The comment from Nathan J, Sienna and Jakin tonight after our small group discussion was brilliant – they said “Day 2 was better than Day 1”, and it was.
We started today with Miss Newlin sharing her testimony and her journey over the last 3 years. She left Maranatha and has been teaching hilltribe children near Mae Sot. God has clearly called her to some amazing work with her students in this place, and we were inspired by her faithfulness and passion despite the difficult circumstances she finds herself in. Miss Newlin also gave us some valuable insights into teaching English to Thai students and we can take that advice and put it into practise later this week.
We then headed off to Agape again, running swimming activities for some of their youngsters, crafts for those who didn’t want to swim, and volleyball and trampolining for the rest. We joined their children for lunch eating together and then enjoyed the experience of cutting up fresh fruit and making fruit skewers together. They loved the pineapple, passion fruits and watermelons especially. Mr Kan has some great photos of this time together.
A short break back at Green Lodge enabled us to do some preparation for the next few days, getting bags ready for the Good Life Club programs, plus organising our Sunday school activities. Each person did their part and we are well prepared.
At 4 pm we headed to New Life Centre, where we spent some time worshipping with their girls. Sienna, Nathan J and Brooke shared their favourite Bible verses (with the amazing Khun Feh translating for them) and Mr Kan shared a brief devotion on Proverbs 3:5-6). Our music team lead two songs and some of the New Life girls shared testimonies also. The amazing part of this time was the get-to-know-you games they organised for us to play. One game was a pass the parcel style game where the person left holding the parcel when the music stopped got to put baby powder on differing sets of people. It would have been easy for our team to feel self conscious and shy away from being part of the game, but everyone got on board, and enjoyed their turn – hence the photos of many team members smothered in baby powder. We played volleyball, takraw and dodge ball after the service, and then went to a moogata dinner together where they taught us how to cook all sorts of foods on the barbeque. Once again, our instruction to embrace the opportunity and enjoy the experience was heeded, and there was plenty of laughs and positive vibes across the tables. We are able to take these girls out next week to a new water theme park that they have never been to yet, and they are so excited about it.
We finished the day studying our first small group titled, “The Greatest Volunteer Assignment”, looking at Jesus as the perfect volunteer. Team members are now in their rooms, completing journal questions from today and getting ready for tomorrow’s activities.
- The fact that our students could laugh at themselves getting baby powder put on their faces from brand new friends without being self conscious or awkward. Brooke and Jacob were selected to do a special dance and their efforts delighted the girls.
- Kane and the two Nathans devotion this morning on the theme of service.
- The testimonies shared by our students, Mr Kan and the Thai girls.
- Elliott’s highlight was the food tonight and the conversations he had with his New Life Centre companions, and they even managed to teach him how to use chopsticks.
- Music is really enjoyable with this group and our worship times together have been special.
- Miss Newlin will return to Mae Sot tomorrow taking with her an awesome collection of clothing, technology and sports gear that she can bless her kids with. Keep praying for her – she is doing an amazing job. A number of organisations back home, and some of our students also, have donated some extra funds to give her so she can keep going. She nominated the luxury of having a shower as one of her highlights but really enjoyed seeing our students and staff again.
Tomorrow we visit the elephant camp to ride elephants and see the show, then we have a Sunday school program to run in the afternoon. The regular Sunday school teachers get a night off, which we know they appreciate, and we have a small window of opportunity to sew into the lives of English speaking children. Bring it on!!!
God Bless you all from a very inspired and full team.