Temple Tour / Monk Chat (Chiangmai)

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Thailand_2017_Chiangmai_Doi Suthep temple on mountain

While in Chiangmai this week, our Thailand team went up the nearby mountain to Doi Suthep, a huge Buddhist temple to prayer walk. As they arrived, they saw 4,000 Thai students waiting in line to receive blessings from the monks. This really impacted the team because we saw how spiritually hungry the Thai people are but also how lost they are. They’re seeking blessings from monks when they could be beginning relationships with Christ. This reality truly motivated our hearts to pray.

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Afterwards, we did a “monk chat” – basically the Thai culture reveres monks as so incredibly wise that the monks set aside time to share their wisdom with the people. Missionaries use these times to engage the monks in conversation and share Christ. This is something our teams do every year. Sometimes we are able to share the Gospel and see seeds planted. Other times we walk away with a deeper understanding of the spiritual lost-ness of this culture.

This time, our monk chat was awesome! A monk we were talking with displayed the most openness and interest in Jesus that I (Dan) have ever seen from a monk. As a Project Director for RIM, I’ve been coming to Thailand for 8 years and I’ve done many monk chats. We’re all really encouraged that the Lord divinely opened up this opportunity for us, and we ask for your prayers that this man will come into personal relationship with Christ.

Overall, Chiangmai has been a wonderful experience with a lot of fruit!! We’re so encouraged by the depth of sharing about Christ that we’ve been able to do with the monks and in the bars, and we were so privileged to work with the ministry that helps trafficked children (even though we’ll have to tell you most of those stories once we get home). God has really moved in a powerful way here in Chiangmai!

Today, we’re off to visit the elephants (literally!) and then we’ll have one more night of bar ministry before we head to Chiang Kham, our final stop on this trip. There, we’ll work with Home of Blessing, a house for poor, orphaned or abandoned girls, many of whom are being protected from trafficking by living there. These girls are given opportunities to know Christ, be discipled, and receive an education so they can move on to better circumstances than their families of origin. We look forward to encouraging them, working alongside them, visiting their schools to teach English, and helping them plant rice (which will provide food for the home for about six months!). Please keep us in your prayers as we finish the last 10 days of our time in Thailand!!

Celebrity Teachers (By Malorie)

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“Muzungu.”

This is the title we have been given by all Ugandans. It literally translates to “white person.” Imagine being on the street by a shop and having someone literally address you as the name of your race! This is one of the hilarious culture differences we have experienced here in Uganda…

Truth be told, white people are a bit of a novelty here, especially at the school. Students are so surprised to see muzungus, that they don’t know how to act.  Think back to when you were in school and had a substitute teacher… You were never on your best behavior then, right? Discipline was impossible to enforce and everyone in the class knew it was basically a free day. Now imagine having a celebrity as your substitute teacher. You would be way too excited to sit still in your seat and listen to them teach about your lesson for the day. Instead, you would want to take pictures with them, hug them, learn about their life that’s so different from yours, and marvel in the fact that they are sitting there with you. While we are nothing more than some young girls coming to serve the Lord through teaching them, the kids only see us as celebrity substitute teachers taking over their classes.

Translation? CHAOS.

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I have had the privilege of teaching both Top and Middle class, and it has been interesting. My class contains a total of 12 of the most adorable 4-6 year-old children I have ever meet in my life. They are full of a love for life, curiosity about the unknown, and limitless energy. I’ll be honest, it has been a challenge to teach these sweet babies, but it has been so rewarding at the same time. Watching them grasp a concept, such as the spelling of the suffix: -ing, or watching their eyes light up when they spell a word correctly has been incredible.  But as rewarding as these little moments are, the most rewarding of all is every morning when we step into the school yard and they all sprint towards us yelling, “Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!” It truly makes all the chaos worth it. 

Getting to love on these beautiful children and teach them in the few minutes of focus they allow us brings so much joy to all of our hearts. They show us the meaning of being joyful in all circumstances, they remind us what it looks like to love without limits, and they inspire us with their curiosity and creativity.

Teaching these children is an experience that will stay with us for the rest of our lives as it will remind us to live our lives like these sweet children do.

