My Experiences in Chiang Mai & Bangkok

From Jan 28 to Feb 3, I had an opportunity to travel to Chiang Mai & Bangkok, Thailand.  I traveled with a team from my home church, Christ UMC Honolulu.  The following pictures help chronicle this vision trip.  Enjoy!

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At Honolulu International Airport, checking in with extra speedy service thanks to one of our team members, 김연도 집사님.
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Where we slept during our stay at Chiang Mai – The Lanna Palace Hotel. The owner of this hotel is a Christian (only 0.1% of the population of Thailand is Christian).
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One of our first visits was to Mae Taeng Elephant Park. Our Missionary Hosts (Gary and Cindy Moon) wanted us to experience Thai Culture through various ways.
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taking a raft down the Mae Taeng River. Due to the presence of elephants and their hefty bowel movements, nobody dared touch the water.
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Beastmode Driving.

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Wild Orchid GardenImageImage

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Visiting various churches/orphanages.

A day after sightseeing, our team proceeded to visit various churches, schools, and orphanages that were sprawled throughout the region.  Our average commute from one place to another was 2-3 hours but Missionary Gary Moon filled up our time with insightful stories about his experiences.

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For the next 3 days in Chiang Mai, this was pretty much my vantage point for 2/3 of the time. Missionaries Gary and Cindy Moon lead a ministry that spans several provinces in Northern Thailand. While we slept in Chiang Mai, we traveled to several outlying provinces including Chiang Rai, Phayao & Nan

Wednesday, January 30th

Gideon Chiang Rai UMC

The first church we visited was called Gideon Chiang Rai UMC.  We were greeted by the Pastor, Pastor Taradon, and his fiancee.  His fiancee works for Destiny Rescue International, a ministry that rescues young girls from the sex trade that is prevalent among the mountain tribes of Northern Thailand!

In addition to leading this church, Pastor Taradon also runs an orphanage comprised of several boys (they were at school when we visited).  See pictures below.

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Rev. Nak In Kim, our senior pastor, presenting a special gift offering to Pastor Taradon and his ministry.

 

Akha Peoples

After visiting Gideon Chiang Rai UMC, we traveled another 2 hours deep into the mountains to visit a group known as the Akhas.   These people knew that we would be arriving on this particular day to visit them.  Upon our arrival they greeted us with joyful noises with song and laughter.

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The new building in the background is being built with donations from Santa Clara UMC. The second floor will be the future sanctuary and the first floor with have classrooms and dormitory-style rooms for future mission teams.
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Mr. Yoon joining with the Akha church members in singing and dancing.
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The current sanctuary for the Akha church.
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The welcome spread for our group. Note: All of these fruits were plentiful all throughout the village. Even the poorest person in this area will probably never starve to death.
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Rev. Kim praying for the healing of these two men seated.
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Rev. Kim presenting a gift on behalf of Christ UMC to the Akha Church senior pastor.

Thursday, January 31

Hmong Village School

Our first stop was to a school high up in the mountains to visit a Hmong Village.  There are 152 students at this school ranging from Kindergarten to sixth grade.  The village has over 400 families and well over 1,000 people.  On our way to the school, we drove by several (empty) church buildings.  There was no discernible Christian presence in this village.

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Angel’s Haven Orphanage

On Thursday afternoon, we finally visited the Angel’s Haven Orphanage where currently eight young girls ranging from 8 to 16 are living.  All the girls are HIV+.  Visiting this orphanage was the highlight of my trip.  As soon as I walked into the house, I felt a strong sense of love and affection surrounding that place.  You could see the love of God in these girls’ faces.

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Friday – Sunday

Bangkok – Visit to a Boating Village

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paddle-thru noodle soup. delicious!

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Bangkok Prasiri UMC Sunday Worship

It was a joy to worship together with brothers and sisters at the Prasiri UMC.  Led by a young pastor couple, this church is a growing congregation of young families and young adults.  Our very own Rev. Kim preached the Word.

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Rev. Kim blessing the children.
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Proclaiming the Word of God!
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Mr. Yoon presenting a special gift on behalf of Christ UMC to Prasiri UMC.

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Missionaries Gary and Cindy Moon

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so much love and respect for this faithful couple.

 

 

 

 

 

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