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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Friday – Sunday
Bangkok – Visit to a Boating Village
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.
Missionaries Gary and Cindy Moon