International Ministries

New Experiences

January 21, 2013 Journal
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Before our team left home, we asked God to prepare our hearts for new experiences in Thailand.  We knew that God would stretch us and ask us to step outside our comfort zones.  We've been here about 48 hours, and there has been so much NEW already.  We our building new relationships with our team members. We are seeing new places like the Golden Palace that represents everything Buddhist.  It is where we find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

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We are experiencing new forms of transportation: the Bangkok Sky Train and a different kind of boat taxi on the Chao Phyra River.  The driver moved the boat swiftly and the water splashed up on the sides.  

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It was a good way to get where we were going, and a great way to see the surrounding area.  For some of us, there was the newness of the van and taxi drivers seated on the wrong side of the vehicle and then driving on the wrong side of the road.

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Of course, there is new food.  Thai food is not our typical fare at home.  It looks different. It tastes different, but it's all part of the experience.  Tonight, we spent time together at an authentic Thai restaurant.  We ordered a sampling of many dishes to go with our rice so we could test our taste buds.  The consensus was everything was yummy!

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We have met many new people.  From our van driver Mr. Sankrit who picked us up at the airport to Dr. Boon Mee who is Chinese and a retired medical doctor.  He sat with us at lunch after worship yesterday and shared with us.  Last night at dinner, we hosted a pastor and his friends from a Burmese church here in Bangkok.  They told us about what's going on in their churches.  They shared about the issues and needs of the Burmese people living in Thailand.

This morning we had the privilege of meeting Mr. Jack Dunford who for 29 years has been the Executive Director of the Border Consortium.  This organization helps to feed and house the 150,000 refugees living in 9 refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border.  He shared  the ups and downs over those years.  His presentation was inspiring.  This afternoon we visited the Nightlight Ministry run by Jeff and Annie Dieselberg.  They spend time in the Red Light District of the city and rescue young women from their lives of prostitution, etc.  The women are given jobs making and selling jewelry as part of the Nightlight Ministry.  They have new life because someone cared enough to reach out to them.  We saw God in the faces of these women as they sat around tables working on their jewelry.

It has only been 2 days!  What will God have NEW for us tomorrow?