Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thailand Update IV

Greetings From Thailand!
Classes are now over and we are preparing to go on our ministry trips!  There is a group going to Nepal, one to Indonesia, one to Vietnam, two to Myanmar, and my group is going to China!   I am leading the trip which means that I make the final decision on where to go and what to do!  It will be challenging trip but I am looking forward to it!

Backing up: last Saturday we (most of the student body) went the night bazar.  We had lots of fun.  It is touristy place so there were lots and lots of little stands there selling.....anything!  Below is a picture of a fish spa.  Its a fish tank with lots of little fish in it.  You put your feet into it and the fish supposedly eat the dead skin and other things (except toes) off your feet. The biggest fish that I saw was like 2.5" long.  Most of them were more like an 1-1.5" long.  It feels really funny. It did tickle for a little bit but I soon got used to it.

My friend Austin and I with our feet among the fish!!

Yes, those are my fee that you see between fish!
Three of the girls did it too!!!  Janelle, Deanne, and Barbara!

A gecko that caught a dragonfly

Today is a lot of orientation for ministry trips next week.  Just details on what we can, should and shouldn't do!  We also did a team building activity.  Don't ask me what it is because I want to do it with the youth group sometime!!  ;).
Today is very relaxing in comparison to the rest of the week.  With test coming up and all other activities and responsibilities to keep up with it was almost stressful!  Let me know if you have any questions.  I won't have my computer or internet connection on the trip to china so you all will not hear from me in that time!  Look for another update after Sept. 26!!

.....till next time, cookie 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Thailand Update III

Greetings from Thailand,

 Ok, lets go back to the beginning of the week.  On sunday afternoon most of us guys and several of the girls played ultimate.  The problem was that the field still had water on it from a recent rain that we had.  The rainy season started not to long ago.  We played anyway!!  Oh what fun we had!!  I’m still debating whether to post pictures of that or not!!!  

The VW smoothie place!

On Saturday several of us guys went to a little road side coffee shop type place that made really good smoothies!  If you look closely at the picture you can see that there is more than just smoothies on the menu, but they use yogurt to make the smoothies.  These are some of the best smoothies I have every tasted.  The best part about it is you get like 24 oz for just over a dollar!!!   $1 = about 32 bhat.  

Monday was a challenging day.  In that afternoon Wendall, Zach and I went with Lanus Dueck to several buddhist temples. 

Inside the main temple!
   We were just going to do some prayer walking and Lanus gave us some good tips and answered our questions.  I got to talk to a young monk who was studying at one of the temples.  He know some English so we had short conversation but nothing deep.  The next temple we went to, Wot Chedi Luang, was build in the 14 hundreds.  There were a lot of newer buildings that most of the activity was in but the main old building was still there and was really cool!!  Its a huge pyramid of brick with different statues in it.  Zach and I went inside the main temple to just look at it and take pictures.  I got some videos of people bowing down to "these dumb idols", but to actually be there and feel the spirit of blindness that are on these people almost broke my heart.  I nearly wept right there in the temple.  Please pray for us as we go Mon, and Fri afternoons 3-6.  Pray that the people we talk to would have their spiritual eyes opened to see Jesus Christ.  We were going to visit one other temple but Delmar Penner, the guy who is working on a new Igo promo video, what to get some shots of us talking to some monks.   We talked with them for about 30 min.  We were able to share some of the gospel message.  The one guy was an ex-monk but knew English very well.   He know a little bit of christianity so we started at the very beginning and told him how Adam and Eve fell in the garden and were about to start with Christ when the dogs close by set up a racket.  This was more than just the dogs!!!!   They slowed up after a bit but never really stopped.  We had leave soon after that so we didn't get very far, but he wanted to connect on facebook.  I don't have facebook but Wendall, the other student that I was with connected with him and they chatted throughout the week.   He did plan on coming to the temple again when we were there and meet but he never showed up.  We talked for about an hour with a monk from India and learned a lot from him.  He wasn't so interested in what we had to say but that isn't surprising.  We did learn a lot about buddhism which will be helpful in the future.   If nothing else these experiences will help me grow and bring me a place where I know what I believe more than ever before.

There are three of these statues in this building and they say that one is made of solid gold!  They all look the same so you can't really tell which one it is!!  They are up pretty high in the pyramid with what looks like used to be steps going up through to each on.   The steps have been removed for whatever reason.

Classes are going well.  I am learning that exercise is extremely important in a place like this.  Two evenings a week is what we get here.   Its usually about 2 hours long so we do get a good amount of exercise in.  Its just that I am used to playing volleyball for 3-4 hours at a time!!   Tues nights we play footsall and Thurs nights we play volleyball.   Footsall is very similar to soccer only its played on a MUCH smaller field with less people.  This past Thurs. night it was raining but we played outside anyway.   Are you seeing a pattern here?  :)  I enjoy it but some of the students don't.   Ephesians is my favorite class.  Biblical Theology is probably next but is definitely the hardest.  The book that we are reading is called "Radical" is one of my favorite to read.  For homework we need to read anywhere from 0.5 - 1 chapter each day.    The next one is Discovering our God 1.  This one is good too.  The fourth one then is TESOL.  For Discovering Our God 1, we are ready through "The Knowledge of the Holy", by A.W. Tozer.  The one thought that stood out to me was that God cannot learn anything because He knows everything already.   If He could learn something then He would not be God.  In our finite minds we cannot comprehend an infinite God!!!  

I do have lots more to say but it will just have to wait!  I don't have a lot of extra time these days so any time I get to connect with other students here I want to take advantage of that!!

.....till next time,  cookie!

Class Picture 2nd Semester 2014

Here a picture of all of the 2014 2nd semester students!

From Left to right:
Back: Titus Zook, Peter Burkholder, Austin Lapp, Delmar Penner, Wendall Kennell, Darrell Horst, Loren Yoder, Jared Reiff, Kyle Troyer, Champ, Joshua Slabaugh.
Middle: Janelle Burkholder, Geneva Troyer, Kim Petersheim, Brittany Miller, Deanne Stauffer, Teresa Nisly, Fonda Miller, Rebekah Stoltzfus, Susan Lee, Zach Yoder.

Front: Crystal (Crissy) Beiler, Brittany (Brit) Miller, Corissa (Cori) Beachy, Barbara Lapp, April Bange, Janelle Maust, Ramona Smucker, Lori Hershberger, Mary Yoder (Holding Zoe)

 Zach and Mary are looking at going to Myanmar for long term ministry.  Their church sent them to IGo so that they can go into Myanmar on their ministry trips and do some scouting!!  They will be going there for all three of their trips!