Steve and Donella Sherry have been instrumental in organizing the Christmas Homes Tour to raise money for the Gethsemane Children’s Home, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
When the couple first moved to Thailand in 2011, they said they were unsure of what God was calling them to do. They made contact with other missionaries in the country who told them to “just come and we will find you something to do.” They spent some time fundraising for the trip, sold their belongings and moved.
After being in the country for five days, they met Titus and Newa, a couple who had taken in several foster children. The Sherrys knew they had come to Thailand to help this couple and together they created the Gethsemane Children’s Home.
“It was the first time in my life that I totally felt it was God’s will for our life as we saw it unfold,” Donella stated.
Today, the home’s staff has grown to include Titus’ sister, Yuri, her husband, Moses, and numerous other staff members. The two couples take care of 15 children in the home. They also continue to support three students who have moved out to attend a university.
Through fundraising and church support, the original small home has been remodeled to include a room for boys and a separate room for girls with attaching bathrooms, a master bedroom and bathroom, a large indoor kitchen and an outdoor kitchen. They were also able to purchase land across the road where a Korean man built a community church.
The facility is also used to hold conferences and educate adults in the community, teaching them how to read and write. Staff members visit rural villages to tell them about Christianity and encourage Christians living in the villages.
Future plans include adding another building for seminars, hosting workshops, church camps and other activities.
Realizing that fundraising efforts were more successful with Steve and Donella present, the couple came back to the United States in 2013 after two years in Thailand.
In a few years when Donella retires, the Sherrys plan to spend half of the year in the states fundraising and the other half in Thailand helping with the ministry.
Funds from the Christmas Homes Tour will go toward college education for children in the Gethsemane Children’s Home. Other fundraisers for the education fund include selling geraniums in the spring, mums in the fall and others.
Featured homes on the tour include Delbert and Dorothy Biehle, 702 Jefferson; Bill and Steph Walker, 1601 North Dewey Street; Coby and Teresa Hayes, 1716 South Munn Street; Doug and Annie Thomson, 2505 Chamee Drive; and the Sherrys, 1103 West 18th Street, who will also be selling items from Thailand.
The homes tour is from 1 to 6 pm, Sunday, December 3. Advance tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Ferluknat Farm, The Nesting Place, Maryville Florists, La Chic, Minnie Lane or On The Spot. Tickets can also be purchased at any of the home locations for $25 the day of the tour.
Those with questions or anyone interested in signing up to participate in the tour next year can contact Steve at 660.254.5775.