Thai Culture and Ministry

An eventful couple of days here in Thailand has seen us return from the northern jungle area through the metropolis of Bangkok and finally to Chonburi, home of Ricky and Karen Sanchez. While in Bangkok we – along with what felt like all of China - toured the Grand Palace and took in the man-made splendor of the temple. Exquisite artwork and buildings were lavished in gold and fine stone. Paintings covered 100% of the walls apparently telling a story of the Thai people through time. There were weapon museums displaying all manner of spears, pistols, shotguns and rifles. These rooms also had fans, which we found ourselves admiring more than the massive ancient shotgun to our left. Greg blatantly ignored all “no camera” signs and played the confused tourist card when he got busted. Twice. After lunch in the market, we found ourselves on a riverboat tour along the waterways of Bangkok. This was quite an experience winding our way through the city, viewing the great variety of small homes on stilts with the occasional giant lizard soaking up the sun. The stench of the water treatment plant (ie. The polluted brown river) was also quite a reminder of our wonderful hometown with crystal clear rivers and lovely farm smells. Upon arriving at Abundant Life Home in Chonburi, Ricky provided us with a tremendous orientation to the Thai culture and his family’s work here. The ladies of our team are now staying in house 5 at ALH, without air conditioning. The men of the team are in a rental unit 10 minutes away near Monkey Mountain, with AC ☺. If it is any consolation ladies, the men have no bathroom sinks nor mirrors. The men also have the monkeys, plenty of them. We have learned they dominate the road – apparently monkeys always have the right of way. They also chase, fight and play on the house roof, which to an undiscerning ear may simply sound like thunder in the distance. This thunder however, occurs several times an hour throughout the night. Friday was spent working at The Life Centre church just a couple min away from our houses. Team members painted, cleaned, weed whacked, and weeded throughout the day. We were able to meet some more Thai church members, including Max – a university student studying international business, Pastor Oti and his wife Sarah, P Ahn and P Fi, Maria among others. The workday was extremely encouraging as team members reported enjoying each other’s positive attitudes and hard work. After being told repeatedly that no snakes were in a grassy area, Alex, RJ and Tyler set to work clearing the overgrown section. At one point RJ fell waist deep into a hole filled with questionable soupy brown liquid. We are thankful he is fine barring some scrapes and a sore backside. Only after did our Thai workers show the boys the picture of the 3 meter python they recently killed from the grassy area! The boys were none to pleased – but “Chang Pang” – “it’s all very good”! We are encouraged by our health and opportunity here in Thailand. Team members are working hard, getting along well, growing and enjoying the various work opportunities presented to them. Please pray for stamina in the long hot days, as well as continued health and unity. May our work and interactions bless those with whom we come in contact and may we radiate the love of Christ in all we do.