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Thursday, August 12, 2010
Mother's Day Celebration at the Global Theological Institute in Chiang Dao
This week, Sherri has been teaching a block course at the Global Theological Institute (GTI) on the Biblical Role of Women in the Church. GTI, a ministry of the Lamppost UMC in Chiang Dao, is a Training Center where future pastors and church leaders are prepared for ministry. Twenty Nine students receive training here, and Sherri and I are honored to teach here on a regular basis.
This week, we wanted to do something special for the students to bring joy to their lives. The buildings they live in are very humble (in America, we shelter our cars in garages that would be luxurious in comparison to their housing) and their lifestyle is very simple too. They do not have much in the way of material blessings. They have a few sets of clothes (truly only a few), they live on rice and vegetables and rarely eat any meat or anything sweet.
Usually, when we teach, we bring cookies, snacks, and cocoa with us, so they can enjoy these during class. The small things that we would take for granted are greatly appreciated and very special to them. Just being with these students gives us a fresh outlook on how God has blessed us so much.
This time we wanted to do something extra special, and since Thursday was Mother's Day (the Queen of Thailand's birthday is celebrated as Mother's Day in Thailand)we threw a picnic for the students. The students had a 30 minute prayer walk to the picnic shelter which is near the banks of the Ping River. Fortunately, the sky was cloudy, so it was not steamy hot. When we all arrived, we sang praises to God (enjoy the video) and then all of the students gave testimonies concerning their mothers. For some students, they became so filled with tears when trying to speak about their mothers that they could not speak at all. They stood in the front for a minute, trying to gain composure, and then they would just need to sit down. The students would cheer each one, even those who were unable to speak, because their tears were wordless testimonies.
After worship and sharing, we had a big meal. We wanted to have a meal that they normally could not afford, which means a meal with a lot of meat. Some of the students had expressed a longing for grilled chicken, so we purchased some and had the students make sticky rice to eat with it. We also ordered some Nahm Prihk Noom, which is a green vegetable and hot pepper based paste that goes well with chicken and sticky rice. We also ordered a tank of ice cream. Thai tastes are different than ours, so we always enlist help in ordering food. The Thai young person who helped us order ice cream could have two flavors mixed together, so he chose chocolate mixed together with cantaloupe. It sounded like a very strange combination to me, but it actually tasted good.
It was a wonderful day of fellowship with the students that we will always remember.
Today is Sherri's final day of teaching. Late this afternoon, we will begin our journey back to Chonburi. We will only go partway, because it is a fifteen hour drive. We should arrive back home on Saturday, late afternoon.
We want to thank everyone who has supported our ministry through the Thailand Methodist Mission. This week of training students in Chiang Dao is only possible because of you.
If you would like to give, please send support to the treasurer of the Thailand Methodist Mission at:
Thailand Methodist Mission
P.O. Box 56
Mannsville, KY 42758
or give online at thailandmethodist.org
We are in need of more financial support. At this time, Sherri and I receive no salary from the Thailand Methodist Mission, but we do receive funds for ministry expenses. We are praying that financial support increases to the point where we can receive salary. In the meantime, we live by faith.