Sa wad di kop! (that’s hello and goodbye in Thai)
The past few days have flown by. It’s hard to believe that today was Norm’s last day, and we will be saying goodbye to Thailand in 2 days.
Sunday was a day of worship. After our race on Sunday, the guys headed to a Thai Christian Church. While 95% of it was in Thai and not comprehended by us, we were able to follow along with the scripture. We also witnessed two Thai people accept Jesus Christ. It was a glorious and humbling experience. No matter what language you use, worship is praising God. Thais just use a little more motion, color, and charisma in their worship style.
After church, we met back up with the girls and headed to the temple in the mountains. After about 120 twisting turns up the mountain, we reached a very ornate temple. We spent time praying around the temple for the people at the temple. We prayed that they would have open hearts, and we will recognize God as the highest and truth. We have found that many Buddhists do not really understand Buddhism. Rather, many people at the temple are “paying respect” because they are struggling with something.
After leaving the temple, we went to the Sunday night market before heading to the Vila Villa and quickly to bed.
Monday was our first day teaching the children at one of the Chiang Mai schools. We started the day by visiting the school and performing the Christmas story for the Thai children. Including the Thai translation, our performance lasted about 15 minutes.
We then left the school and cleaned up around a Buddhist temple. We worked alongside people from the neighborhood. We hoped that our help would leave them with a good impression of Christians. Some of them even prayed with us after we finished. There is clearly an opportunity to minister and show Buddhists the way to Jesus Christ.
After the temple, we returned to the school for English camp. We taught 4th, 5th, and 6th graders English through activities, crafts, and games. We played games like Bingo (with body parts) and the Hokey Pokey. We also read to them the story of the sick man on the roof in English and Thai (thanks to Dream’s translation).
After the camp, we had Phrong night. Phrong is what Thai people call us white people. We had dinner at Craig and Renee’s with their family, Dream, and Quintin’s family. The dinner was a welcomed break from the spicy (and rough on the stomach) Thai food! It was delicious!
We got to hear the amazing stories of how God led Craig and Renee to Thailand, as well as Quintin’s story. It was inspiring to see how God worked in their lives and put the mission field in their hearts. The possibilities of furthering God’s kingdom by planting seeds is endless because of the people that we have met in the past five days.
Tuesday took a similar form as Monday. We returned to the school in the morning. Each morning, the entire school sings Thailand’s national anthem and raise the Thai flag. We brought the children American flags, sang the Star Spangled Banner (accapella-we were aca-awesome), and recited the pledge of allegiance for them. The 1st graders even waved their flags. It was adorable!
After the school, we went to Craig’s office. Jeremy, one of Craig’s co-workers, explained Islam to us and how to minister to Muslims. We discussed different points about how to get Muslims to really think about their religion and Christianity. We then headed to one of the mosques in Chiang Mai. Approximately 5% of the Thai people are Muslim. We got to talk to a couple Muslims at the mosque and see their 1 o’clock prayer. We spent time during that prayer to silently pray that they would come to understand Jesus as the Son of God.
After the mosque, we returned for day two of teaching Thai children the English language. Today’s lesson was on family, and we read the story of the prodigal son. We greatly enjoyed our time with the children and were sad to say goodbye.
Our last event of the day was a tourist hotspot. We ate Northern Thai food at a nice restaurant that came equipped with a show. It was a great evening that ended with lighting a lantern and letting it fly off.
We leave in the morning for a nearby village for a home stay with a few of the villagers.
-Team Thailand, we out!