Malones in Isaan Thailand - Working amongst the unreached of Isaan

Follow the adventures of the Malones in Thailand as we work with urban and rural peoples in the Isaan area in Thailand. We aim to share the Good News of Jesus with the Isaan and mobilise for 5 teams across Isaan. Previously, we were with the poor in Samut Prakan (part of Greater Bangkok). If you would like to work with us (short or long-term) please don't hesitate to contact us for more information.

28 March 2011

Escaping the poverty trap

Over the last two years we have been praying about helping those living in poverty to begin a new occupation that will provide sustainable income. We've been asking God to lead us to the right people who He has prepared and have been waiting for His guidance.

At the same time, over the last two years, Khun Jaa has had a dream to help her community by learning a new trade. She hopes this will provide a sustainable income to support her family and enable her to give more money to help her community church. Many of you have visited or read about or financially helped this slum community church led by a blind pastor, Ajarn Charlie. Besides supporting her family and church, Khun Jaa also has a burden to teach others in her community so they too can have an income to support their families.

On a recent visit to Ajarn Charlie's church we were chatting with Khun Jaa on the way out. She happened to mention her dream to us and asked that we would pray for her, that God would provide the money needed to make her dream a reality. As we listened more to Khun Jaa's desire to help her community and church, and as we talked to God about her we were excited to realise that God had brought us together. God had placed us there in order to play a small part in bringing about His plan for Khun Jaa and her community.

This is a photo of Khun Jaa with the items she was able to buy with the funds provided by our Foundation and some of the flowers she has learnt to make to sell at the market. There are already many others who are keen to learn when Khun Jaa opens a class at the church and passes on to others what she has learnt.

May God use this enterprise to help many escape the trap of poverty, to help grow this small church and to bring glory to His Name.

14 March 2011

One Family's Story

In one of the communities we spend time in there is a young lady called Nong Wan, about 13 years old, who comes to hang around with me at every opportunity. She loves to play card games with me and just sit and chat, but most of all she loves to read all the Thai books we have about Jesus. She has been going to our local Thai church ever since she started to receive sponsorship from a Christian foundation to go to school, so she already has a beautiful relationship with Jesus. Last Thursday when we arrived to spend the day in the community, Nong Wan spent her own 5 baht (about 16 cents) to buy me a bottle of water and was then sharing with me her dream of becoming a doctor. I of course encouraged her to keep going for that dream and God will help her to reach it.

Later that day as Phil went to buy some lunch for us, I had the opportunity to go to Wan's home with her grandmother, who has the care of both Wan and her 2 year old brother since their mother abandoned them. As I gently asked questions to determine why Wan sometimes had to miss school she explained that she earned money to live on by selling goods that she buys cheap from a market in Bangkok and that she needs Wan to mind the little one while she goes out to sell them as she can't take him with her. She went on to explain that she used to be a housemaid but can't do that anymore since she has to care for her grandchildren, and that at times she doesn't even have enough money to buy the cheap goods in order to sell them, and is reduced to begging. She was crying by this stage. As I looked at her home around me, the mud we had walked through to get there, the gaping space where the roof was missing (remembering rainy season is on its way), the bits of tin and wood that looked like they'd fall down any minute, and remembered Wan's dream to become a doctor, and the money she had spent on me that morning, I too began to cry, and to desperately ask God for wisdom to know how best to help this family.

For starters, I rang Phil and told him to get two extra lunches. (The photo above is of them eating lunch in our rented space.)

Secondly, we are able to use donated money set aside for situations like this to help improve their house and make it safe to live in, with the help of people from our local church and also from within the community, giving us an opportunity to provide some work for unemployed men.

Thirdly, we'd like to encourage, enable and empower Wan's grandmother to do some kind of handiwork that she can do in her home or in the community without having to take Wan out of school to care for the little one.

And finally, as the donations already given are gradually used up in helping families like this, we'd ask people to consider donating more to our Foundation so that we can continue to make a difference in people's lives by being God's hands and feet. This can be done by contacting Suzanne North or Glenda Allred at Pioneers of Australia on 1800 787889 or by donating online at and specifying the gift is for "Phil & Jenny Malone Special Project - Foundation for the Urban Poor" (The online giving is only new and we haven't seen it work yet so please let us know if you donate online so we can follow it up if necessary.)