DAY ONE in Thailand
After a long two days of travel we woke up to toddler’s voices outside our room and found that they were being bathed by their caregivers from the House of Blessing at an outdoor shower. We immediately experienced cuteness overload!
Our team spent the morning with Pastor Soonthorn sharing the past, present, and future of the House of Blessing. This man is amazing. MORE than amazing. He is transforming the lives of so many people here in Thailand, and now the lives of our Chapel Hill team. He introduced us to Coco, our new friend and translator for the weekend. She shared her story of being incarcerated for 25 years, for transporting drugs. Drugs she didn’t put in her luggage, nor did she know they were even there. She was set up by people she thought were her friends. By the end of her story, she had us all in tears. Her great love for the Lord is apparent as she tells about her transformation from troubled, self-centered teen to grateful, loving, faithful adult. She is still struggling with things that would take 15 more paragraphs to share, but Coco was my inspiration today.
The afternoon was spent with nearly 100 Hmong refugee children, ages 1-15. I spent most of my time initially with ages 6-10, and my biggest God sighting today was their JOY. The first half hour was pretty quiet, with possible skepticism on their little faces when we started telling them all the activities we had planned for them. But It didn’t take long for the JOY to fill their sweet hearts and cute smiling, laughing faces. After they were well entertained by beach balls and jump ropes, I couldn’t stay away from the baby room. Especially after seeing Tan and Noel snuggling babies! I also snuggled, hugged, played, gave piggy back rides, and even helped a little 4 year old with practicing writing her English letters. Moments I’ll never forget, for so many reasons. Hugging a child who is away from their incarcerated mother, or living hungry as a refugee, makes my heart break and expand all at the same time.
I wish I had the capacity to describe here each of the individual interactions with every one of these children. I’m still having trouble putting today’s experience into words. We have so much, yet we need so little. Giving our time and love today to these children may not change their entire life, but it did change their day. And mine.
God is good.