Monday

Hi everyone,

It is late Monday night and I have finally both time and internet access to log-in. Sorry for the delay in getting comments up, and in bringing a report. The last few days have been busy and at times, quite emotional. On Saturday we started work a little earlier because we had to knock off a little earlier. So we worked a full day before going to a house church meeting in a little village about 30 minutes from Wiang Pa Pao. It was a good little group and great to be allowed to participate there. Murray and Kieran each gave a testimony and did really, really well. They both had powerful testimonies to share and they were a blessing to the little church. Monica didn’t come out to the village because she was doing a training session with some of the developing leaders back in Wiang Pa Pao. She also had good input and interaction with the group. They are a great group of young adults.

On Sunday morning the church has an adult Sunday school arrangement with two classes. Doug Higgins took the new believers class and I took the other class. The Sunday school lasts one hour and then church began. It is not a large church (maybe 70 or so?), but it was loud, vibrant, worshipful, energetic, mostly young, and mostly singing Hillsong kind of stuff. They danced, waved banners and sang with great enthusiasm. Supote is a nationally recognised musician, so even with only a few instruments the worship music was very good. After the service everyone hangs around for a shared lunch.

During the service Sue Waller, Josh and Mark gave very strong testimonies which was so great to see and hear. The stories they shared spoke deeply to God’s goodness and faithfulness even in the face of our own doubt or unfaithfulness. Then Josh and Mark got back up with Kieran to sing an item: Hallelujah. The local young adults performed a dance to Shout to the Lord and climaxed with a little sign welcoming us, and telling that they would miss us. The relationships which have developed while we have been working and eating side by side have been very precious, and I know we will all miss them as well. Several in the team felt the service was a highlight for them, especially worshipping together singing in different languages. Some bald bloke preached.

On Sunday arvo we went out to the land we had seen at LBC in the photo we used to publicise the trip. The land is very steep at the sides, though with some flat sections to build 30 houses. Doug Higgins showed us plans of the site that have been drawn up pro-bono by a Melbourne firm, and a model of the kind of housing they intend to construct. It is an exciting project, and perhaps we can say more about it when we get home. When we got back to the motel we each had a Thai massage, which meant we were pummelled for an hour. But it was a nice pummelling!

This morning we had another early start to finish off a couple of jobs, and get another one started. We only had 3 hours on site this morning, before going back to the motel to shower and check out. After lunch we jumped into the vans and headed out to Mae Sai, a town on the Burmese border. Doug told us it is a pretty wild place and one of the places on earth where many children are trafficed into prostitution and indentured labour. Here we had a brief visit to Emmanuel Children’s Home, founded about 8 years ago. It provided a fast-forward for us to see the kind of place that can develop to rescue, protect and raise vulnerable children. Hopefully the work the team has done in Wiang Pa Pao will develop in a similar way. This was a wonderful experience. The girls there tonight are safe, beautiful, being raised and trained, educated and encouraged. We also met two of the graduates of this house in Wiang Pa Pao. Both these young women were brought to the house from very vulnerable circumstances (the house only accepts girls categorised as ‘high-risk’), were raised, educated, seen through university training. Both now have degrees and a viable future. One is married and has her own daughter. Her sister had been sold into prostitution and died of AIDS.

Tomorrow we start heading back to Chiang Mai. It will be a day of travel and some fun stuff thrown in before heading back to Perth on Wednesday. It has been an amazing time. We hope the blog and photos have communicated a little of what has happened. We have lots of stories to tell and photos to show when we get home. We hope we have been a blessing to the folk here in Thailand. I know they have been a blessing to us. I know also, that God has touched our hearts and lives in quite significant ways. I would love to see LBC continue to build relationships here in Thailand in this important work. I would love to see more LBC’ers take the opportunity to come and see for themselves what is happening here, and participate in God’s mission to save and heal a broken world.

Let me finish by saying  just how proud I have been of our team – they have been truly an amazing team, and have done LBC proud. But we are also very very aware of the support base we have had back home from fellow LBC’ers, family and friends. Your prayers and your financial gifts have made a difference in this part of the world. Bless you!

Michael.

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One Response to “Monday”

  1. sharon Armstrong Says:

    Hi There…..

    What a wonderful team and a true blessing …..
    looking forward to your return ..

    much love Sharonxxxxx

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