Saying Farewell

Enjoying saying goodbye Thai style

After finishing the Fun with English program Friday noon, the Brookfield Lutheran Church team flew to Phuket, where they enjoyed a short time of rest and relaxation.  They enjoyed seeing another part of Thailand and experiencing some southern Thailand culture.

The team returned to Bangkok Sunday afternoon and we had a farewell dinner for them that evening.   Although it was a time to celebrate and say thank-you to the team, it was also a sad time.  During the team’s short time in Thailand, we developed some very good relationships and didn’t want this wonderful experience to end.  The evening was filled with singing and laughter and a few tears.

After the farewell dinner 9 members of the Brookfield Lutheran Church team left Bangkok to return home.  Our Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand staff and a few other individuals went to the airport to send them off.  Several of the Brookfield team members said that they were surprised, but very pleased, that so many people went to the airport with them.

Because the remaining 6 Brookfield team members were able to stay another 2 days, a special program was planned for them at the Concordia Day Care Center in the Bangna slum area.  More than 60 children were there Monday morning, as the Brookfield team led them in a variety of games and activities and shared a Bible story with them.  Many of the children experienced drawing with sidewalk chalk and playing with a small parachute for the first time.  Blowing bubbles was one of their favorite activities.  For more than 2 hours the team had fun playing with the children and sharing God’s love with them.

When it was nap time for the children, the team took a short walk into the surrounding slum community to see where the children live.  It was a part of Bangkok that visitors usually don’t see up close.  The team met a few of the people who have become Christian and prayed for one of them who is quite sick.  All 6 team members were very thankful that they were able to have this experience.

Monday evening the Brookfield team invited anyone who participated in the Fun with English program to join them in an evening of bowling.  No one cared about the scores or the numerous gutter balls that were thrown.  All 20 people just enjoyed having a fun time with their new friends.

On Tuesday evening we all made another trip to the Bangkok airport to say goodbye, as the rest of the Brookfield team headed back to Wisconsin.  During the time that the team was in Bangkok, we all could tell that God was binding us together through His Spirit.  As we sang together and prayed together and as we shared in ministry together and learned from each other, God connected us together in a way that will last a lifetime.

We want to thank Pastor Alexander Whitfield and Mary Stafford for organizing and leading the team.  We also want to thank Dave and Gale Goeman, Dwayne and Ann Jobst, Jim and Kathy Valentine, Tony and Joann Cizel, Bob and Judi Fischer, Brian Betchner and Kay Benning for leading the sessions during the Fun with English program.  And thanks to Sandy Rades for planning and leading all of the activities with the children at the Concordia Day Care Center.

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