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A Glimpse of Life

Charles Harvey,  2013

The following is an account of a day in the life of  Francis & Ursula by Ursula’s brother Charles Harvey on his visit to Passo a Passo.Charles, along with his wife, Yoke Fong is the founder and director of Grace Ministries Thailandtwenty years in Thailand had not prepared me for the abject poverty that Francis and Ursula deal with on a daily basis, life and death go hand in hand here, they are a mother and father to so many people, their home and their hearts are always open to daily requests for help from the people they love and serve. To describe Francis merely as a head-master of a school (a school that he and Ursula are building classroom by classroom, and to describe Ursula as merely a headmaster’s wife falls very far short of the role and the impact they are having in the community here. What they have achieved on limited resources is astounding! I would like to mention here some of the ways in which they have served the community over the past three weeks:

  • Collecting a girl from hospital who is carrying home her dead premature baby in a card board box, attending the funeral and comforting her family.

  • The emergency night time hospital trip with our workers wife, then a day of just helping the family to cope in the final hours of the patient’s life, the subsequent collection of the grieving family and eventually organising the collection of the body in a friend’s truck, and of a coffin etc. and then trying to help Francisco their worker cope with the loss of his wife , and caring for his four small kids (one of whom they have named Ursula)

  • Treating the wounds of a school kid who cut him self with an axe while chopping wood

  • Saturday visits to the prison with anything from 75-100 prisoners accommodated in one room, to whom Frankie brings a word of encouragement and also some fruit and bread to boost their very sparse diet.

  • Regular hospital runs with very sick patients and their next of kin.

  • Ursula’s ladies meeting and literacy class with about 30 –40 women every week. Many are hungry and extremely poor so they have a small snack together, she counsels them and helps them out with difficulties at home. For many of these ladies of all ages , the mutual support they receive from this sustains them throughout the week and is an oasis in their otherwise poverty stricken and very difficult lives.

  • They provide leadership and counseling to the Africa 180 staff with whom they live at the moment

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