A Brighter Future for the Children of Nong Yai Community

Nong Yai Community Centre is open and thriving. We are running an after school English programme for the children in this needy community.


Since May 2016, we have been partnering with Mercy Pattaya to bring about change and hope for the future.  Social Worker, Lhen Lhen Mortella works with families and assists them.

Initially we were holding our classes outside under the trees.  Then the opportunity came up to rent a small dilapidated building within the community for a very low cost.  A lot of work was required to bring the building up to a standard where we could use it for outreach.  Concreting was done.  Doorways were created.  A toilet was added.  A water pump was put in. Electricity was connected.  A safe haven was created for the children to visit and learn.

Nong Yai future church

Before Renovations 2016  


  After Renovations 2017

Weekly programmes include an After School English Class, Bible Study Life Group and Guitar Class.  The Ban Reum Jai church are partnering with us and holding a church service there once per month. Slowly but steadily the next generation can grow towards a much better future.


The next step is to replace the leaking roof and build on a small kitchen area, so we can separate the kitchen from the toilet.

Guitar lessons with Yan

Guitar Class


Purchase of a Toyota Van

A Toyota Van for the Ministry


Transporting the team to the various venues where we teach English has not always been easy. When we take our large team out to Ban Beung Juvenile Detention Centre, we need to transport 18 people.  We also have many boxes of gear and musical instruments.  In the past we hired a minivan with a Thai driver at a cost of NZ $80 (2000 baht) per morning.  Our Ford Ranger vehicle is getting older and three times it has broken down on the way to an event.

So, it was with great excitement that we were able to purchase a Toyota minivan for our ministry.  It is a 15 seater and has air conditioning inside!  We would like to thank the many people who donated money towards the purchase of this vehicle.  We know that it is going to be used widely for many different ministries around Pattaya.


Our ministry team is ready to depart for Ban Nernplubwan School

A Trip Back to New Zealand

At the end of March 2016 Paul and I traveled back to New Zealand to reconnect with family, our sending church and our supporters.  Spending time with our family was high on our list of priorities. April 2016

Paul’s mum Mabel Shelling, continues to live independently and well at the age of 90 years.  We love to visit her.


Our two granddaughters in Whakatane, Eva and baby Grace are a delight.


Grace is such a smiley baby.


Six year old Georgia loves to do things with us after school.  This photo is taken after we climbed up the Richmond foothills to the viewpoint. New Zealand is so lush and green at this time of year.


Ruth at the marina walkway at Whangarei.


Joseph (Magda’s husband) with his lastest pig on the back of the utility vehicle.  His dog called Goose loves these early morning hunts. The pig meat was made into sausages for us all to eat.


We enjoyed family walks in beautiful New Zealand.

Teaching English with Mercy Ministries Pattaya

There are many different Christian ministries in Pattaya doing wonderful work out in the slum communities.  The Mercy Ministry English Language Fellowship Project is one of them.  Recently they asked Paul and I to partner with them to bring a children’s programme to the Nong Yai slum community.  We agreed to work with Mercy Ministries one Saturday a month until this new programme is established.  Paul and I will demonstrate programmes suitable for teaching children and gradually a Thai church will take over.

Our bible drama was “Wise King Solomon and the Two Mothers” and all of the games and craft tied in with a BABY theme.  We all had a lot of fun.

Swimming at Encounter Academy


Every Friday afternoon the children at Encounter Academy go swimming.  Paul transports them to a local pool and I (Ruth) teach them a swimming lesson. It’s a great way to finish the week. In this photo you can see that we are trying to form shapes in the water.  This was a star. I’m in the water assisting.


Sometimes we cannot fit everyone in and the older students have to walk there and back.

Youth Prison in Thailand




Wearing the official shirts.  C is our translator

Standing outside at the gate

Most Fridays for the past two years Paul and Ruth Shelling have visited the youth prison on the outskirts of Pattaya to teach English.  Officially called a Juvenile Observation and Protection Centre, the staff aim to introduce new skills to the 80 – 120 youth to assist them in making a fresh start in life when they leave.


An official ceremony to recognise the contribution of volunteers at the prison

Why are these youth in this facility?  Charges differ with each person. Common stories include drug selling, stealing (usually a motor cycle) or involvement in illegal sexual arrangements.  Some youth are from Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar, and have been picked up by the police for being in Thailand without legal documents.

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The youth are polite and appreciative when Paul and Ruth come to teach English.  Both Paul and Ruth are trained teachers from New Zealand.  In 2013 Paul and Ruth began working as volunteers with the Encounter Church of Pattaya.  They love being with the youth and seeing new hope come into the eyes of these youth who are ready to take steps to change their lives.


In addition to teaching the youth the Encounter church provide gift packs for the youth with basic toiletries and food. 


An Unexpected Christmas gift

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Paul and Ruth from Encounter Church teach ABC English to Mai and all the children

In Pattaya, Thailand, 11 year old Mai looks after the small children at the Cambodian workers camp while the adults are away working long 12 hour days on the Thai construction sites. The camp conditions are hot and dry and dusty. It isn’t easy to watch over the children as there are no fences. Broken glass and rubbish litter the area. The children are often hungry and thirsty.
Mai has not been to school but she is a bright alert child who is quick to learn.

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The highlight of her week is on Tuesdays when a Christian team of people from Encounter Church come to bring their weekly program for the children in the camp. They spread a large plastic tarpaulin under the shady tree and begin lessons. Mai loves the bible dramas, songs and stories. 


She is learning that there is a God who loves her. She enjoys the crafts and loves to cut and colour and paste.

Sometimes she receives clothing. Every week at the end of the program she receives a snack.


Ruth is checking for the right size clothing for Mai

Yesterday something special happened for Mai and the other children in the camp. Christmas shoeboxes filled with unimaginable gifts arrived with the Encounter team. Her box had a bright pink towel taped to the top. Imagine a towel just for her very own. Inside the box was a new tee-shirt and dress, rubber flip flop sandals, toiletries and a few snacks and hair ties. Mai could hardly believe it. Never had she received a gift like this before.

Thank you Paul and Ruth. Thank you Encounter team.

Thank you to those who donated gifts for us all.

Thank you God for your provision.

Help us all to know you more and more.