Well, it’s been a few days, so I’d better check in with you all and let you know what we’ve been up to. My last post left off on Thursday the 5th so I supppse I should pick up from there.
Friday: July 6
Friday was a travel day. We got up early and drove the 4 hours to P-city. Just to give you a picture of travelling here, it is less than 200 km from the villiage to P-city and yet it is 4 hours of driving! Crazy, I know! The roads are bad and the traffic is nuts. That’s how things roll here.
We then met up with the rest of Doug and Maria’s team and flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malasia. This was a bit of a pleasant transition for us as KL is significantly more “modern” than where we were. We had KFC for supper and then had a little “date night” at the airport Starbucks!
Saturday: July 7
Our flight from KL to Chiang Mai left at 6:55AM, so we were up very early. Unfortunately, here we reach a point of irony: we got sick from the previous night’s KFC! (it’s OK to laugh. We lasted a full week in a foreign rural villiage eating all kinds of stuff, but it was eating from a “western” restaurant that made us sick!
Anyway, Saturday was a rather unpleasant day spent almost entirely in our hotel room.
Sunday: July 8
Sunday we woke up considerably more chipper than Saturday! The conference begins on Wednesday so we had a few days on our own while Doug, Maria, and team had prepratory meetings and training.
We spent Sunday exploring a little bit of Chiang Mai. We walked the 1/2 hour from our hotel to the city square and found… a Starbucks. We explored a bit of the city then returned to our hotel so we could get ready to visit the famous Chiang Mai night bazaar in the evening.
Monday: July 9
Monday was a special day for us. While our wedding anniversay is actually July 20, we decided to celebrate while we were here. 10 years ago Juanita and I honeymooned in Victoria, BC and whale-watching was part of that. So while we were here we decided to celebrate our 10th anniversary with an elephant ride! We booked a whole day excursion that included a 1 1/2 hour elephant ride through he jungle! Very cool!! Most importantly, it was a joy to experience it with my best friend!!!
In the evening we met up with Braedon and Lisa for dinner. Finally our team was complete.
Tuesday: July 10
Today is mostly a prep day. We’ll spend a bit of time this afternoon exploring the old city with its Buddhist temples and schools, but this morning and evening we’ll be prepping for the conference.
Tomorrow morning we’ll move from our current hotel to the conference centre and then have an orientation with all of the kids workers. In the afternoon we’ll figure out what’s going on with the adult sessions and then, in the evening, the conference starts!
For Juanita and I it seems like it has been a really long time since we’ve been gone and we are, only now, getting to the main portion of this trip. It’s been an amazing trip so far but, as we start this portion of our ministy, please pray that we will finish strong.
Sorry for the lack of updates thus far. For the first couple of days we didn’t have a proper internet connection and each of the days has been quite busy, so finding time to process and then articulate all that has been hard to come by.
Apparently this will be a long post, so feel free to read a bit at a time rather than the whole epic summary all at once.
As far as just getting here goes, the trip was… well… long. Perhaps that’s an understatement. We left S’toon Thursday AM at
7:55 and then arrived in P-city Saturday AM at 7:30. Of course we crossed the “international date line” along the way so that kind of messes things up.
Anyway, Doug met us at the airport and, after stopping by to meet some of the team in P-city, we drove about 3 1/2 or 4 hours (crossing the equator!) past T-city to their home in “Rubber Tree Village.”
In order to combat jet lag we did our best to stay awake all that day (we had only slept about 4-5 hours during the 35 hour trip here) then had a glorious night’s sleep!
* For those who like to keep track of things, we are 13 hours off from S’toon: as I write this it is 10:38 Thursday morning which would make it 9:38 Wednesday evening for you *
Sunday: July 1
Sunday was spent slowly breaking us in to things here and helping us get our bearings.
Since it was Sunday we joined with them in their Sunday routine: pancake breakfast followed by family Sunday school. It was kind of cool because, since this was just for their family, it was all done in English. But toward the end of Sunday school a couple of the neighbour kids stopped by so, without missing a beat, Doug switched to the local dialect so that they could understand.
The rest of the morning was spent walking around the village, meeting the neighbours, and sweating profusely.
In the afternoon we had a great opportunity. There was a wedding in the community that Doug and Maria were invited to so we got to tag along as well. It was a fascinating experience and a great way to be thrown into the local culture.
Later in the afternoon we sat down together and had a group session describing the history and work being done here.
Monday: July 2
We started off our Monday by once again walking around the community, but this time as a prayer walk. This works well with a group of English speakers; we can walk by people praying aloud, meanwhile they just think we’re talking to each other!
Later that morning we met a man that Doug has connected with who spent some time in Canada back in the ’70s. His English was still quite good and he was eager to speak with us. Here it was great for us to see how intentional Doug is to, in regular conversation, tie in parables, proverbs, and references to Jesus. Every opportunity is taken to point people, even in little ways, to Christ.
