Friday, June 10, 2011


Our Thursday ended up being full of a wide range of activities...and emotions.

In the morning, we visitors and Chrissy had the privilege of going along with one of the Thai staffers, Gae, as she did her regular HIV/AIDs ministry.

First, we went a ways out of the city to the home of a boy who has HIV. He caught it from his mother at birth. Both parents are now deceased and he lives with his grandmother. He was out playing in the village with friends so we were unable to see him. But we visited with the grandmother for a while and prayed for her.

Then we drove a bit further and visited the school where another HIV positive boy attends. A special program was going on at the school and the administrators asked us to attend and greet the students. We were escorted to the front of the open air meeting hall where we each had the chance to stand up, introduce ourselves, and tell a little about ourselves. The students were really impressed with the fact that I said we own 15 cats (give or take a couple) and two of the teachers afterwards wanted to talk to me about homeschooling. Many of the students wore flowers and greenery in their pockets to show respect to their teachers and in the hopes of having good luck in their studies. Also, beautiful flowers were arranged on a table to the side. At the end, all the children stood up and sang a song in honor of the King.

We then drove to the home of the person who coordinates all the HIV/AIDs volunteers for the local hospital. The leader was teaching a class to 3 volunteers. We had the opportunity to ask them about their program. I was especially interested due to the HIV/AIDS situation in Swaziland. They said that the biggest obstacle that they face is that sometimes they don't have enough funding and it is hard for undocumented people who live in the mountains or along the borders to get medicine.

Before we left, we prayed for the volunteers. They are all Buddhist but they are open to us praying for them and helping. The coordinator specifically asked that they would be given favor when applying for grants from the government.

It was then time to go back to Baan Athitan Church for a late lunch. Jah, on of the Thai staffers, had made us lunch. She is an excellent cook. She made two kinds of "khanom jeen nam ya" which is fish curry over noodles. One had tuna and one was with sardines. It was a red, brothy soup with the fish in it and some other yummy ingredients.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon editing photos, blogging, and communicating with family and friends in the States. Then it was on to some crazy fun!

The Chiang Rai Night Market!

Wow, wow, wow!

Winding alleys, booths filled to overflowing with colorful crafts and other goods, fabulous food and aromas, Thai dancing plus American style music, lots of smiles, tatoos and hennas, Asian style decor alongside western style pop culture, farongs (foreigners) and Thai students, lanterns and cascading lights --- a scrumptious, colorful, rich tapestry.

Oh...and did I mention the fish massage?

Yep, a fish massage. Your feet are washed by a gracious assistant, you then place them in a tank of small fish, and voila! They start nibbling the giggles and howls out of you! Unless your my partner Debbie. She just serenely smiled. I was laughing and hooting so hard I was crying!

We bought lots of wonderful goodies; I ate some amazing pad Thai while the rest had American burgers; and three in our party got beautiful hennas, including Betsie, compliments of Yam, one of the Thai Christians.

But the best part of all for me was what happened near the end of the evening. Some lovely tiered skirts caught my eye and I made like a bee to a field of springtime flowers. Come to find out, the lady who made them and was selling them is a Christian (Seventh Day Adventist), is expecting her 2nd baby. And is named Lin. I told her that my middle name was also Lynne and we found out that the names refer to water in both languages. How cool is that? And, she let me pray over her and her soon-to-be-born baby. I prayed a blessing over them both which also blessed me.

I have found on this trip that the praying for and over people has been one of the things that I will treasure the most.

"Prayer surpasses any language" is what I keep thinking over and over again.

And speaking of prayer, please pray for us. Tomorrow (Saturday) is our last full day in Thailand and the day that Matt and Debbie fly out for the States. Pray that God will use tomorrow richly for his kingdom as we go to minister at Baan Oon Rak (House of Warm Love) Children's Home. Part of what we'll be doing is giving them the items we bought with money that the Restoration Church girls' class raised for this trip, bead necklaces and stuffed animals from Angie Fortado, plus various other things such as crosses that Debbie made. Pray that God will use us to just love on them and encourage the staff.

I will try to report on Friday's happenings as well as Saturday's before I leave on Sunday. I may have to just give quick reports as the next two days will be very, very full as we try to squeeze in so many things as our time in Chiang Rai quickly comes to an end.

Thanks and God bless til next time!

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