From Thighland to Thailand

March 3, 2019

Thailand 7.8

Filed under: Uncategorized — markchinmd @ 5:18 pm

Thailand 7.8

March 3, 2019-Sunday

I cant’ believe it has already been a week that we have been in Thailand and we have gone to distant villages, schools, and today we attended church at the Huaisin Akha village. We’ve been there, done that for seven times in Thailand and yet each trip is special. It is written “As each as received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace,” 1 Peter 4:10. But this is more than a mission of service. This is a mission of sharing God’s glory with our friends, brothers, and sisters in Christ and we gathered in worship with a number of musical treats of dance and song.

Psalm 98:4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Some of the young male children performed an Akha welcoming dance to the beat of a drum and gongs while the young ladies performed an elegant Thai dance and others a contemporary dance routine. Another shared by playing, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” on a piccolo type instrument while the young children also did a dance routine. Then there was an impromptu guest appearance by the FCBC traveling MTI choir. Prior to us taking the stage, Kane did an awesome job by making some special opening remarks that sums up what building these relationships with the Akha is all about:

Kane Kuo:

“Good morning.

Thank you for inviting us for all these years to come and worship with you.

It’s a very special time for us for a lot of reasons:

It’s special because we’ve come from 8000 miles away.

It’s special because we speak different languages.

It’s special because we’ve gathered with you for over 10 years.

It is special because we’ve seen your children grow up.

We’ve seen loved ones pass away.

But it’s most special because we worship the same God.

So even though we eat different foods and we speak different languages,

We’re actually more the same than different.

We’re the same because we’re all sinners.

We’re the same because we didn’t deserve God to love us.

We’re the same because we have the same Son of God that died for us.

And we’re the same because one day we will worship together and we will understand each other fully.

So we wanted to share two songs with you. And even if you don’t understand the words together, one day in heaven we will.”

We made some somewhat joyful noise with “How Great Thou Art” and “Yet Not I, But Through Christ In Me”.

The Akha choir and then the Chermue children with Goo Gai, Gi, and his daughter followed us.

After the songs, Pastor Jack addressed the congregation Luka and Ghan gave a message about passing through very narrow openings and Matthew 19:24 about the parable of how it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Near the end of the service, Mark Patton brought out a large suitcase of toys and the team passed out toys to all the children. There were games, toss toys, 100 Hot Wheel cars, balls, and hats. (Mark and Chris later assembled a Hot Wheels track for the children at AYDC where they started racing cars right away.) The children were all excited and grateful and Mark had a great big grin on his face because he was so happy seeing the children happy.

Then one of the most touching moments was when Luka’s mother, Ahpeh, gave each of the team members a bracelet that she had made herself and put it on our wrists. As we stood in line anticipating our turn, we reflected on this small gesture of gratitude, friendship, love, and generosity. I was kneeling eye-to-eye with this tiny yet influential matriarch of this village, one of the very first Akha Christians in Thailand. It was a touching moment and brought tears of joy and appreciation to our team especially to me as she kissed me on the cheek.

We had a nice meal that the church members prepared for us and said our good-byes until the next time. We may see some of them next week or until the next mission trip when we hope that many of the elders will still be around. I suppose that goes for FCBC as well as our Akha brothers and sisters. I have to admit that I got a little “touchy feely” especially with Luka’s mother who hugged and kissed me on the cheek. I don’t know where that came from but it touches my heart that she feels comfortable in sharing her feelings and how close many of the team members have gotten with these people. If love has no boundaries, why does it seem so hard to do?

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Love, Mark


1 Comment »

  1. Mark –

    Thanks for taking the time to share the happenings on the mission trip. Yes, I have read them all and look forward to each post. Praying daily for the health and safety of the entire team.

    Kelley Q

    Comment by Kelley — March 3, 2019 @ 8:43 pm

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