Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We're Here!!!!

Hi, I don't have a whole lot of time... we just stopped briefly in an internet cafe (and to get out of the sweltering heat) to check our emails. Everything is going great!!! The flight was 16 1/2 hours long and, oddly enough, it didn't feel like it was that long. Slept for part of it, watched movies, journaled and read my book. We hit a little turbulence over the Pacific Ocean because of a tropical storm, but my anti-anxiety pill had already kicked in, so I was doing GREAT! :-) We landed in Bangkok Airport around 5:40 am this morning and we've been going every since (it's 3:37 pm on Tuesday here). We checked into our hotel Jomtien 12, which is nice and clean and across from the ocean, so it's pretty cool weather there. We had a group lunch... I had the cashew chicken and it was REALLY good and now I'm eating fresh pineapple... also really good. This is not a trip where you're likely to lose weight, that's for sure. We just got done going through downtown Pattaya in the bar area, handing out invitations to English classes at the Tamar Center and information on Christianity. All of the girls seemed to be really receptive to it and we ran into a couple of business owners who were Christians (there are less than 1% Christians in Thailand- about 99% Buddist, so you see shrines all over the streets- decorated small, almost like birdhouses, and they are colorful and decorated with flowers and people put their semi-full coke bottles down next to them (some sort of worship to Buddha). As I previously mentioned, it is pretty hot downtown. I think that my make-up melted somewhere around 3pm. Not entirely sure what we'll be doing the rest of the day. I think that tomorrow Andrea and I will be going back to the Tamar Center to teach a class on baking. That's the plan for now... that could change in two minutes. Our interpreter Goie is great- very sweet girl from the northern part of Thailand and she's the only Christian in her family. She said that before knowing Jesus, her life was terrible and then a friend invited her to church. She accepted Christ and, in her words, her life is so much happier. I really admire her- she goes out and evangelizes to others and she works with YWAM (Youth With a Mission) to share the love of God with those who are seeking/lost. I just think that it takes so much courage for her to go against her families beliefs and to stand up for what she believes in.

Yes, I've seen the old western men walking around with the young (way young) Thai girls and actually as I sit here in the internet cafe, the man next to me was looking up different locations to find Thai women. It's really hard to believe that this is the reality for some people. But, amongst all of that darkness, you do see lights. There are those people out there, such as those who work with the Tamar Center, who are devoting their lives to helping girls get out of this awful situation- true heros and servants of God.

I can guarantee that I'm forgetting to write down a ton of other details, but I'm sure that I'll get to them at some point.

Please continue to pray for me and my team- you all are just as much a part of this trip as I am and I couldn't do it without God's strength and your prayers.

God bless!!!

2 comments:

Dana said...

I'm so glad you have made it there safely and starting your mission!

oldgoofy said...

Julie
It was great talking to you yesterday. It sounds like the food is good.
Keep up GODS work and hope the cooking class goes well.
With All Our LOVE
Mom & Dad