Thursday, October 14, 2010

a Thai summer on campus

A lot has happened since my trip to Brazil last December. The biggest event was my tremendous privilege of working with P'Bow (in the far left of the picture to the right) this summer, one of the Thai staff in Campus Outreach Thailand. Every summer a few Campus Outreach teams in America send students, the Cross Cultural Project, over here to Thailand. This Project (the CCP) ministers to the Thai people with their staff partners for their summer break. Sadly, this year, the government problems in Thailand prevented the CCP from coming. Will (my friend and another MK who lives here) and I were planning on joining the CCP on campus, as well as Daniel Richardson.
Unfortunately, it seemed like there wasn't much hope for our plans to be on campus.owever, as we were soon able to see, the canceling of the CCP meant that the team only needed us more. Bringing Americans onto the campus is a huge help for the staff when they reach out to the new freshmen as it provides a great excuse for sitting down with random people and tons of conversation starters. Overall, Thai people generally love foreigners and are usually more receptive to a random foreigner than a Thai. So despite my disappointment at not having a CCP, I was excited to see how God's sovereignty had worked everything out for the best!

So my summer consisted of waking up in the morning and having a quiet time, doing a little bit of school, and then Will would drive me to the church where we would hang out or read while we waited for our respective ministry partners. Sometimes my team leader, P'Yute, would gather us together to have a quick prayer meeting and to talk about our ministries. Afterwards, P'Bow and I would hop on her little motorcycle and go on to campus. It was on her bike that we would discuss the plan for the day. On campus we would sit with a random freshman, or later in the summer with one of our previously established contacts. We would try to make plans during the day with the students to meet with them at one of their freshman activities, at the night market, or just for dinner that night. We would have a couple hours off before going back out that evening, in which time we would rest and try and call a couple of the girls we knew to see how they were doing. Thai girls love to talk on the phone!

Overall I was able to meet so many sweet girls. We met seven different gir
ls named 'May', which is also my Thai nickname, and three of these 'May's I was very close to. Things could get pretty confusing! To make things more complicated, we also hung out with two sets of twins! One of our girls was in a motorcycle accident and hurt her leg, but she is healing up nicely and is now able to participate in some of our church's many badminton events. One girl I was close to is named Ew, she is a runner and I was able to jog with her a couple of times. Ew had a scary experience one time when she went to visit her family. Her aunt took her to a witch doctor, who said that Ew was going to have bad luck and therefore cut her arm several times with a knife. Poor Ew was terrified, but thankfully one of the staff girls, P'Rung, was able to use this experience to discuss with her what she really believed in.

I am so glad that I was able to work with P'Bow as my partner, surprisingly as we talked we found out we had some similar background and we also had many similar interests that made spending so much time together easy and fun. P'Bow is still spending time with our contacts and trying to be a witness to them and share the gospel with them. Sharing with Thai people can take a long time because most of them do not know anything about the Gospel. P'Bow could really use your prayers as she pours herself into their lives.
Although I am not able to spend much time on campus right now because of school, I am still praying for the girls I met and hoping for an opportunity to see them again.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Last Post

After four long flights, I made it safely back to Thailand on December 17th, the day before my birthday. Staying with a family I know well in Bangkok, I was able to get lots of sleep and think over everything that I saw and experienced in Brazil. A culture so different than my own, the lifestyles and hardships of other missionaries, the people I grew to love and will surely miss. I am so blessed to have been able to live with the Bailey's family and learn from them. Hearing the testimonies of some of my new Brazilian friends was a huge encouragement. They will all continue to be in my prayers. I will also be praying that if it is God's will, I may find myself back in Brazil one day. Obrigado to all of you who shared a small part of your lives with me while I was visiting. Until next time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sad surprize..

Unfortunately, I just found out that I am leaving today. We had plans today to go to Audrey's house, and tomorrow me and the Bailey girls were all going to go out to get our nails done before I left, but apparently the ticket meant TOMORROW when it said 1:30 in the morning. And that is only about twelve hours away. So now I have to pack to leave and say very quick goodbyes to everyone here. Please pray for a safe flight! I will write again from Thailand to tell of all I learned on this amazing trip.

'Big' Church

Instead of talking to the children's ministry, I talked to the entire church this Sunday. My Dad had helped me make a slide show of our church in Thailand. I told the story of our church and talked about the ministry back home, and then Kent asked me to pray for their Brazilian church in Thai. After that, he had someone else pray for our Thai church in Portuguese. Several people told me afterwards that they were very encouraged by our church's story. Praise the Lord that He can use even me to bring that encouragement!
After church a lot of us went out to eat pizza together. I had already eaten, so I had a piece of their famous chocolate pizza. Because I leave on Wednesday, this was my last good bye to several people. Isabella, Pedro, Priscilla, the other Pedro, Allani, and many others, I may never see again; or not for a long time. I talked to Allan for awhile, and the encouragement he gave me I will never forget.
Today we went into the city to buy supplies for Grace's party, and then we spent the rest of the day working on the Bailey's Bazaar; or garage sale.
I am very tired, and I have a long day planned tomorrow! But with so little time left, I hope to make the most of every minute of it.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I had a huge lunch at Angel's house today. On Sundays, her whole family comes together to eat; her parents, grandparents, her three sisters, and their husbands. Grace and I joined them for a delicious meal, and then we came back to the Bailey's to watch a movie and prepare for the slide show. I am going to talk about Thailand at their church today, so I am very excited.

