In the spring and the fall of every year, there are “Hellos” and there are “Goodbyes.” This year, I noticed them more than I ever have before – perhaps, because we were able to gather some very special people together to say “Hello” and were able to say “Goodbye” in a very special way as well. During our Orientation for New CVTs (Christian Volunteers in Thailand), we were invited to the home of Rev. Dr. William (Bill) Yoder (seated, center) for dinner. Why is that significant? Bill Yoder first arrived in Thailand in 1963 as one of the earliest CVTs to serve the church in Thailand by teaching at Prince Royal’s College, one of the many private Christian schools under the church scattered throughout the country. But this gathering was even more significant than that, because several other early CVTs also joined the group that evening. In the back row, just to the right of Bill Yoder’s head, is Guy Scandlen. Guy came to Thailand as the very first CVT (before our volunteers were even called CVTs). He came in 1961 and taught English to Thai children at Aroonpradit School in Petchaburi. Other early volunteers pictured here include Martha Butt and her husband, John, (back row on the left) who met and married while teaching at Prince Royal’s College. Chris Tananone and Esther Wakeman in the back row to the right of Guy Scandlen are two others who came in the 1970’s. For the CVT volunteers who are currently serving in Thailand (everyone else in the photo), it was a special time of hearing stories about the “good old days” when life on the mission field was more difficult than it is today and hearing the outpouring of love and support from the CVT Alumni for the ministry these volunteers have begun here.
Andrea Nascimento do Espirito Santo came to Christian Volunteers in Thailand through Interserve and her congregation in Brazil. She came to improve her English-speaking ability and to serve Christ, primarily by working with at-risk youth and adults. Initially, she worked in one of Bangkok’s largest slums at Klong Toei Community Center. There, she supervised preschool children at play while their parents went to work. At the end of one year, she transferred to a Ministry to Displaced Persons at International Church of Bangkok. She is pictured here with Pastor Clefton Vaughn on the morning when she said “Goodbye” to the congregation by telling them all that she had learned during her year in ministry there. It was obvious that she felt she had received much more than she had given to others during her ministry and she gave all the glory to God. A fifteen-minute video of her farewell to the congregation is posted online at YouTube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI_ScJC3JyQ&t=303s Andrea will be missed by those of us who have walked this path with her over the past two years. She is returning to Brazil to see what other adventures God has planned for her. She very much believes in the words of Jeremiah 29:11 – “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” She is a very talented and outgoing young lady and I am sure that God has something wonderful in store for her!