Eagles Rest

Respite for Asian national pastors and families serving in poverty


Sea Gypsy Project

Sea Gypsy

Click the photo for many more photos.

There is a very small group of Christians among the gypsy people on the island of Koh Sirey. We (Eagles Rest Foundation) decided to take on one family as a project. Needed was a large sum of money, and willing volunteers to help at each stage. (The project had to proceed in stages with various teams doing bits and pieces as donations allowed)

This home is over the sea on concrete pylons which were rusted and some needed replacing. The corrugated tin walls sometimes did not actually meet to keep out the elements. The decking and bridge to the house were rotten timber.

We began by making a secure concrete slab (on pylons) bridge so the team was able to work on the house in safety. The area under the house and all around is covered in floating trash… you can see it in the photos.

This family consists of a eight year old girl with her grandparents. Her father is in jail and no one knows where her mother is. The first day we visited she was at school – unlike the majority of the village children whose parents don’t care about such things and many are alcoholic. The grandfather has been bed ridden for almost three years after an accident but the smile and peace on his face is amazing! He was able to hobble from the mat on the decking where he was lying, up to a chair when we arrived but could barely move his hands without great effort. Most Sundays he makes his way over the broken bridge to get to the church building, but for a long time he was not able to do so. It takes a lot of time and effort but he wants so much to be there. They live off whatever they can find and the money from collecting recycle (the grandmother does this).

The ‘house’ is one room with a divider for some privacy. They sleep on the floor. Clothes are in neat piles around the walls of tin. There is not much else inside. A couple of old plastic chairs are on the front porch where I sat with the grandfather. I was a bit worried that the chair would go through the rotting wood with my weight on it.

This village of Sea Gypsies makes a living in various ways. There are a few makeshift huts at the entrance to the village where some sell shell-jewellery and ornaments they have made and even some made of pearl. One of the most beautiful people in the small church is a man paralysed while resurfacing after pearl diving. So you see, some are quite industrious, often what they can do for income is seasonal, not many tourists at this time so not much market for the jewellery. At some times of year the women can collect and sell mussels from the sea bed at low tide, sometimes it is only money from recyclable rubbish they collect. Many of the children do not attend school regularly and many of the parents have become alcoholic and spend their days drinking and gambling. It is the kids of the Christians who do get an education, no matter how difficult it is for them to find the fees and buy uniforms (compulsory to wear school uniforms in Thailand).

The progress was slow as completion largely depended on funds and man power. Rommel and our Swedish friend, Mattias have ensured we were going about it in the best possible way. Mattias works in the building/construction area in Phuket and is married to a Thai. (His wife is pictured with their soon to be adopted son) They are strong Christians with a heart to help.

There are other Christian families living in this village in similar dilapidated conditions. Since working on this first home we have been able to also raise the man power and funds to help another family. This second home houses three generations but only one who is able to work. They all lived in the one room, with a dirt floor and leaky roof. Eagles Rest Foundation was able to take in a team who laid a concrete floor and replaced the roof to ensure that the large family were better protected from the filth and weather conditions. Praise God for those willing to get their hands dirty to see others provided for.

Categories: Recent Past Projects

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Core Values

    Glorifying God, acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ has the preeminence. Submitting and obeying and living to God’s word abiding to Biblical principles of care and nurturing of fellow believers. Serving with grace and mercy Encouraging, restoring and equipping believers and their families. Creating ministry opportunities for the world wide Christian community.
  • The Need

    These pastors and Christian workers labor out of dedication, have a great love for the Lord, have a passion for their lost countrymen and women are often bi-vocational.

    However, they often do not know how to put necessary boundaries in place. Resulting in a lack of quality family time
    disintegration of relationships. The family exists without basic needs of medical, dental, clothing and school supplies unable to rest, recreate, and relieve stress. Unable to be restored if a moral failure has occurred. In some Asian countries pastors are only a step away from beggar status.

  • Isaiah 40:31

    But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.