After saying our goodbyes to all our friends & supervisors in Chiang Mai, we embarked on a 5 hour journey to Uttaradit. Wit and Helen, our supervisors, were very welcoming & hospitable, they gave us a full day tour around the village, introducing us some of the villagers. We immediately felt welcomed; being told to call the local shop owner ‘Baa Pin’ (auntie Pin), we sensed we are entering into a new family.
We’ve now settled into our home which is called the Whitehouse. The Whitehouse has many uses such as guitar lessons, basket weaving, prayer meetings, a youth chill out area & even a classroom for many different ages. However, we were a little disappointed to find out there was no “Oval office”. This house is where Wit & Helen have been doing a lot of their outreach work to the local community of Wang Dang, sharing their faith and always opening the gates, welcoming anyone who wishes to come.
Helen joked that instead of it being called the ‘Whitehouse’, it should be called the ‘lighthouse’ because they really want it to be a place of Jesus’ light to the community.
Here are our first impressions of ‘village life’ in Thailand:
- Never before have we had more eyes staring at us than here, but in Wang Daeng; a stare can quickly change to a smile.
- Nothing’s a secret in the village. More than once has Wit known what we’ve been up to before we’ve told him.
- We’re constantly receiving gifts or “food packages”of completely new foods from completely new people. (“this is a actually the best” -Anna)
- Turns out, there’s no sleeping in this village. Weddings that last from 5pm until 12pm the next day and our new neighbour, the cockerel have taught us this.
- Wit has taught us a new phrase that is now often used among the team; “sabaai sabaai” which means “everything’s chilled”, and it’s certainly true in Wang Daeng.
The climate here is currently very hot (not so “sabaai sabaai”), we have all learnt not to be distracted by sweating. As a result, we had been praying for cooler weather. Little did we know that God had plans better than we could ask or imagine. He didn’t just answer with a few degrees cooler, he gave us the heaviest downpour of rain possible. God really does answer prayers.
Our main purpose here is to teach the local children english, predominately using games and having fun. We are very busy, with 10 classes a week, though have felt blessed to have Helen with us, often bouncing in with new creative ideas to try. You will hear plenty more about this in the following blogs.
In this edition of Jonny’s List.. an insight to ‘Team Thai’s embarrassing moments’:
- Anna put her shopping in someone else trolley. It’s bad enough when this happens in the UK, but trust me it’s even better with the added language barrier.
- Keziah fell off her bike 🙁 and Wit comes the next morning and tells us “news is spreading.. the whole village knows you fell off your bike”.
- More than once have we been mistakenly seen as married couples and had to convince locals otherwise.
- We were dancing and singing with joy on the road the night it rained, but somehow our neighbours mistook our talented dancing for fear and thought that we were scared of the thunder. So now we’re the weird British neighbours who jump about outside because they’re scared of thunderstorms.
- Cooler weather
- Smooth transition from Chiang Mai to Uttaradit
- All of our local school classes have been cancelled this week which has been a blessing as three of us have been feeling ill (God answered this prayer before we even prayed it)
- Quick recovery for Jonny, Paul and Keziah from the cold, and that Anna survive the epidemic
- We will put into action what God has been speaking to us about and that the ‘Whitehouse’ would in fact become the ‘lighthouse’
- That we would continue to have fun with the kids and build deeper friendships with the locals
- Obviously we have started preparations for Christmas outreach- please pray that God will use all that will happen for His will
- Pray that God will reveal Himself to the people of Wang Daeng and grow His church here
Thanks for reading and praying – Team Thailand 🙂