Ok, so it wasn't exactly Chiang Rai or Chiang Saen that i went to, but a small muu baan in the countryside about 20mins out of Chiang Saen (for those who are good with geography, it's near the Golden Triangle). The orphanage that i stayed at was on the top of this hill, literally in the middle of nowhere. It was pretty amusing that there's no mobile reception there (unless you have this massive antenna), but there was satellite internet. Pretty cool really :)
Anyway, the time there was to spend some time with some orphanage kids, help teach english at the local school - and use the time to try and teach the kids some truths about God and Jesus. Despite a bit of uncertainty on arrival whether the school would even be open on the friday, the time there ended up being more fruitful then i thought it would be. Despite having to battle speaking over a massive sound system that was getting set up outside for 4hrs straight, we had a great time teaching kids simple english, numbers, colours, then taught them Colins 10,9,8 song to introduce them to how great God really is and why. We then handed out to each of the kids a kids story book with stories from the Bible (there are 15 different bible stories that they can read). It was really exciting to see the kids really excited to 1. receive the books, but 2. when they got them, they immediately started reading them and didn't listen to us anymore cos they were more interested in reading the books. (ok, not sure if that's a good or bad thing, but hey, didn't bother me) :)
Me and Buu teaching 10, 9, 8
One of the students reading one of the books we gave out
But on top of that, what was really exciting was a really great gospel conversation over lunch with one of the teachers and the principal of the school. There's one teacher at the school that Buu has been chatting to about Christianity. He's really interested and was really keen to talk about it all and want to understand the differences between christianity and other religions, what it is that we really believe, why he should read the bible etc. As we were talking with him, the principal came and sat with us and obviously overheard our conversation. So he ended up getting really interested in all we were talking about. Neither of them became christians during that conversation, but it was a really good opportunity to present the gospel to them and give them things to think about when it came to their lives and where God fit into the picture there. So as we were talking, we didn't realise how much time had gone by. We were meant to get back and teach at 1pm. By now it's like 1.30pm. Some of the kids came to kindly tell us that the students had decided to dismiss themselves from school already, so we didn't have to teach the afternoon. which - from my voice's point of view, i was really thankful for. i know that my voice didn't have another 3hrs of talking in it. (there was a bit more to the story the the kids just dismissing themselves, but that's the short of the story - not really a surprising thing over here). Thankfully i didn't feel so bad about that fact that we spend ages at lunch, since the principal was there with us talking - so he was as much to blame :)
The couple days up there was also a great time to spend with Buu as well and chat about lots of different ministry things and encourage each other in serving God.
Unfortunately, i wasn't able to stay up there for too long. Got up there on thursday night and had to leave saturday morning. But the time there, i felt was really good. I'm not sure if i'll be able to make it up again anytime soon. but it'd be great to pray for Buu as she spends time up there building relationships with the kids, teachers and school.
One of the toughest things for me when going up there was that there's movement in the house from 4.30 am to get the kids out the door to school by 6-6.30 am!! since it's such an early start, everyone's in bed by 9pm. So it was tough for me who is usually going to bed at 2am and waking up at 9am. Well, at least i got to see an amazing sunrise :)
Anyway, here are a few other shots from the couple days there.
trying to help some of the students
playing 'bzzz' with the orphanage kids
me with Onapar
Me and Buu
The orphanage kids
part of the 2km 'driveway' to the house. Can't tell you how thankful i was that denise lent me the 4wd to go up