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Magnificent murals bring happiness to Thai children

Smiles, animal impressions and excitement filled the air as beautiful murals, created by BMS World Mission volunteers Tony and Joy Harper, were revealed at Hope Home in Thailand

At a glance one might see a mighty elephant, dressed in dazzling colours, marching under a blazing orange sun.

The walls come to life as they burst with scenes of nature and wildlife. This unique contribution to Hope Home, a safe space for children with special needs in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is a wonder for a child.
Though they have only been here since September, Tony and Joy have already managed to create magnificent murals on the walls of children’s bedrooms. When revealed to the children and staff there was excitement all around.

“They had fun finding the various species and were all keen to select which animal to sleep under,” says Joy. She and Tony have brought their talents for art and working with children to three months of volunteering for BMS in Thailand.

Most of Tony and Joy’s time is spent working with children with special needs. Hope Home is a place that offers love and acceptance to children with severe disabilities, who are often hidden away and not allowed in public.

In addition to caring for the children, Tony and Joy, who are both artists with teaching experience, incorporate their talent for art with the creation of the murals. 
Being at Hope Home, working with BMS worker Judy Cook, has been an eye opening experience for Tony and Joy.

“We are coming to terms with the immense challenges these children all face and doing our best to see how we can make life a bit more interesting,” Tony says, “But the underlying ethos is rightly to love them and value them despite the mountains they have to climb every day.”

As they learn more about the children, Tony and Joy continue to find ways to help. Their next project will be a large eight-foot square jigsaw puzzle for children to play with outside.
Difficult and depressing might be words that come to mind when you think of working with children who have been shut away from society and face physical difficulties in their everyday lives.

Yet that is not always the case, as working with the children has shown Tony and Joy that there are many moments of happiness. “Thankfully there are many light-hearted moments,” Joy said, “and the kids are happy.” It’s evident that these murals have made life a little more beautiful and brighter for these children with big hearts and resilient spirits.

This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission

BMS World Mission, 09/10/2015
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