Saturday, December 17, 2011

Welcome to Thailand.

After over 24 hours of traveling, I am finally in Thailand. It’s crazy to me that I’m actually here. It doesn’t feel like it at all!

So we left Monday morning. (I had to say goodbye to EB and CK and I’m so proud of myself that I didn’t cry!) We then took a train to Munich where we departed for Dubai! You should all go Google picture of Dubai- it’s insane! Sadly we didn’t have a chance to go explore outside of the airport but I was content to stay and rest.

TANGENT: I decided I have a love/hate relationship with flying. There are times (mostly when I fly during the day) that I LOVE flying; and I know that I love it because of the movies I get to watch. I watched Crazy, Stupid, Love (part of it at least), The Help, and The Glee movie. And then there are times where I HATE flying. And those times are when I fly at night. I hate having to sit between people that you don’t know too well and trying to sleep, it’s the worst. The first flight to Dubai was during the night and the flight to Bangkok was during the day. Needless to say, I loved the flight to Bangkok. And another wonderful thing about flying is the games you get to play. I flew with 6 other people on Emirates airline. Everyone should go Google Emirates airline to see how legit they are.

Back to Tuesday night: Thankfully everyone got through security and got their luggage. We then drove 30 minutes to where we would be staying for the next week; we literally road in the back of pickups- on the highway. It was so fun. We were all freaking out and so excited, it was the perfect way to travel through Bangkok.

After a wonderful night’s sleep, we started out our Wednesday morning with orientation. It’s so interesting to discover another culture besides your own. Asian culture is so different that western culture but it’s so beautiful at the same time.

For lunch we had our first Thai meal. PR- here is where you start reading about all the food I have eaten :) And don’t worry, I’m trying everything. I had cashew chicken and red curry chicken. And I actually enjoyed it. (for those of you who don’t know, I do not enjoy Asian Cuisine) I am promising you all now that I will try what is in front of me.

After lunch our team went on a scavenger hunt around the area. One of the things we needed to find was fruit and desserts that we had never had before. My team and I got Mangos, Dragon Fruit, and this brightly colored dessert. And for the record, we didn’t know the mango was a mango; it was green so we thought we had never had it before but then we were told it was just unripe! The Dragon Fruit was good, a little tasteless but still good! The brightly colored dessert honestly tasted like I was eating strips of flower petals dipped in sugar. BMK loved it; me, not so much. Another team brought back a bag full of fried crickets. It was hilarious watching everyone eat them. (no, I did not eat one) I have a feeling that I will be trying a lot of new things on this trip. And not just new things, gross things.

Thursday was a beautiful day. My team and I went on a prayer walk through Bangkok. We had certain landmarks that we went to see and pray for (picture coming soon, promise). I feel like after Thursday I have now taken all forms of travel in Thailand. We took a bus another place in Bangkok, I honestly have no idea where, and then took a train to a boat tour. It was a lot of fun being able to ride down a river that runs through the city. There were temples all around, it was breath taking.

Our first stop was Wat Po and The Reclining Buddha. Wat Po is a beautiful compound that has multiple towers, chapels, and The Reclining Buddha which is its shining glory. This Buddha is 46 meters long. It is HUGE. It’s crazy to me that someone (more like a lot of people) would make something like this. And I know they believe that their god is the true god but it still blows my mind that someone would dedicate themselves to all of the intricacy involved in this compound.

Our second stop (after lunch!) was Wat Saket and the Temple of the Golden Mount. After climbing 318 steps to the top we walked around and were able to take in the city of Bangkok. It was amazing to stand on top of that hill and see all that God has made. Sadly this was our last stop due to transportation problems. But all in all, it was a beautiful day to see all that God has planned for this city. God loves this city so much; all He wants is to have them love Him back. I know that He will win their hearts; it’s all a matter of His time.

Thursday night I stayed up late talking with BMK and AB. I love being around people with whom I can have meaningful conversations with all the time. I have been blessed with such an amazing team!

Friday we had the opportunity to spend the day doing some practical work by helping out with flood relief. I was really excited about this because I love psychically helping those in need that can’t afford to do it themselves. We have so much to offer; if we just step back out of ourselves to sacrifice a part of our day, our worlds will start to change. We split up into two teams and my team went to help an elderly couple that couldn’t afford the money to clean up after the flood.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I got there. I have helped with Katrina relief in grade 10 but that was awhile after Katrina hit. It was such an honor to be able to help contribute to the cause so early after it happened. We worked on cleaning out their porch area first. There are pallets, furniture, and random things all over the place. Not to mention the inch or so of standing water mixed with mud. The morning before lunch was spent taking out all the mud and cleaning the floor and the walls. It was so exciting to see how different and clean it was.

We had lunch prepared for us which was such a blessing. The woman we were helping prepared chicken with rice and sea food. And yeah, I ate the chicken and rice :) I’m just not a fan of the sea food. But it was a wonderful meal none the less.

The afternoon was spent scrubbing the walls inside and all around cleaning up their house. The top half of the wall was white and the bottom half was stained brown from the flood waters. It was crazy to be able to see that line- that is how high the waters were. I couldn’t imagine waking up to half my house filled with water. The flood destroyed everything for some people; I couldn’t begin to imagine that. All of it really makes me thankful for the home that I have back in the mitten.

At the end of the day we had the opportunity to pray for the couple that we helped. Their pastor was there to help us as well. They were so happy and thankful for the work that we did. And it literally only took us a day. Imagine if groups from all over came and helped clean one house, one day. There would be so many grateful people in Bangkok.

Today (Saturday) we had the opportunity to go do ministry on the streets. A group of us decided to go to a gas station because someone got a vision of one. We took the bus and went to a gas station and played music for a while and then we noticed a group of young guys playing guitar so we went over and played with them. They didn’t speak any English so we just sat with them and played music. We’re pretty sure they were just laughing at us the whole time but we still had fun :)

After that we took another bus to a mall and played music outside for awhile. We didn’t have anybody come up and talk to us but it was nice to just play music. I prayed for people as they walked by and such but nothing big happened.

BMK, BMH, AB, and our translator Pang went into the mall to shop for awhile after that. Yes, we shopped. And it was GREAT. They have a movie theater at the mall (this mall is 5 stories tall) so we decided to go back tomorrow on our day off and see the new Twilight movie. I cannot wait! We decided to make it out Christmas present to ourselves :)

So Monday we will do more flood relief and then we will travel north. I cannot wait to play with a child, that’s all I have wanted since I got here!

Prayer requests: Our team is still in need of money. If anyone feels led to donate let me know!

I love you all!!

1 comment:

  1. Hannah!
    You amaze me with all of your dedication and work for God's kingdom. Way to go, girl! I'm so proud of you. What great experiences you are having, and how blessed you are to be able to see the world as you're working for God. Awesome.
    Take Care,
    Susie Shultz
    (Señorita Baas)