In the Villages of Thailand
60 hours after we left CA we are finally with our friends the Sloan’s in the Bruu village of Nang Khan Kan in northeastern Thailand where they have been ministering for the last 28 years. We all will be leaving this village for Bangkok on Monday evening the 21st of January where they will be flying back to the states and we will be going on to Bong Ti Bon and Bamboo School, an orphanage/boarding school four hours west of Bangkok on the Thai/Burma border.
We flew on Singapore Air and I must say that is one nice airline! Good service, good food, friendly attendants, more leg room – even in economy with footrests to boot! But what has really put my stamp of approval on this airline is the Singapore airport with its free lounge areas complete with reclining chairs, soft, pleasant music, dimmed lights where one can stretch out and actually sleep. Anyone who has traveled on long international flights can appreciate what it means to have a place to stretch out and sleep! Singapore Airport is also a feast for the eyes with orchid gardens scattered throughout the international terminal. Sorry there is no picture for you, but the batteries in the camera were exhausted – from the long flight I guess!
Another new experience for us was a stop-over in Seoul, Korea. Steve and I keep track of all the countries that we visit including those that are only airport visits and this trip has added two new countries to our list! Our flight took us up and over Alaska, the Bering Sea, down the coast of Siberia, China and then Korea. A cold flight it was, glad we brought coats even though we knew we most likely wouldn’t need them in Thailand or in Australia where they have been suffering through days with temperatures over 110 degrees F.We cleared customs with no problem and wanting to check and send emails we went to a free internet area, couldn’t get on though so decided to go find something to eat. As we were searching out our options Steve suddenly remembered our computer, he had left it at the free internet area. Oh no! As he hurriedly retraced our steps through the airport I prayed. Please Abba, have mercy upon us and let our computer be where we left it. What seemed an eternity later, but was actually only about 10 minutes, I see Steve coming with our computer in hand. YHVH takes care of His kids even when they foolishly blunder!
We left the Bangkok airport after our lunch of chicken stir-fry and steamed rice for me and beef stir-fry and steamed rice for Steve, (very good BTW!) and took, for the first time, the City Line air train from the airport to Phaya Thai and then transferred to the BTS for the ride up to MoChit. We had to navigate our luggage up and down several flights of stairs; the down wasn’t so hard, but the up was exhausting – where are the elevators! Got a taxi to take us from the BTS MoChit stop to the Bangkok Bus Terminal, (a very busy place indeed!) where six hours later we left on the 8:30p.m., overnight bus to Mukdahan. Got in about 7:00 a.m. and it was with a great relief to find Isaac and Karen Sloan with Cadance waiting for us! They took us out to Thai breakfast of various vegetables in yummy sauces, omelets, fresh fruits – watermelon, guava,
pineapple and others that I can’t name and then to the street markets for whatever reason one might have to go browsing through the early morning markets. I found three lovely skirts to take as gifts for our sponsored daughters at Bamboo School and some natural herb remedy specially blended for coughs. Steve has had a cough that he has not been able to shake since our time in Israel for the 2011 harvest season. He was reluctant, but I made some tea for him anyway and he did drink it. We’ll keep at it until the herbs are used up. Can’t hurt I figure, but it would be interesting to know what’s in it!Last night, our first night in the village, some believers invited us to their home for dinner, about 12 along with the five of us. We sat on woven mats outside in the covered garden and feasted on “hot pot” – fresh leafy green vegetables mixed in hot broth along with beef strips and rice noodles and then some purple potatoes steamed in a creamy, sweet sauce for dessert. After dinner Steve got out his harp and began to play. Joe, the Sloan’s daughter-in-law’s brother who is also one of the leaders of the village congregation, said the evening couldn’t have been more perfect; great food, family, new friends and precious old friends and the music of heaven!
We sang some songs together and then I had a spontaneous ministry opportunity with a young man stilled plagued with remnants of his old life, even though now a believer in our precious Savior he still from time to time comes under thoughts of condemnation and temptations of suicide. I pray the seeds were dropped in fertile ground and will produce much fruit for YHVH’s glorious kingdom!
We slept deep and sweet last night – the sleep of the contented, but exhausted! Tonight is Shabbat for us; so a day early we say SHABBAT SHALOM to all of you our dear friends!