Sunday, June 12, 2011


Alas, my amazing week in Thailand is coming to an end. I can honestly say that it has been one of the most fun experiences in my life and it was also filled with many amazing blessings. Thailand truly deserves the moniker "LAND OF SMILES".

The Thai people are so gracious and kind. And this place is safe! I've never been in a city before where things didn't have to be locked, pickpockets or muggings weren't a worry, and you didn't have to be worried about being cheated by street vendors during bartering sessions.

It will be good to be back with my family and friends in America but I will not be happy about leaving Thailand.

I must keep this relatively brief since we leave in a few hours but here are the highlights from yesterday and today so far:

*Spent yesterday morning at a children's home up in the hills. Some of the children are complete orphans but most are girls who were from situations that put them at risk of being sold into prostitution. We gave them gifts that we brought from America as well as goodies paid for buy money that the Restoration Church girls' class raised for the trip. We also played games with them, Betsie led a devotion on them being children of God the King, we ate lunch with them, and popsicles sold by a man on motorbike were enjoyed near the end.

*The afternoon was spent doing various things including some last minute shopping and walking around the neighborhood, blogging, photo editing, and just goofing off with the Thai staff.

*We ate supper at a Thai bbq. QUITE the experience! So what was on the menu for supper you ask? Where do I begin? It was a big buffet of raw foods & you grabbed what you wanted & cooked (or ate it raw) at your table. Some of what I had: pork balls, chicken, liver, cilantro, flowers, garlic, papaya, watermelon, crab, peppers, various sauces, mushrooms, crab, glass noodles, green noodles, two bites of icecream dessert, fish, carrots, baby corn, cabbage, & tofu.

*After supper, we took Debbie and Matt to the airport where they began their long journey back to America.

*The way home was a crazy, laugh-filled, song-singing, getting-wet ride in the back of the pick-up truck with a few of the Thai staffers, Kara (a young American missionary), and the Espy's little girl. That ride will be one of the memories I treasure most from my time here.

*Back at the church office, we lit candles on a birthday cake and surprised one of the Thai guys with Happy Birthday songs...both the traditional English one and another one new to me.

*Sunday School and church this morning was yet another special time. What an absolute blessing to worship alongside brothers in sisters in Christ who might not share the same language but share the same love of Jesus. Also were in attendance were nonChristians. I pray that they sensed the joy and peace of God and will search for it til they receive it for themselves through Jesus. Meena and Fang were there, two of Betsie's teenage friends, and I gave both of them Bibles that my friend Janet Boozer Butts had given me. I wrote messages to both of them and underlined special scripture verses. Meena is a Christian already.

*After church is was the weekly fellowship lunch. What great fellowship went on as the 150 or more people ate, talked, laughed, and prayed together. I ate with Betsie, Fang, Meena, and some of the children and adults from the children's home we visited yesterday. I was also able to meet Audrey McCauley who ministers at a children's home with her husband Vern. It was the home I had read about on a World Race blog a couple of years ago. We talked about their ministry and she gave me more advice on moving kids overseas to live and minister.

*Thia afternoon I've been packing, observing the self-defense class Jon teaches, saying goodbye to people, blogging, checking facebook, taking more photos, etc.

In a little bit it will be time to get ready for the airport, eat supper, and then leave. Once again I find myself wishing I could be more than one person. I wish there could be the Elysa that was with her family and friends back home, the Elysa that was with the children at the Swazi carepoints, and now an Elysa who could stay here in Thailand.


...but there is only me. So I must pray that God give me contentment to be where He has me at each season in life and pray, pray, pray for those scattered around the world that I love and miss.

I will try to add more photos later. Right now, the pc that has my photos on it is doing an installation that seems to last forever.

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