In the afternoon we had the opportunity to experience another cultural phenomenon: the “Pacu Jalur (pachoo jaloor).” It’s not by accident that this area ia referred to as the “longboat region.” The pacu jalur are longboat races. Thousands of people line the riverbanks and over the course of the afternoon more than 40 boats competed against each other. While numbers can vary, in one boat I counted 42 people! It was lots of fun.
A friend of Doug’s came with us to the boat races and on the way home mentioned that there some people who would like to meet us. They were english students and wanted to talk to people who were native English speakers. So we stopped by their house and had a good chat. Again, during our conversation we wove the teachings of Jesus in a subtle, unobtrusive way. We were very excited to hear that one of them wanted to come see us again!
We finished off our day with Canada Day fireworks!! We realize that this was actually July 2nd, but we justified it by saying that in Canada it was still Canada Day
Tuesday: July 3
Tuesday morning we spent in T-city. While the ladies ran errands Doug and I did a prayer walk around the downtown area. We wrapped up our morning with a bit of a treat: iced cream!
That afternoon Doug’s friend who went to the boat races with us brought his friend over and we had another good oppprtunity to speak with her. While we were able to share a few odeas about Jesus with her, since this was her first time in their home it was simply a great time to build relationship and do some basic connecting.
Wednesday: July 4
Wednesday morning started off like no other morning… with peanut curry for breakfast! We woke up and drove to a neighbouring village to meet one of Doug’s coworkers for breakfast at his home. He is a young local who is working part time for Doug’s NGO. Normally Doug and Maria have been feeding us “normal” things for breakfast. This morning we started off with curry. At the very least it woke us up!
For the rest of the morning Doug and his helper took us through the basics of what it would look like to come and learn the language by immersion. They have some amazingly simple and effective techniques, but our brains were fried in no time.
That afternoon we met with yet another family that Doug has been able to connect with. The father had spent time working in hotels in various larger cities and so he knew English fairly well. Recently his family has been going through some hard times so we were able to share sime wisdom from the Word and chatted with him for a good long while.
Thursday: July 5
Today is Thursday. It is market day in the village so we went out to pick up some “oleh-oleh,” the phrase they use here to describe gifts to bring people at home. Like many such markets I think it is the smells that stick with you more than the sights and sounds!
Thus far the rest of the day has been spent with people inturrupting my writing! We are mostly packing and preparing for our trip tomorrow. We’ll be getting up very early, travelling the 4 hours back to P-city, flying to Kuala Lampur, spend the night there, and then fly to Chiang Mai.
There will also be a few guests stopping by this afternoon, including the girl we met the day of the Pacu Jalur. She really wanted to connect with us (especially Juanita) before we leave.
I know this has been simply a summary of events and not much detail about how we’re processing those events but, honestly, I’m not too sure how to process it yet. It’s been a lot to take in and has gone by in a blur. As I figure it out I’ll try to fill you all in.
So, Juanita and I will be taking off to South-East Asia for two and a half weeks starting this Thursday. I think we’re getting to the point in our preparation where we’re wondering if this is a completely insane idea. Leaving our kids here while we travel LITERALLY to the other side of the world!?! Are we nuts?
Anyway, yesterday we had lots of fun with them. We went to the zoo and park at the Forestry Farm, had Starbucks together, watched ‘Cars 2′, and had a BBQ with family. Good times and good memories to have as we prepare to leave.
Incidentally, the only real reason I’m doing this post it to try posting from my phone! Just wanted to see how well the WordPress app works
MBC MISSIONS Trip 2012
Praise God for working through His people at MBC to build His Kingdom around the world!
Thailand Team: Early this year, Doug & Maria Evans approached Pastor Tim to ask for help. As a result of that request, the Thailand Team was formed. We have seen many people
going out to serve with many different missions but this team is an MBC sponsored team.
Their purpose is two-fold:
We are sending Pastor Tim & Juanita to South-East Asia where Doug & Maria are teaching English. They get to see first hand where Doug & Maria live, experience the culture and work with them for a week.
Then they will travel to Thailand for a Missions Conference where 150 missionaries and their families gather once a year from the remote areas where they work. This is where they will meet up with Braedon M. & Lisa S. and begin their music ministry, blessing these missionaries and their children by leading them in worship.
The cost for this Mission Trip will be covered partially by support raised by these individuals, missions budget and donations from our congregation. Since we are sending 4 people the cost is high. We thank the many of you who have given sacrificially to make this happen. We’re getting close to raising the full ammount, but approximately $4,000 is still needed.
Will you partner with this team? We need…
10 people who will give $200,
15 people who will give $100
And 10 people who will give $ 50
Will you prayerfully consider helping to send this team through your prayers and gifts so they can minister to these missionaries?
To contribute financially you can write cheques to Martensville Baptist Church designated to “Thailand Team.” You can also go to www.omf.ca/online-donation and in the comments section put “MBC Thailand Team.”
For more details about how this team was formed, their calling to ministry and updates on their travels, follow this link: Thailand Team Blog