Judy and Bethany Flores
Enjoying Thai dinner and dancing
Visiting a temple
Happy Chinese New Year, the year of the sheep! As I write this my nice balmy room, I am very glad that I am not in Pennsylvania shoveling my car our of the last snow storm. Although I spent many winters in upstate New York and in Pennsylvania, I am a tropical gal at heart and perfectly happy not having to deal with snow.
As we are heading around the corner of the last semester and all this work yet to complete, the end of the school year is in sight. I have gained three teen boys to my ESL Writing class. Much to their dismay. They keep reminding me they don’t do ESL, but according to their teachers they need help writing papers. So, I now have three strapping teen boys in my 4x5m room three times a week along with my other students learning how to write academic English.
In January I had a wonderful visit from Bethany who came to celebrate her 20th birthday. She had fun at our school sport’s day and held her own with the boys playing octoball. Of course they were convinced she was only 15 instead of the senior age of 20. She was also welcomed by the families and staff at the school. We both were truly blessed by how generous they were with their love and friendship.
One of the new relationships we made was when Bethany needed her visa renewed. A staff member called a lawyer friend of hers to double check the procedure. We were informed that Bethany would have to cross into Myanmar (Burma), pay a fee, and get a new visa when she came back into Thailand. The problem was, I had a single entry visa. If I left Thailand to accompany her, I would lose my teaching visa and have to go through the whole visa application process again.
“No problem,” said her friend. He talked to someone, who talked to someone else. Before we knew it, we had special permission to travel into Myanmar, were provided with an official car, and had a motorcycle escort. As I sat in the car, waiting to go across the border, I was filled with awe of God’s favor and blessings. Only God could have arranged something like this.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield. Psalm 5:12
The friend didn’t end there. He and his girlfriend accompanied us, taking us on a tour of the city, ending with lunch at a restaurant famous for a special kind of noodle only manufactured in that particular town. Upon learning that it was Bethany’s birthday, they insisted on taking us out that evening to see “real” Thai entertainment. Bethany really enjoyed dancing and listening to Thai rock music, and mom was grateful she carried earplugs in her purse.
Again, this new friendship illustrates the importance of reaching out to others and God’s desire for us to touch everyone with His love. We had such a good time hanging out with this couple, they allowed me to pray over them as a “thank you” for the blessing they were to us. I was surprised at how enthusiastic they were for me to do this. In typical Thai fashion, they have decided Bethany should marry their son who is currently at university in Melbourne.
I will be returning to CRICS next school year. I love it here in Chiang Rai and am developing good friendships with other missionaries and some Thai families as well. May the Lord bless you and your families. Don’t freeze! You can always come here to thaw out.
As a volunteer, I do not receive a salary from CRICS. If you would like to help me with my support, please send a check payable to Lower Providence Baptist Church, PO Box 84, Eagleville, PA 19408. Mark “Judy Flores support” on the memo line and a tax-deductible receipt will be sent to you at the end of the year. Thanks.
Teachers are desperately needed for the 2015-2016 school year! If you are interested in teaching at Chaing Rai International Christian School (CRICS) please contact us at email@example.com
International Ministries encourages volunteers to express things that they are experiencing, learning and thinking in mission. The reflections in volunteer blogs are shared with permission of the volunteer. The views and opinions presented throughout the blogs are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Ministries staff, Board of Directors or supporters.