From Thighland to Thailand

February 24, 2019

Thailand 7.1

Filed under: Uncategorized — markchinmd @ 8:18 pm

Thailand 7.1

February 24, 2019, Sunday

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans of the FCBC medical mission team. It’s been two years since my last entry and now it is exciting to begin this mission trip to Thailand.

First of all, on behalf of the mission team, we would like to thank all of you who prayed and participated in the planning and fundraising to make this mission trip possible. Special thanks to Bill and Gail who lead this team with impeccable organizational skills each and every trip. We thank the Naomi-Ruth group for sending us off with goodie bags and for Sonja Middleton (Ellen’s daughter in-law) who owns Chic-fil-A (Riverpark) and donated wonderful boxed meals for our bus trip to LAX. We thank Kane who donated “Because He First Loved Us” T-shirts, and to those who sent us farewell in Fresno and LA.

It is Sunday, so we lost a day. How time flies, literally. 😉 We embarked from FCBC from about noon Friday with a busload of team members and our luggage/bins of supplies and met up with the SoCal contingent at LAX. The 2019 Mission Team International (MTI) is comprised of members from a variety of churches but who all have ties to FCBC. They are Pastor Danny Jack, Ming Chong, Bill Ho, Gail Ho, Lester Lowe, Larry Lowe, Lynelle Winn, Lynette Yuen, Andy Alejo, Diana Lee, Lisa Shimada, John Shimada, Mark Patton, Jack Patton, Kane Kuo, Ellen Middleton, David Chow, Chris Chow, Ed Eng, Lena Chin, Mark Chin, MD.

It took over 36 hours, door-to-door, to go from Fresno–LAX-Taipei, Taiwan–Bangkok–Chiang Rai arriving 6 pm Sunday local time at Wang Come Hotel crossing so many time zones that were all zoned out and we all are sweaty, stinky, tired, sleepy, and hungry. AND we hit another snag at the Chiang Rai Airport. We have two supply bins MISSING and we spent two hours in customs trying to get about 10 bins/luggage released. They’re confiscating drugs, needles, scalpels, fluids, anesthetic agents for medical and dental, and optometry equipment. Déjà vu! Here we go again! The last trip customs kept a lot of dental and medical equipment at Chiang Mai airport and so the dental team resorted to painting buildings instead. I guess it’s the medical team’s turn to add a second or third coat of paint to those buildings. Please pray for customs to release our supplies, since it has now gotten very tight under military rule, and pray that we don’t have to bail out our fearless leader, Bill Ho.

This is Ed Eng’s first mission trip. Ed you don’t even know what you’ve signed up for! You should have read my previous blogs with warnings of monsoon flooding, flesh-eating mosquitoes (they like Chinese food), dysentery, and gun-wielding soldiers. You notice that there is no one is wearing his or her MAGA cap around here. It’s really not that rosy brochure Bill gave you when he was recruiting you, of tourists sipping mai tais on the beach with bikini-clad natives fanning you with banana leaves in the hot sun. Oh it’s hot all right (over 90 degrees today) and we have already found out that it’s humid as well. We are all too tired and will forgo the usual rookie hazing, besides, your a nice guy and has a good sense of humor and were going to need your laughter. Marlene, we will keep an eye out for your man but when he goes out for those famous Thai massages, he’ll have to find out what they mean by “happy ending” himself.

Well, all was not bad. Our demeanor changed when we saw old friends Ghan, Luka, Goo Gai, Plah and Gi and they with their children who we have watched grow up over the years since 2006! They are growing up so fast and have a bright future ahead of them. After all the airport and airplane food, we were treated to a wonderful seven-course Thai meal including mango sticky rice, my favorite! Luka, Goo Gai, and Gi sang some songs as well as Mit and Wan singing some contemporary music. We all sang “Happy Birthday” to Bill, Ellen, Lynette, Lynelle, and Jack and ate some cake. Our anguish turned to joy and excitement and we enthusiastically look forward to what God has planned for our mission trips this year. Our obstacles may just be detours on how God wants us to trust him and follow Him.

It’s interesting. While I was watching the movie, Crazy Rich Asians, on the plane I was reflecting on how different cultures and people live and what a contrast in lives that those decadent people in the movie portrayed and how that compares to the people that God has asked us to serve here in the villages of Thailand. What does “rich” mean to you…wealth, possessions, or God’s love?

In the early scenes the Matriach, Elenor Young of this “crazy rich family” is ironically leading a bible study reciting a passage from Colossians 3:1:

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.”

Lena purposely left her iphone at home. Some of us would feel naked without it and without contact to the web. She said, “My gosh! I want to feel the Holy Spirit and to feel God’s love and not be distracted with phone calls, emails, or social media and focus on God.” Quiet time, what an interesting concept? May we all take a moment and silence our cell phones and focus on how rich you want to be.

Good night,
Mark

3 Comments »

  1. Praying for you all! God has so many amazing thing ahead of you all. Thank you for doing Kingdom work!
    Blessings,
    Pastor Kim

    Comment by Kim — February 25, 2019 @ 12:42 am

  2. Praying for all of you good health, safety, a heart full of love, joy and gratefulness.💕🙏🏽 Looking after your Mom and Dad.

    Comment by kray4868 — February 25, 2019 @ 3:07 am

  3. You all are on my mind and in my heart. Do God’s work while I pray for your success, safety, enjoyment, safety. Love you all , Nanette

    Comment by Nanette — February 25, 2019 @ 4:09 pm


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