In 1998 after reading “Love your Neighbour” magazine, Pastor Kitisak asked ACET Thailand to speak to his church as some members were afraid because people with AIDS and their children had started attending their church. This was the beginnings of a partnership between ACET Thailand and what would later become the House of Grace.
Since 1997 Pastor Kitisak Limtanakulchai and his wife Jariya had been helping and caring for people with AIDS where there was much prejudice due to the lack of understanding about HIV and AIDS in their community. This led them to open their home to two orphans who had no one to care for them and so commenced the House of Grace.
In 2001, Chantaburi authorities gave them the use of an old abandoned school building on the outskirts of the town to temporarily house the increasing number of AIDS orphans. By 2005 the family had grown to 36 children, 9 of whom were HIV positive. As the House of Grace family grew God wonderfully provided a permanent home for them in November 2007. There was much excitement as all 56 children moved into their new home.
Sadly this lack of understanding and fear about HIV and AIDS still exists today. Children who have no one to care for them desperately need a loving home environment which is what the House of Grace provides.
Summary of current work:
The House of Grace is a home for children affected by HIV and AIDS where they receive education, physical and medical care, a Christian upbringing and preparation for adulthood.
Education: All children attend local schools and after 3 years of secondary education some leave school to do an apprenticeship or find local work. Others with more ability continue at school for a further 3 years or attend a technical college. After this some may go on to university. So far 8 House of Grace children have attended university and 4 of these have graduated and found employment.
Physical and Medical Care: The general health of the children is excellent. Two thirds of children at the House of Grace are HIV infected and receive antiretroviral medication and regular check-ups at the local government hospital. All medication and treatment is virtually free of charge. The children receive a well-balanced diet and after school they play football, badminton and other games on the spacious grounds at the House of Grace.
Christian upbringing: Pastor Kitisak’s desire is for each child to have a personal living faith in God to enable them to stand firm in their beliefs as they face the future. His wife Jariya is in charge of the Sunday school programme for all ages at the House of Grace and some of the older girls help teach the younger children. Prior to the Sunday service Kitisak holds a Bible study for teenagers. Some of these teenagers form the worship team for the Sunday morning church service when Kitisak and other members of staff preach. Evening prayers are held daily before the children go to bed. During school holidays older children attend inter-church youth camps where they can meet with other young Christians. The House of Grace also host a family camp each year.
Preparation for adulthood: The older children are all involved in the day to day running of the household. They wash and iron their own clothes, care for younger children, clean their rooms, wash dishes, and sweep and tidy the grounds outside. Boys help with mushroom and fruit-growing projects and girls help in the kitchen with the preparation of meals.
To find out more, click the 'difference we make' stories below.