Today started off a little later than usual but by 9am we were on our way to do what we call ther stuff and stamp day. There were 5090 names on a mailing list, and we had the same number of brochures that needed to be stuffed into envelopes that had all been pre stamped by various members of the team over the last two weeks. We then put the address labels on them and the postage stamp and then off to the post office they went. There were over 3900 just for the US, and then we got on to Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and Thailand. By 1:30 we had done the lot and the final load was being lodged at the post office. The same job would have taken weeks if the on ground staff here had to do it, so they were very grateful.
Why do what we did today? The Free Burma Rangers movement was started by David Eubank 20 years ago when he heard of the plight of Burmese people who were fleeing from their villages because of persecution from their own army. Since then he has been asked to help coordinate relief missions in the Middle East and also Sudan. He describes his role as being there simply to help people and stand by them. When he talks to our teams, we cannot miss his passion for people in need, his faith in Christ, and his desire to stop injustice against humanity. I once asked him what he would say to encourage our students on a previous trip and he used the quote above. He often finishes his talks with us by asking us to pray. The annual pray for Burma day is the second Sunday in March, and the brochures we stuffed today tell the stories of people in that country. My personal bugbear is that I want to know why America has so many people on the mailing list and Australia has so few (3900 compared to less than 150). We chatted as a team today about spreading the word further when we come home, making our families, churches and school more aware of the situation, so that hopefully in the end, international awareness might bring about peace and stability in some of these war torn countries.
Some of the guys had a scrimmage game of basketball against the senior CMIS boys team and then we all headed to Agape for the final visit. We made popcorn (a big hit) and took buddy shots on a polaroid camera to leave with the kids. The final farewell was handled very well, and we treated it just like a regular departure, just with a few more hugs. We certainly did not want to leave emotions raw and kids upset.
Tonight was a night market night and a khao dom dinner (boiled rice soup with mince meat) to celebrate the end of the day. Tomorrow is our final work day. Apologies for the lack of photos today – we were too busy stuffing and stamping, and obviously the polaroid shots took precedence tonight at Agape.