Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thailand Update VII

Greetings once again from Thailand!!

Myanmar was a great trip!!
The Team
Left to right: Fonda Miller, Barbara Lapp, April Bange, Peter Burkholder, Me!

   We had lots of different kinds of transportation this time!  It started out with a 14 hour train ride from Chiang Mai to Bangkok!  The train was pretty old but it was roomy.  The seats were about twice as wide as airplane seats and the windows were wide open to start with!  We did stick our feet out for a little bit but it wasn't long!!  :)  The seats were not the most comfortable but not bad!!

Barbara and April were enjoying themselves!
They did have a bed that flipped down from the ceiling and the two seats came together to make a bed!   We left around 5:30 Tues. night and got to Bangkok at 7:30 the next morning.   We talked for a while before asking the attendance to put our beds in place and going to bed!!  We were all tired.  I did sleep good!
   We spent the day in the Bangkok airport and flew to Yangon that evening.   We got a hotel for the night, then flew up to Sittwe on the plan below!!

We didn't have a lot of plans for this trip but did a good amount of prayer walking!   This was a poor part of town that we walked through!

We traveled up to the small tourist town of Mrauk-U, and spent a day and a half there!  The boat ride was 4.5 hours up there!!  The motor was so loud that we all had solitude all together on the boat!  To talk you had to shout!!

A boat similar to the one that we took up to Mrauk-U!

This is at the Guest House that we stayed at in Mrauk-U!
Our bikes that we had for a day!
We rented bicycles for one day and rode around the area looking at different temples and pagodas!
This is the ruins of an old palace!  
The Rakhine people were very powerful and Mrauk-U was the capital back in the 1500s, I think!  It was a large city at one point!

Following are pictures of some of the thousand pagodas in that area!!
From on temple to the other temple!!

Our last evening in Mrauk-U, we went to the pagoda (pictured above) to watch the sunset!!

For all you photographers out there!!

The one morning we watched a sunrise from the same pagoda the next morning before heading out! 
This picture is unedited!  The sunrise is in the background!!

It was so cool to sit up there above the town and watch the sunset, and then watch the sunrise from the same spot!! (Yes, you may take that the way you wish)!!  

The ride back to Sittwe took 6 hours because the tide was low!!  I again spent lots of time reading, mostly the Bible but also read some other books that I had along!!   I think it was in those two trips that I read the entire book of II Samuel plus finished I Samuel and into I Kings!!  It was really good for me!!

Ok, backing up a little bit!  We got to Mrauk-U on Sat. and left Mon. morning.  Peter asked our host if he knew of any Christian Churches in the area!  He knew of one but didn't know exactly where it was.  He got us close, and we figured we could ask from there!   Once we got to the area, we couldn't find anyone who spoke English but they all kept point up a small side street!  We headed up there and found a small Presbyterian church that was just getting ready to start.  A young man, who seemed to be the leader but said he wasn't the pastor, was definitely in charge and came over and talked to us!  There was hardly anyone there.  They took us up to the church and got some chairs out for us! We sat down and waited for a while!  Church didn't start till about 11:15. (It was suppose to start at 11)  It ended up being about 15 people there.  Before the service started, the missionary (for so he called himself) asked Peter and I if we would preach that morning!!  Peter did want to and I had apprehensions too but said I would at least share something!  I was totally not expecting it but I did have about 20 min to pull some thoughts together during worship and prayer.   I didn't have any notes or anything with me so I flipped open my Bible and it fell open to Ps. 91.  I thanked the Lord and thought this will work but it seems short.  So, I turn over to the New Testament and it lands at John 15.   I thought this is perfect.  I'll use these two chapters to talk about dwelling and abiding in Christ!!  I only preached for about 15 or 20 minutes but it was really good for me!!   The missionary interpreted for me and I don't know how good his understanding of English was and how it was interpreted but I trust that the Holy Spirit could use that to His honor and glory!!

In worship!
The Church!

Back in Sittwe, we had another day and a half there before we needed to head back to Yangon!   We visited and abandon train station.

We then headed out to the beach and got our feet wet and hunted up sea shells!  We had fun out there!

That afternoon was open so I went to a small park and spent some time by myself.  These pictures are from there so I wasn't completely by myself.  These children looked like they were siblings but I have no way of know that but they were all playing together and this little guy was just having a ball!!!  It was so much fun watching him!!

6:00 the next morning we got on a boat similar to this one (the big one) and head back to Yangon.  The ferry only took us about half way, to Toungup, but still took 9 hours!  Again, lots of time to chat, read and pray!  The seats were not very big and set close together.  Not made for broad shouldered americans!  We made it though!  Once in Toungup we were going to get a bus and were hoping that we could get one the next morning!  We went to the bus station and Peter asked about buses leaving in the morning but they didn't and the next bus was leaving in 30 min!  It was a challenge.  The bus ride was 13.5 hours long.  We left at 4:30 in the afternoon and got to Yangon at 6:00 the next morning!  The roads were anything but smooth and straight!  I decided that the driver was Jehu and he was practicing for the Daytona 500!!  :)  It was crazing.  Curvy mountain roads, flying around corners and bouncing the entire time!!  We did not sleep at all for the first several hours.  I did manage to get a decent amount of sleep inspite of the conditions but some of the others I don't think did!  Peter did have a low grade fever and some of the rest were not feeling the greatest.  In Yangon, we got a hotel and slept for several hours!

In the afternoon we (except for Fonda, who was exhausted) went on a train ride around the city of Yangon.  That was interesting, seeing the local people and talking with some of them!

That evening, we all went to someones house where Zach and Mary were and hung out with the people there for sometime.  The ministry there was taking care of some children for another area and giving them an education!

Little Elizabeth bringing us a plate of persimmons!
Zoe and Elizabeth playing together! 
Zoe didn't like the red light that came on before I would take a picture!

The children sang for us before we left!

The next day we headed downtown to see a large, famous pagoda.   There was an entry fee and we decided not to go in!  We walked around for some time and found several mosques and muslim cemeteries.  We walked through one of cemeteries then headed over to a small coffee shop!  The inside was really cool and thought that Jordan would enjoy taking pictures in there!!  :)

Hazelnut Frappe with a touch of caramel!!

We did have fun here!  Lunch was next on the schedule and we headed up town towards our hotel and went to a little restaurant that is owned by a christian lady.  We got there and asked for her but she had just left about an hour ago!  The food was really good and we enjoyed being there anyway!!  From there we picked up our luggage and went to the airport!    Our flight got delayed about 2 hours which made us almost miss our connecting flight to Chiang Mai!!  We did make it though and it is so good to be home again!!!  :).

Here are some random pictures from the entire trip!  I took a lot of pictures of children too!


Drill bits made out of rebar!!


Another selfie!!

What a classic!!!

You gotta love em!!!!

These are some of my favorites!!  Hope you enjoy.   There is lots more that I could talk about but here is not the place nor do I have the time!!  :).  Blessings to you all,

till next time.....cookie!!