Alrighty, so this is take two or three for me on this blog post... I literally have started and for over half way through on this post numerous times but each and every time I forget to save. So I apologize for taking a long time to update all of you wonderful people on my time so far in Thailand. Not going to lie after 24 hours of travel time, and running through the Taiwan airport, and then getting off the plane in Bangkok to find out it really is s hot as people say it is, I was a little bit skeptical about spending a month in this place (and two months in Asia). As time has gone on though I've realized being here isn't about me, or all the things that are against me, it's about God, people, and most of all love. So to kick off this blog post I'm just going to talk a bit about what I've been doing, some stories, and just about what's been up for me.
So right now (and up until now) myself and my team have been working and living in Bangkok, and the suburbs of Bangkok. The first place we stayed was at a local Thai church just outside the city, but let me tell you that place challenged everything within me. No joke. From the roosters crowing at 3am, the 5 foot lizards lurking around, the lack of toilet paper, the constant heat, humidity and lack of air conditioning, or even just being in a completely new culture, it was challenging. A lot of what we did was went out into slum like communities and encouraged the people, and invited them to different events we were hosting like kids camps, church, nights where we did dramas/music, and just inviting people for meals. Although what we did got redundant, and draining very quickly there was some pretty amazing things that came out of that week.
Firstly we prayed for a man with poor vision and restored his eyes and ability to see. Some people get incredibly amazed by those kinds of stories, I mean so do I, but I guess when you walk as a child of God every single day things like that literally just become part of your everyday life. Loving people, is a lifestyle, it's a choice not a feeling. I have also really been loving getting to show love through music and worship. More and more I have realized how universal music is. I honestly don't think you need crazy impactful lyrics to allow music to speak, so that has been a really amazing experience.
Another big thing we did throughout our time at the Thai church was most kids camps and activities. I really love kids, they are all so universally carefree and just have this wonder about them that is so amazing. We led songs with the kids, played games, did skits, but for the most part we just hung out and played with them. A lot of people are very quick to judge and write off kids ministries and setting up programs for kids but ultimately plugging them in to something in there neighbourhood sets them up for success and starts breaking chains of violence, abuse, drugs, and even trafficking within a family. It's honestly incredible to serve change is families simply from starting with their children.
One other major thing we did was visit families in local slums or lower class areas. A lot of these families were poor, worked in factories, and had houses in living conditions we couldn't even start to imagine. It honestly takes me back to hear these people at God is good, and still be so happy even though life is completely against them. We met burn victims, cancer survivors, people who couldn't walk and every single one of them met us with a smile, extremely generous hospitality, and a positivity that I wish westerners would adapt. Hospitality is one thing so evident in Thailand, they treat their guests like kings and queens. We went to a families house for dinner and honestly I am still in shock to see a family that barely has anything give us, seemingly rich westerners their best. Before the meal they had our plates of 5 different kinds of fruit, bottled water, Thai rice crackers, and made sure all of us had a seat. Then they brought out some amazing pad Thai, and even then they weren't done because they brought out sticky rice and mango for dessert (literally my favourite Thai food). All of this seriously makes me questions myself as a westerner, how a Thai family living in a slum could give us all that but we are so quick to not love one another.
So anyways that has been my journey in Thailand so far... More to come later I promise. I am leaving for Cambodia on Friday, May 8 and will be there until June 4 which is when I head back to Las Vegas.