Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Day 1 in Chiang Rai

It's only been a week since John has returned but it feels like 4 weeks! There has been a lot going on! This week John is back into the full swing of his schedule. I had sat down with John to transcribe as he talked about his trip to Chiang Rai and we only got to Day 2!!! It is already 3 pages long and that's only to Day 2!!! So...I've been working on trimming it down a little so here goes entry from his trip part one...

Day 1 according to John:
We had to fly into Bangkok in order to catch our flight to Chiang Rai and it was there that I remembered what a real burger looked like!! Bangkok is a HUGE city that is like Dallas but much larger - they have many things you can't get anywhere else in Thailand - such as BURGER KING! I had forgotten how a burger in America was the size of your hand spread out whereas a burger here (if you can find one) is about the size of the palm of your hand. The only problem was that the meal was as expensive as it is in America too!!! It was 210 baht which is around $5.25!!! We're used to paying that amount or less for all three of us to eat! I decided it was a rare opportunity that I wasn't going to pass up - besides who knows what I was going to be eating for the next week!

We met Ken, the missionary we were going to work with, at the airport in Chiang Rai. We went immediately to his home which was very bare but it had all the necessities. We then drove 2 hours in the mountains to go to a village. The first thing we did was look for the school. Almost every village has a school - no matter how primative because education is something the Thai government esteems as very high. Although once there is an established school and one school teacher they don't receive much help or support from there. Ken got a list of all the registered schools in his area so that is how he finds many villages.

When we arrive in a village the first thing we do is locate the chief to seek permission to show the Jesus film and to speak to the village. If we can't find the chief then we go to the village school teacher. In the first village we went to the school teacher first and she gave us permission to play with the kids and give them tracks. She rang the school bell and all the kids came out about 50 in all. We played with them for quite a while and gave them tracks and invited them to watch the Jesus film at night.

After leaving the school we set out going door to door telling the villagers that we would be showing the Jesus film...we also drove the truck around playing a CD that Ken had that was old timeie tribal (how do you spell that?!!?) music that was just like their ancient tribal music but it was scriptures and psalms. The older villagers LOVED it! They came out all smiles wanting to know where it came from although the younger generations weren't so keen on it. Ken has loud speakers on the top of his truck and he announces that we will be showing the Jesus film and some other fun films (a documentary on birds and a documentary on tribes in Thailand) all throughout the village.

After doing this until just before it starts getting dark we began to set up the screen. It was a huge 12 foot by 12 foot screen! The crowd started to gather. Ken said that they show the bird documentary and the Thai tribes documentary because Thai people always take their time doing or going any it gives everyone plenty of time to take their time. The bird documentary is amazing - there are birds I have never seen in my life and the Thai tribes documentary is very amusing and the villagers love it. It shows tribes from all over Thailand.

Then we showed the Jesus film in their tribal language. The film starts at Adam and goes through Jesus story and then goes to now all the way to judgment. It shows God’s judgment and shows a man being thrown into the lake of fire and it’s very graphic. Then it shows another guy who goes into heaven and enters the kingdom. It also tells them there is no other way to heaven because Buddhism allows beliefs in other religions as passage to heaven.

After that we announced that we were going to give them a free gift. It’s a calendar that their team makes. It’s the whole story of Jesus with pictures and scriptures in their language. This year it has all the different tribes and Jesus in it. Anyone who wants it they can come and get it and they can also get a tape of the music we had been playing earlier. Almost all of them got the tape and it’s all proverbs and psalms. One guy said “it feels really good to hear these words…it feels really good to me.”

After that we showed another film…of Noah and the flood. It’s a really good movie and the cool thing about it is that all these tribes descend from the mong tribe and the different tribes all have stories in their history about creation and they have their own version of Noah. Then we show them the flood and after the story it shows Jesus and talks about judgment again. Then if anyone wanted prayer or wanted healing then we prayed for them. At that village no one wanted prayer. There were at least 150 adults there…not including kids.

This reminded John of a story Ken had told him. A guy from America came to the India team (who Ken is associated with) and didn't like the way they were doing some things and he asked them snidely "How many decisions do you get a day?" And he replied "About 1,000 a day......." Expecting to hear a MUCH lower number....if any, the guy from America was shocked and said "really?" then the person from the India team continued..."....and most of them are no..."

We ate whatever Ken brought for us to eat which were:
~Canned sardines were available (but I didn’t eat them)
~Pickled vegetables in a can
~Ramen noodles
~Then there was another kind of dry fish that came in a can that was kinda like tuna fish but it
wasn’t the same at was darker
~and mountain rice

That night we slept in the school's cafeteria floor. It was concrete so it was FREEZING! It was a huge difference from sweating all day in Southern Thailand...Northern Thailand is surprisingly cold - especially at night.

That...was Day1!!! :) I'm not going to write all 7 days but from here on out I'll be telling little stories that John shares with me. Stay tuned for the time John taught about 40 children "Duck, Duck, Dog..." I'll leave you with some more pictures from the trip and some (much requested) pictures of baby Jude too! :)

Thanks for reading!


Anonymous said...

Love the baby pics!!! He's so cute. He's not so fat, my son was chubby too and I just breast fed him until now....he's got teeth! ;)
I'll email you more pics of him as soon as I can. In the meantime, keep the blogs coming. It's very uplifting to read about the way God is moving there. You guys seem to be doing a great job. God is really using you to do amazing things. Keep up the great work! You're making me miss small group leading. Maybe I should start another one....

souljourne said...

Thanks for the update!!! You guys are soooo loved and missed!!! Hi Michael!!!! Jude is a cutie!!! You all take care!!!