[I apologize if this is a little long, but I promise you it is worth it to read the whole thing].
So, it has officially been a week since we arrived in Khon Kaen. I can not believe it! Time is moving too fast! We are starting to more acclimated to the culture and the schedule we will have every day. However, a few of my teammates and I are started to feel a little homesick for America! [Definitely pray that we can overcome this.] However, we have found a few ways that make us feel at home. For instance, there is a starbucks at the mall, they sell ham and cheese sandwiches at the 7/11 [which are really good!! Despite the fact that they are from a convenient store] and they have McDonald's [which I haven't been to yet, but I can't wait too].
The past few days have been very cool/tiring. We have been able to go to the mall, go out to eat and hang out at the student center with some of the new freshies [this is what they call freshman] we have met. Doesn't sound too bad, but when you add 90 degree heat plus humidity, it can wear you out. It is so cool to see that even thought there is a language barrier, God can over come and still bring students to us so that we can build friendships. Below is a picture of the CCP girls with some of the students [3 of the 4 are not believers. The girl at the top, Ice, is who I walk around campus with to meet students].
Today [Saturday June 11], we had the most amazing opportunity. A couple weeks out of the summer, our team and some students will be taking "Vision Day Trips". During these trips we will be going to different places around Khon Kaen and serving others in what ever way they need. So, today we got to go to The House of Mercy. This is a home/orphanage for kids of all ages with HIV/AIDS. All of the kids there were HIV+, but none of them have progressed into having AIDS yet, praise the Lord.
While we were there, the two english speaking volunteers [from Australia] told us about their mission for the home and why they have such a passion for the kids. The mission of the home is to raise children up the way they need to be in order to be healthy. They teach them that they are loved and created by God, as well as feed them, play with them and educate them. Then, we got to play with the kids for about an hour and a half [which was not long enough]. I could have easily stayed there all day.
One of the girls I met, Bo Yee [thats how it is said, not spelled ha ha] was so sweet. She could actually speak quite a bit of English! She took me by the hand and took me to the basketball court to play. Now I have to tell you, I am a TERRIBLE basketball player. But she didn't care, and neither did I. The entire time we played she just had the biggest smile on her
face. After we were done playing, we all gathered in the dining area and had the chance to pray. While I couldn't understand the prayer [because it was in Thai], I was able to pray silently to myself. I could not thank God enough for such a wonderful opportunity. After our leader was finished praying, a little boy stood up and began to pray. I didn't care that I couldn't understand what he was saying, I had chills all over my body just to hear this little boy cry out to our Lord.
As it was getting time to say goodbye, I went up to Bo Yee and gave her a hug and told her goodbye. I was doing everything I could to fight back the tears. She didn't want to let go. She kept giving me one more hug. Those children are truly little blessings that God placed in our lives today. I hope that we will have the opportunity to go back before we leave.