Creston Team in Thailand – Days 3 and 4

Visiting the deepest part of the Mekong River

Visiting the deepest part of the Mekong River

DAY 3

Today was mainly a travel day for the Creston team. As they were checking out of the TK Palace Hotel, Boom and Dennis met them in the lobby. After a short trip to the old airport in Bangkok they boarded a domestic flight to the town of Udon Thani in northeastern Thailand. The 55-minute flight went smoothly and 2 vans plus the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff were waiting to pick them up at the airport.

Lunch in Udon Thani included the best Pad Thai noodle dish that most of the team members had ever eaten. Making the food even more special was the relaxing garden atmosphere of the small restaurant.

After a 90-minute drive, the vans arrived at the Racha Hotel in the town of Phon Pisai in Nong Khai Province, adjacent to the border with Laos. The team was immediately struck by the big difference between life in Bangkok and life in Phon Pisai. Everyone in this small town moved slowly and not many people or vehicles could be seen.

When the Creston team was settled in their hotel rooms they went with the LHMT team for a short tour of Phon Pisai. This small town has some significant temples, especially one along the Mekong River, which serves as the border with Laos. The variety of images and idols in the temple compound were a vivid reminder to the Creston team of the main reason they were here. Thai people need to hear the Good News about salvation through faith in Jesus.

A variety of local food was available at the simple restaurant where the teams went for dinner. It was a good chance for the Creston team to sample several different Thai dishes. Everyone seemed happy with the one they chose.

The day ended with a stop at a local grocery store which contained a very good variety of items and the Creston team was able to find drinks, snacks and food for breakfast that were familiar to them.

DAY 4

After eating breakfast in their rooms the Creston team and the LHMT team rode in the vans for about 30 minutes to Fao Rai sub-district. They arrived at Gennesaret Church in the middle of a very rural area. Pastor Sompong Hanpradit, a Lutheran pastor who is a member of the LHMT

Team members and church members taking picture together

Team members and church members posing for a group picture.

Advocacy Board, was there to greet them. After a short time the church members began to arrive for worship. In spite of the language barrier, the Creston team felt warmly welcomed.With Pastor Sompong interpreting, Vicar Kyle Winter from the Creston team gave the sermon based on the story in Mark chapter 1 about Jesus healing the mother-in-law of Peter. Vicar Kyle shared a good message about healing touches and healing words.

Although the congregation is very small and most of the people in that area are quite poor, the church members provided a delicious meal after the worship service. Several Creston team members said that this simple meal was their favorite meal since arriving in Thailand.

After lunch the teams visited the site of the Fao Rai Sub-District office, which is less than a mile from Gennesaret Church. This is where the eyeglass clinic will be held the next 3 days.

The vans then took the teams to a well-known temple, which is located next to the Mekong River at the deepest point in the river. It was easy to see that that place had special meaning to many Thai Buddhists and the teams were able to observe a number of people coming to pray there.

Before dinner the members of the LHMT team and the Creston team met together to pack the gift bags for the people who participated in the eyeglass clinic.  In the bags the teams placed a CD with a reading of the book of Genesis, a Christian music CD, a Gospel booklet and a soft cover pocket version of Luther’s Small Catechism.

The day ended with another visit to the same restaurant where the teams ate dinner Saturday evening. Worshiping with local Thai Christians, the beautiful scenery and wonderful weather made this a special day. But, everyone is eager to start the eyeglass clinic tomorrow.

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Vicar Kyle preaching with Pastor Sompong interpreting

Vicar Kyle preaching with Pastor Sompong interpreting

Creston team being introduced to Gennesaret Church members

Creston team being introduced to Gennesaret Church members

Creston team receiving welcome gifts from Gennesaret Church

Creston team receiving welcome gifts from Gennesaret Church

Eating delicious lunch provided by the church members

Eating delicious lunch provided by the church members

Church members relaxing after lunch

Church members relaxing after lunch

Enjoying some time along the Mekong River across from Laos

Enjoying some time along the Mekong River across from Laos

Taking a team picture in a beautiful setting

Taking a team picture in a beautiful setting

Filling the gift pack bags for the people participating in the eyeglass clinic

Filling the gift pack bags for the people participating in the eyeglass clinic

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