Today’s blog is a combination of the past two days, as we have been on a trek to a Lahu village in the Mae Daeng area.
Johanna and Bek D started our day with a devotion on perseverance and persistence, which was highly appropriate given the walk we were going to face later in the day. Today’s quote was chosen by the girls once we had returned from the trek, and reminded us of some of the spills and ‘stackages’ we endured while we trekked up and down the mountain.
We were picked up by the trek company and travelled out to the Mae Daeng area where they fed us a lunch before we started the walking part of the trek. While we only walked for about 3 hours, it was a constant climb and some parts were very steep so it was a character building effort that made us think back to the devotion and just keep going. The view from the village and the bamboo cottage was spectacular. Upon arrival, some of the local villagers were happy to offer massages to the hikers which was gratefully accepted. Dinner was an amazing combination of fried vegetables and a yellow curry, which was cooked over two charcoal stoves and came out piping hot, feeding over 30 of us. It was not much later that all team members retired for the night (the fact that there was no electricity also helped) to their very thin mattresses laid out on the bamboo floor. Thai roosters have no idea of the proper time that they are supposed to make noises, and the one under our cottage started at 4:30 am, and repeated his cry regularly and loudly over the next three hours. Most of us were hoping he would be on the menu for breakfast, but no such luck, and whoever stays there tonight will enjoy his musical interruptions tomorrow.
We awoke this morning to boiled eggs, coffee team and milo, and toast with jam and butter, again cooked on charcoal stoves. Amazing lifestyles that the villagers lead, and we marvelled at the conditions that they deal with on a day to day basis. We left the village, this time walking straight down the mountain for about 1.5 hours until we stopped at a waterfall, then an elephant training camp, then lunch, and finally the water rafting starting point. Kitted out with helmets and life jackets, we boarded inflatable rafts and enjoyed some rapids, and some arduous paddling as we made our way down the river.
Tonight we were privileged to spend an evening with Joan and Allan Eubank. They have served in Thailand for 56 years working with Thai folk drama groups, and local churches to minister to the local people and spread the gospel. Allan worked initially as an engineer before God called him to come to Thailand to minister to local Thai people. Joan is a former Broadway star who decided that she could not serve both God and money, and she left the lights and fame of Broadway to marry Allan and work in Thailand as missionaries. Both in their 80’s and still going strong, they shared some of their experiences and challenged team members to seek God’s purpose for their lives and to spread the gospel wherever they went. There was much to think about from their testimonies, and now all team members are enjoying the comforts of the Green Lodge beds (minus the rooster) and looking forward to a day with the New Life Centre girls tomorrow.
Sleep well everyone – we know we will this time!!