Creston Team in Thailand – Days 5, 6 and 7

Opening ceremony for the eyeglass clinic.

Opening ceremony for the eyeglass clinic.

DAYS 5-6

The 30-minute ride in the vans from the hotel in Phon Pisai to the sub-district office in Fao Rai District early in the morning was a pleasant way to start the day.  The scenery along the rural roads was relaxing and interesting.  It was a very nice change from the traffic congestion in Bangkok.The plan was for 150 people to come to the eyeglass clinic each morning and afternoon to have their eyes tested and to receive a free pair of new glasses.  Three teams helped conduct the eyeglass clinic.  One team was a group of 5 people from an optical company in Kanchanaburi Province. They have helped with a number of eyeglass clinics in the past and brought their computer equipment for checking the eyes and determining each person’s exact prescription.

The second team was the 9 members of the Creston team.  They assisted the Kanchanaburi team at each station and ensured that the people moved smoothly from one station to the next.   Two of them helped with the entertainment.

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Wang Luang Sub-district, Mrs. Maliwan Ponrat

The director and 4 LHMT staff formed the third team.  They led songs and did some very simple activities with the people who were waiting to get their eyes checked.  Because the people enjoyed the singing and activities so much, the time passed quickly for them.  The sub-district staff told us that they received many comments about how the people enjoyed the entertainment and meeting the Creston and LHMT team members and how excited they were to receive their new glasses.  Some people said that they had not laughed so much for a very long time.

Through the first 2 days we managed to process 50 people every hour, so that we were able to provide examinations and glasses for 300 people each day.  Mr. Siam from the LHMT team made sure that everyone got registered quickly and moved to the first station smoothly.  It was very rewarding for us to see the big smiles on their faces as they put on their new glasses and saw things clearly again.LHMT staff member Mr. Tak did an excellent job of leading the singing and other activities.  Vicar Kyle Winter and Luke Cosgrove from the Creston team assisted him and led additional songs, as did Mr. Waan from the LHMT team.  They included several Christian songs and short Gospel messages.  Pastor Sompong prayed at the beginning of the eyeglass clinic each morning and shared the Gospel.

Monday evening there was a night market that set up just outside our hotel.  The Creston team members enjoyed walking through the market and finding things that they could eat for dinner.  Although they saw lots of things they had never seen before, they were able to find enough familiar food for their dinners.

The second night after the eyeglass clinic the Creston team and LHMT team found a good noodle shop not far from the hotel.  Some of the team members had been hoping to have noodles for several days, so they were very happy to find this shop.  The food was excellent and everyone agreed that they would like to eat there again this week.

 

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DAY 7

Laughing together helps build relationships

Laughing together helps build relationships

The third day of the eyeglass clinic was somewhat different from the first 2 days.  Since only 200 people were scheduled for this day, it was decided that the teams would continue working until all 200 people had been served, even though they would have to work through their normal lunch hour.As usual, the people arrived early and a large crowd had gathered before the 9:00 a.m. start time.  Everything went smoothly again and all 200 people had received their glasses by 1:30 p.m.  A total of 808 people had had their eyes professionally examined, had received a pair of new eyeglasses, had taken home Gospel CDs, booklets and Catechisms and had heard the Gospel through songs and testimonies.  Everyone who came to receive glasses and the sub-district staff had met Pastor Sompong and his wife and had learned about Gennesaret Church.  From every perspective the eyeglass clinic was considered to be a great success.We are very grateful to the Creston team for traveling so far to participate in this project and for providing the funds to cover the cost of the the glasses, the lunches, travel and lodging expenses for the Kanchanaburi team and for the LHMT team.  We thank the Lutheran Heritage Foundation for donating 800 Catechisms and the sub-district leaders for their support.  Most of all, we thank God for his great blessings on this project.

Now the Creston team and the LHMT team will turn their attention to the program they’ll be doing at 2 local schools the next 2 days.

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