After my last post, I went back to Pattaya with Shirley so that she could visit Shear Love International, one of the ministries that I am interested in working with. Whilst we were in the town, we visited some new friends I had made. Erika & MK some Dutch missionaries and Fon, a Thai lady that our team gave some project money to back in 2017. Fon opened a hair salon called True Love Beauty Salon where she reaches out to the bar girls in the town and from her work, 12 women have become believers and 4 of them have moved on from their work into one of the rehab programmes in the city. She is an incredible lady and its been wonderful meeting her again.
We were only in Pattaya for a couple of days before going to the west of the country – to Kanchanaburi for a few days R&R. This is the area that the Death Railway was built during the second world war, a film called The Bridge Over the River Khwae was made depicting the story. The Japanese seeking to find a supply route to and from Burma, built a railway 258 miles long using foreigners to do the manual labour and over 9,000 civilians and 12,000 allied prisoners died as a result of the poor conditions. We rode a short distance on the railway and afterwards went to a museum next to one of the graveyards. It was a very moving experience.
The hotel we stayed at was next to the river Khwae and a short journey from the town, which was great apart from the fact that we were there in low season and they didn’t have many facilities and the restaurant only served breakfast! On our first full day, we were busy doing some filming in preparation for our return, and when we decided to find a restaurant to eat in nearby, the heavens opened, and we had monsoon rain. After waiting for 2 hours, we decided we could wait no longer, and went to the hotel reception trying to negotiate – with their limited English – a way for us to eat! A taxi tuk tuk was a no go – it was too wet. Then they offered to drive us to a restaurant and collect us – no good we had no Thai sim card. In the end, they drove us in a pick up truck to a restaurant so that we could get some take away food and drive us back, whilst we squeezed into a small space on the front seat! We ate in the hotel lobby, which had the most glorious view and swimming pool, only no restaurant!
We departed Thailand from Kanchanaburi straight back to the airport, on mini-van public transport. My trip has felt a bit like the film Planes, Trains and Automobiles, only I can add several other forms of transport to the list! Thailand sure has some creative ways of public transportation, and as well as the planes, trains and automobiles I used, I also went on two different types of tuk tuks, a motorbike taxi and songthaew – which is like travelling on a bus route, but on the back of a pick-up truck instead of a bus.
So, I arrived back at the Mission House yesterday. The first thing that hit me was the cold and unpolluted atmosphere! But it was also very strange coming back ‘home’ knowing that I will only be here for a short while longer before jetting off to my ‘new’ home. I really enjoyed Thailand, and I love the people who are very gentle and helpful – I came across so many people willing to go out of their way to help me. And I adjusted to living on my own without a team, finding my way around the country. And in the times that I felt a bit lonely – missing friends from the UK – God always sent along a new friend. These included Karin from Switzerland, Pilvi from Finland, Erika from The Netherlands, Daow and Ning from YWAM Thailand. And whilst in Bangkok airport, I met a new friend called Tara, who is Thai but was on her way to the UK for a holiday. We spent around 3 hours chatting between Bangkok and Abu Dhabi airport, as we were on the same route to the UK.
So many of you will be asking what the results of my trip have been, where I will be working, where I will be living and when do I go back! As yet, these details are to be determined as I need to report back to my mission organisation – Blessed To Be A Blessing. But I will keep you all posted and if you wish to receive my newsletters, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org But thank you for reading my blogs, I have been encouraged by how many of you have mentioned that you are reading them. Please continue to pray for me as I readjust to being back in the UK and as decisions regarding my future are made. I sure do miss Thailand, but at least this time I know I will be back again!
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“... in July 18 I left my full-time job and moved to the BTBAB base to train for 6-12 months before being sent out to the first nation that I feel called to. ”Esther PriceMCI Field Worker