Begun in 2008, Ruth Center’s heart goal is to work with slum communities in Bangkok to improve the quality of life for the elderly and seek long term solutions to their care. In Bangkok, there are over 940,000 elderly, many destitute, lonely, without family or anyone to help them. In 2014, Thailand had an aging population of 10.1 million people, 14.95% of the total population. In the next 5 years Thailand will become a completely aged society where a high percentage of the population is aged 20 and higher. By the year 2035 up to 30% of the estimated total population will be elderly. The involvement of everybody is crucial to the improvement of the quality of life to the elderly.
The Ruth Center consistently helps 442 elderly people in 15 communities in the Prawet District. Ruth Center staff regularly visit them, giving them basic necessities and much love. Special activities are organized for them, such as taking them on a trip to the park four times a year and an annual special trip to the beach. Caring for the elderly also means lots of practical help, such as construction projects to help fix roofs, sidewalks, bathrooms, floors and other parts of their homes. Many of them help care for their grandchildren, so another practical way we help is by organizing activities for the children during school holidays, to give their grandparents a break and time to rest.
Ruth Center Assisted Living Proposal
The Ruth Center’s main vision as a ministry is to first and foremost provide care and love for the elderly of Thailand. We also have a passion to see family relationships strengthened between elderly parents and their children, so that these children can care for the needs of their parents. However, some elderly are widowed, single, childless, neglected – they have no one caring or providing for them. These people live fearfully and illegally in dangerous communities, on private land where eviction is an unpredictable reality.
As a result of forming relationships and observing the fear the elderly live in, we desire to provide a safe home and community for them, where they can again feel a part of a family. Our goal is to create the “Ruth Center Assisted Living” complex where we will be able to accommodate 150 elderly and 30 staff members in an assisted living community, and over the course of time we hope to care for many more than that. The first phase of this project was purchasing 34 acres of land (86 rai) about 4 hours north of the city of Bangkok in the Uthai Thani province. The Lord generously provided over CAD$150,000 in January 2020 that enabled us to buy this amazing piece of property. In February we began planting 3,000 Cocoa Plants in order to begin our dream of having a self-sustainable farm for the Assisted Living Center. By December 2020, we had finished planting all our Cocoa Plants as well as our secondary crops of papaya, avocados, durian, pomello, lime trees, jackfruit, guava, mangos, and bananas! Wow! 2020 was SUCH a busy year, but very productive! We were also able to stock one of our big ponds with fish as well.
In early 2021, we are hoping to raise enough funds to began work on Phase 3 of this amazing project. The main elements of Phase 3 will be building our Staff Housing, Volunteer Housing, (where teams will also stay) an Office building, New Kitchen and Bathrooms. We will also be putting a Water Tank on the property as well. For the main buildings, we are planning on moving 4 shipping containers onto the property and then outfitting them with windows, doors, electricity, flooring, beds, air con units, proper roofing and fresh paint. The Staff Housing and Volunteer Housing will be built surrounding the pond near the “Storage/Work Container” that was finished last year. The kitchen and dining area will also need table and chairs, sinks, cookware, cabinets and counter tops, stoves and fridges etc. Our immediate need is for US$100,000 or CAD$128,000 so we can begin Phase 3.
Would you join us in praying in all that we need to finish this critical next phase?
This project will not deter us from the ministry we do in Bangkok. Everything will remain the same – we are only expanding our ministry by creating opportunity to provide further care for those who are unable to get help through social services or other means. The homes will provide a new family and a new community, because every life has value in God’s sight.