On Saturday (7th May) we drove down to Manorom, a town about 3 hours south of Bangkok. We were staying at an old OMF (Overseas Missionary Fellowship) hospital that had been established about 60 years ago to treat Leprosy in the local area. Their work was successful and over the years Leprosy was been completely eradicated from the area.
So, OMF sold the site to the local Christian Community. In more recent years it has been used as a general clinic for local residents and an International Christian School. This is where we were based and working for the week.
On the Sunday Ken & I preached at the local church. In honour of our friends in Cambodia we wore the shirts they had given us when we left. It turned out to be a smart move as the senior pastor at the church wore a similar design!
It was quite a significant service for one young couple who were in church that day. Ken’s sermon really spoke to them and it was a turning point in their ministry. They had been asked to think about doing missionary work in Northern Thailand but were very unsure about it. The Lord spoke to them during that meeting and Mareeya (from Thailand) and Joshua (from Guildford), on the left in the picture below, will be heading North this week to explore ministry in a remote village, with an American missionary couple.
Our week at the school was a busy mixture of teaching English to various groups of students of all ages, and doing some teaching ministry in the evenings for the staff of the school.
We also got to meet some of the local wildlife!
For two days we were asked to be the main teachers at an ‘English Camp’ for local Thai schoolchildren from the nearby Buddhist School. This was a great opportunity for the school and tremendous fun. The 125 children (16-18) were really motivated and interested in what we we did with them – even if half the time they looked at us blankly when we were trying to explain things. It turned out to be our accents rather than the words which caused confusion. When the Thai teachers said exactly the same words in English they understood immediately!
It was hard work for the two days. Teaching started at 8am and finished at 4pm with a lunch in the middle of the day. Temperatures were high – 45 oC (114 oF) and we were glad there was a sort of air conditioning that cooled things down a bit!
After the English Camp we went on to teach evening classes. The girl on the left below wants to be an air hostess when she grows up so she’s learning English… but apparently she’s too short at the moment so needs to grow up in more ways than age…
This brought to an end our two weeks of very varied and interesting ministry in Thailand. So much to think through and ponder. Lots happening here, but lots still to do. Not least the work with the refugees.
We flew to Singapore yesterday (which is where I’m writing from) and look forward to a week here before going on to Malaysia next Thursday.