The Opening Ceremony of a New Church at Bilay House

Kreg Lyles

 Bilay House is located in a mountainous area in Tako Lang in the province of Ratchaburi, about 4-hour drive from Bangkok, Thailand, close to the border with Myanmar.  It’s been 9 years since the founding and the opening of the orphanage by support from AHAN.~~~~~~~

  Bilay House has been a haven for children of the Karen People who have had to cross the border from Myanmar.  While every circumstance is different, every child has not had to carry the burden from their past thanks to the benevolence, the leadership and the guidance provided by Pastor Bilay and his wife.  Currently 37 children and 10 or so caretakers live with Pastor Bilay and his wife at Bilay House.  Some children under the care of Pastor Bilay 9 years ago are now in high school, and a few others are even studying at universities.

The number of followers at the church has increased over the past few years, and a new church had been needed for some time.  And the new church was built over the course of the past 12 or so months with much help from church members and much hard work by the children at Bilay House.  While this is the 3rd building that AHAN Nippon Kan provided financial and other means of support, with the housing and classroom building as the 1st and a Folklore Heritage Centre as the 2nd, there is something notably different about the construction of the 3rd building.  Unlike the constructions of the other two buildings, the Bilay House staffs and children had managed to raise 50% of the total cost to build the new church, as they grow cassava, bananas, corn, sugarcanes and other crops on a 42-acre farmland to sell.  Along with donations from church members, Bilay House has become almost self-sufficient.

After the Opening Ceremony, we enjoyed hearty meals together for the celebratory occasion, and the next day, we took a drive for about an hour to a neighboring city for a field trip to “do some sightseeing in the city and to experience firsthand how to go shopping in an urban environment”.  Everyone enjoyed the day of field trip.

AHAN has been providing Bilay House with economic support monthly, and this year marks the start of a new initiative to provide scholarships to the total of 11 high school and university aged students.  The new initiative is sponsored and supported by Nippon Kan members who have agreed to a donation of $250 a year in support of helping provide higher educational opportunities to eligible children at Bilay House, and the sponsors needed to support 11 students were selected on the same day when the announcement of the new initiative was made.  Sincere gratitude goes to the Nippon Kan members who are making the difference in the lives of these 11 Bilay House young adults!

This initiative is not a one-time campaign, and it will be continued into the future.  Please send inquiries to to the attention of Linda, AHAN International Coordinator.

Special Thanks goes to Hom San and Subin San for their efforts and contributions to make this initiative a reality.