Friday, July 4, 2008


Myself and my team are home safe and sound! On our way to the Bangkok Airport, we stopped at YWAM (Youth with a Mission) to pick up the other half of our team who had opted to spend the night there. YWAM acts as almost a hostel for students who are traveling on mission trips. It's a very simple, plain building and they have Discipleship Leader Training courses and they have Worship Services 3 days a week. The people who run it seem very nice and one of the male leaders is one of the men who took the boys on our team out to the bar areas to conduct the surveys with the men who go to those places. They ask if they'd mind participating in a survey and they ask them pretty simple, non-threatening questions... i.e how long are you visiting Thailand, how often do you visit, what is the purpose of your visit, do you think prostitution is right/wrong, etc. But, they do seem to get a few people who are not too happy to see them- telling them that they need to leave because us Christians are trying to ruin everything for them. We're trying to stop girls from working in these bars and we're ruining their fun. It's almost laughable that they are getting mad at us and accusing us of 'ruining their fun'. Well, maybe you need to find another idea of 'fun'.

After leaving YWAM, we arrived at the airport in plenty of time and we ended up splitting up into groups and deciding to meet at the gate at 6:30pm. My group and I were about 15 minutes late, but there was still no one else from our team there. We waited another 15-20 min and still no one. Finally, they announced that they were going to start boarding and then we saw two other people arrive. We decided that we weren't going to risk it and wait any longer for the other 5 people, so we boarded the plane. Fortunately, about 5 minutes before they closed the doors, they all walked in. Bangkok does things a little differently with their airport security. You first go through the xray machines and take out any liquids you may be carrying on board. Then you go through a second security checkpoint right at your gate where they pat you down, have you empty your carry-ons and, for some of us, take off our shoes. So, you really have to allow a lot of extra time and, of course, our gate was at the very far end of the airport, so you had to allow travel time for that as well. Because of the time difference, we essentially had a dinner meal, then breakfast and then another dinner. We completely skipped lunch altogether. The food was okay. I think that I liked Virgin Airlines meals better last summer. For the first dinner you had your choice of fish or veal and I eat neither, so I had white rice, vegetables and whatever other extras were on the plate. The breakfast also had veal in it - veal sausage - so, that was out of the question and I just had more rice and then the last dinner was some sort of noodle dish and it was fine. Although, I have to say that I'm done with Thai food or noodles for a long time. I've had way too much over the past few days and I could go for some Nachos :-) As with the trip going to Thailand, the plane ride went exceptionally fast considering it was 14 hours long. They have plenty of movies and TV shows for you to watch and I didn't have anyone sitting next to me, so I was able to make myself comfortable and get quite a few hours of sleep and we actually arrived into LAX 45 minutes early. We didn't have any problems getting our shuttle and didn't hit any traffic going back to Saddleback Church and my sister was waiting there for me to pick me up and now I'm home. I've actually pretty much unpacked everything (didn't take much effort considering I pretty much just dumped everything into the washer) and I've already downloaded pictures onto my computer. Now, I'll just have to download them onto KodakGallery and send them out, hopefully this weekend.

I'm too tired to write anymore now, but I know that I'll have additional posts in the next week or two just to wrap everything up and to fill in any gaps I may have missed.

Thank you all for your prayers and support! I could definitely feel them!


The Harts said...

Welcome home!!! The blog has been amazing in keeping those of us back home up to date on your trip. It sounds truly amazing. I can't wait to catch up on everything in person!