Uganda Trivia – Two Truths & A Lie

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A land of mystery and intrigue, Uganda boasts many fascinating features…
Can you guess which statements below are true? Each set of 3 statements contains 2 truths and 1 lie. Find the lies and you’ll be well prepared to start sharing the Gospel in Uganda this summer!!

Trees, Roofs & Senior Citizens

  1. Legally, if you cut one down a tree in Uganda, you need to plant three more!
  2. Only women work to build mud huts. Men just install the roofs.
  3. The extensive elderly population of Uganda creates over-crowding issues.

Phones, Grasshoppers & The State of Oregon

  1. Ugandans say, “I need to make a short call” when looking for a phone booth.
  2. Ugandans honor special guests by presenting a pan fried grasshoppers to eat.
  3. 34.5 million people live in Uganda, but only 3.8 million live in Oregon though both spaces are the same size!

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Check Your Answers

#3 – The elderly… Actually, Uganda is the youngest country in the world. Nearly 50% of the population is under age 14!

#1 – The bathroom… Use this saying to find a restroom without embarrassing your host

 

Now That You Know… GO!!

Uganda needs you – your passion, your faith, your talent! Real Impact Missions is offering a 4-week short-term missions opportunity this summer for high school and college students. You’ll work with orphans, share your faith in public schools, and encourage brand new church plants. Learn more about Uganda mission trips…

Request Our FREE Brochure and learn how you can make a difference in the lives of orphans this summer!

Independence Day in Guatemala!

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anibalOur dear friends and long-time ministry partners, Anibal and Sonia, recently shared this update with us about their work in Ciudad Quetzal. Our teams partnered with them in this area during 2016 and will continue to focus on this specific region in 2017. So far, we have been able to complete several community development projects for local schools, to share evangelistic presentations in schools and to offer medical clinics to students and their families.

We’ll be returning in 2017 for more evangelism, construction and medicine. Please pray for this area – that God would raise up the younger generation to be sincere followers of Himself, committed to relationship with Jesus, not mere religion and ritual.

Here’s their update:

Dear Friends,

In Guatemala we recently celebrated the Independence Day. In Ciudad Quetzal, while we participated in the parade, I took pictures of the teachers who are transforming the lives of their students by teaching eternal principles and values based on the Bible. Ciudad Quetzal teachers are teaching the Bible to their students. We are certain that we will soon see the results that the Word of God produces in each person.

I invite you to watch and share this video with your friends, and remember that “God’s Word does not return void”.

Pray that the first to be impacted by the Bible will be the teachers, remember, that the teachers are nonbelievers and they are reading and teaching the Explorers of the Bible material with the children. It sounds crazy, but if anyone wants to see it in person I invite you to visit the schools in Ciudad Quetzal.

Thank you for supporting our ministry.

Anibal and Sonia Duarte
City Transformation
Cru Guatemala

Cooking in Doi Wawee

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Chiang Rai & Doi Wawee, Thailand – July 18th

Thailand Mission Trip, Doi Wawee, Tea Farm

On Monday, the team drove to Chiang Rai, about 2.5 hours away. We met with Rung, a Thai woman who runs a children’s home about an hour north that RIM teams have worked with the past two years. Also with Rung were of few of her friends. All of them work with the children in north Thailand. We had lunch and prayed together.

Later in the evening, the team picked up Um and Wan from Chiang Rai airport. These are the same two Thai girls that the team met in Bangkok when we first arrived in Thailand. Both of them are alumni of Home of Blessing in Chiang Kham, which we be the team’s final stop, our last week in Thailand.

Thailand Mission Trip, Doi Wawee, Tea Farm

Afterwards, the team headed up into the mountains to Doi Wawee, to the house of Um’s family (they’re of the Akha tribe). There are three girls in the family, all are alumni at Home of Blessing. The team will partner with the family in ministry and encourage the family.

Thailand Mission Trip, Doi Wawee, Tea Farm

Upon arriving, they welcomed us warmly, and we enjoyed a great home cooked meal together. The food up in the mountains in this Akha village is different than the Thai food we’ve eaten thus far… everything is so incredibly fresh, we only use chopsticks, and everyone shares from bowls together. Wonderful!