help themselves. We asked the mothers to think about how to find new ways of earning money.
At the end of January we were able to agree with our house owner that we could also rent the small neighboring house in addition. We renovated it and remodeled it so that it is better suited for the hot and humid climate we live in and can be used by wheelchair users. The remodeling of the house and landscaping of the associated gardens was completed in October. With this we gained an additional two bedrooms, shower and toilet and a covered vestibule, as well as our own garden. These rooms are intended for people who want to join us, or for people who want to spend time with God to regain strength and refocus on God. The first guests arrived in November.
In order to offer work to unemployed women, we started to issue and laminate small cards with short texts.
On December 26, we invited to our annual Christmas party, which was attended by over 200 visitors, our biggest Christmas party so far. For reasons of space, for the first time it was not held on our property, but we rented a house and grounds in our village for it. We were strongly supported by energetic helpers.