Here are some fun things I have learned about Brazilians:

-Brazilians love to brush their teeth. In fact, Every one of Grace's friends has a toothbrush at her house for when they stay here. When we go out to eat together, they almost always go to the bathroom afterwards to brush. Sometimes there is even dental floss in public bathrooms that you can pull out and use for free.

- During the World Cup, the entire city shuts down. Everyone gets off of work for the games. Children are out of school, but on some days when they still have to go, they watch the games together at school.

-You have to be 18 to drive here, but it is an extremely long and hard process. There is a two day driving course that you must complete and very hard tests.

- The legal drinking age here is 18, but this law is not followed very stringently. On a girl's 15th birthday party, (which is the biggest and most important birthday, signifying entering into adulthood) they usually have something alcoholic to drink, and this is generally accepted.

- Everyone greets here with a hug and a kiss. Even if you just met the person, you use this greeting. It is not usually a real kiss, though, typically people just kiss 'into the air'.

- Brazilians eat rice and beans with pretty much every meal, with the usual exception of breakfast. One guy I was talking to said he wanted to come to Thailand, but changed his mind when he heard that we don't eat beans with our rice there. For breakfast, people mostly eat cake.

- People are classified according to their wealth here. Rich people do not associate with poor people.

- Most Brazilians live with their family until they get married, and sometimes even then. In college the students do not live in dorms, they stay with their families.

- The two main soccer teams in this area are Gallo and Cruzerro. (I cheer for Gallo!) Cruzerro has been winning lately, so you can hear people shouting CRUZERRO all the time. After a game, the fans of the winning team will hold down their horns as they drive on the street in their triumph.

- Thumbs up means everything here; thank you, yes, good job, ok?, hey, etc. You do not even have to speak the language, as long as you have one thumb you can say pretty much anything.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Yesterday Angel, Grace and I hopped on a bus to go meet Allan and his group for lunch. During lunch we discussed plans for a skit and activities to do at the orphanage while we wrapped gifts. Allan wants to start a mercy ministry, and his plan is to begin this by building a partnership between his church and a certain Christian orphanage. They have not met yet to talk about the partnership, but for now, we wanted to go to bring some Christmas to the kids.
After playing a game to get to know
all of the kid's names, we performed a fun Christmas skit for them. I was the angel that brought the good news to the Shepherds. Since the narration was in Portuguese, Priscilla, who played Caesar, signaled me when to come and when to leave. The kids enjoyed the skit, especially the donkey. Allan talked for a minute about the gift of Jesus, and then got each one of the kids to give one of the gifts we had brought to someone else.
After that we all played until it was time to go.

The things the children would say were heart wrenching - 'Are you going to take me home with you?' 'You guys should come back soon.' 'Everyone is leaving, why can't I go too?' and much more. We gathered to pray for the kids afterwards.
My prayers for these kids and all who are in their situation continue. I hope that God lays it on all of your hearts to also be praying for children without homes or families. And who knows what else God might lead you to do?!!

Anna's ceremony

Yesterday Diana, Gizelli, Grace and I ate out to talk about the children's ministry. It was a good meeting, though mostly in Portuguese, and afterwards I was able to hear the incredible story of Diana's adoption.
That evening, we went to Anna's graduation ceremony. Audrey, Grace and I were dropped off at her
school, and I was excited to finally meet Anna. We did not get to talk long though, the students sat up at the front of the auditorium for an interesting ceremony. The school she goes to is Catholic because it has better academics than most of the other schools in the city. At first they gave a series of speeches about the teachers, the students, the families, etc. with songs in between that had to do with each speech.
There was a large statue that looked somewhat like a waterfall up front that apparently had water in it.
The religion class had picked out a perfume to represent their school, and they poured this perfume in the water. Then three girls stood up to 'bless' the water, one Catholic, one Presbyterian, and one Jewish. It was very sad, the Catholic and Presbyterian girls both gave speeches about how all religions are good, and it's not important which one you choose as long as you have one. The Jewish girl seemed embarrassed to be up there, and only said 'I agree with them.' After they blessed the water, the teachers went around and sprayed the students and the crowd with this water. Then everyone stood up to say the Lord's Prayer, and we went home. Anna's parents wanted us to go to another ceremony (her cousin's college graduation) but they let us skip out.
At Anna's house, we had a fun time talking, singing and playing guitar together. There is a video of a silly song Anna made up that you can watch on facebook at: