Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Home at last!

The morning we left we were able to squeeze in one last temple visit. Then we all went back to the hotel, compiled all our luggage and headed for the airport.

After a long 24 hours of plane travel and airport hopping, we arrived without too much incident back at home about noon Monday, May 19. Thank you all again for your concerns and prayers for our awesome trip!

We made it! Back safe and sound in the Charleston airport.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Chiang Mai

We made the quick drive up to Chiang Mai from Lampang this afternoon. We stopped at the local umbrella factory, where we painted our own authentic cotton umbrellas. A quick lunch at the Boat Restaurant and Bakery was followed by a hike up one of the close-by mountains; a beautiful temple was perched waiting for us at the top of our climb. The details that the Thais put into their Buddhist temples is absolutely incredible! Lastly, we checked into our hotel and visited the night bazaar for dinner and final shopping opportunity. We begin our long series of flights back to the United States tomorrow. Prayers would be greatly appreciated for our safe travels. See you at home!

Goodbye, for now, our friends!

Making the umbrella cotton is similar to making dung paper-
Morgan's a pro!

The struggle was real on the trek up countless flights of stairs to
The temple on the mountain...

...But the view was worth it!

Our hotel has gorgeous views of Chiang Mai.

Nation University and Farewell Toke Dinner

On our final day in Lampang, our host Dr. Nirund gave a personal tour of Nation University. As an original founder, he was a huge participant in the fundraising and groundbreaking of the first college in the area. And what a beautiful school it is! After fresh coconut milk and birthday cake in his home, we got to cool off a bit in the school's swimming pool. We attended a special farewell dinner in our honor attended by the mayor of Lampang as well as the director of tourism. A wonderful night was finished by lighting and releasing paper lanterns, carrying away any whispered wishes into the sky. We sure will miss our wonderful hosts, and we will be sure to never forget the awesome friends we made in Lampang!

Dr. Nirund at the welcoming well.

The symbol for Nation University.

Fresh coconut water is delicious and refreshing!

The entire team at the farewell dinner.

Paper lanterns were the perfect way to end our time in Lampang.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thai School

How to even begin to describe today's amazing blessing of visiting the local Christian school! Our VBS went very well; teaching the children all about the Good News of creation and Christ's birth and resurrection all morning definitely brought joy to all of our hearts. Thank you all so much for your prayers in relation to our endeavors to share the Gospel with the kids today. In the afternoon, we got to play soccer, volleyball, foursquare, handball, basketball, jump rope, and so much more! We also got the chance to talk with the high school seniors, who spoke a decent amount of English, to find out what life as a teenager in Thailand is really like. After a short visit to the Christian Mission Hospital across the street, we came back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at Escape Bistro. A quick stroll through a street vendor market rounded out another awesome day in Lampang!

The day started off with a Thai worship service.

Coloring is fun for kids in all countries!

The lessons went very smoothly for Whitney.

"We are weak, but He is strong"

Katie helps a student put on her beaded bracelet.

Katie and Mark playing basketball with the kids during recess.

Most of them had never played with sidewalk chalk before!

Interviewing the seniors, discovering Thai teenage life.

Chris' favorite pastime- eating bugs such as crickets and larvae!