26 Jun Noon and the Bella Goose Cafe at Connie’s Home in Thailand
Connie’s Home in Thailand is one of Serving Orphans Worldwide’s most unique partner homes. The children living at Connie’s Home have been referred by the government because their facilities were not able to adequately support the child’s needs. Once in the care of Connie’s Home, each child is loved and receives a safe home, nutritious food to eat, the opportunity to go to school, and most of all, the chance to grow in their faith. Connie’s Home also works hard at matching these children with their forever families through adoption.
Over the years, Connie’s Home has experimented with various initiatives to make the home more self-sustaining. From aquaponics to raising chickens, some of these undertakings have been more successful than others. The most recent endeavor has been the initiative to purchase the empty lot next to Connie’s Home and build a multi-purpose facility that would house a coffee shop and other smaller business ventures. Wisely, the directors of the home, Richard and Connie partnered with Bella Goose Cafe, which already runs another location in Chiangmai. The focus of this initiative was not only to help the home be more self-sustaining, but to also provide another way for the staff to further their partnership with the local juvenile detention center for girls. For the past several years, young ladies that have served time at the detention center have been able to work at Connie’s Home as part of a work-release program towards the end of their sentences. Some of the girls have gone on to college and others have joined the workforce after their time with Connie’s Home. Richard and Connie view this as a way to further their impact and show Christ’s love to those that need Him most.
Noon first came to work at Connie’s Home when she was 16 after serving a two-year sentence on a drug possessions charge. She was arrested when she was only 14. When talking about that time in her life, she says “I was so tired of my life and the way things were. Using drugs and being around it all the time. I felt like there was no way out. I hoped the police would catch me. I would pray that I would get arrested because I felt it was the only way I could get out.” She felt trapped in her situation, but after the initial shock and fear subsided from her arrest, she had a sense of relief. It was as if a weight was lifted.
When she entered into the work release program at Connie’s Home, she immediately felt something was different with this family and the environment there. When she saw the way the directors of the home interacted, she would often ask herself, “why are these people so kind and friendly to me? Why are they so helpful? I wanted to study English and Richard even helped me and sponsored my English classes.” After working there for a little while she began to hear and understand more about Jesus. She went to a Christian concert with a few other of the girls on staff in Chiangmai. It was at this event that she accepted Jesus as her savior.
Noon worked as one of the childcare staff at Connie’s Home for five years. When she was 21, she decided to move on. She went to college to study Tourism and Hospitality. When she graduated, she saw Richard and Connie at her graduation.
“I saw them there and started to cry because I was so thankful for all they did for me over the years” she recalls.
After graduation, there were not many job openings in the hospitality and tourism industry due to the pandemic and how badly it hit Thailand’s tourism. She got a job at a local coffee chain working as a barista and really enjoyed it. After working there for a year she started to train with Bella Goose cafe in Chiangmai with the intention to work at the new location next to Connie’s Home.
Noon’s journey with Connie’s Home has come full circle because she is now one of the main baristas there at the cafe connected to the home and love’s being near the place was such an influential part of her life’s journey. Noon is now 26 and dreams of opening up her own cafe one day.
Written by Jonny Moore