It's finally raining in Thailand. The drought has made it impossible for farmers in the mountains to plant their rice, so we're expecting much higher food prices this year. So while the rain is badly needed, it may end up being too little and too late.
It has, however, seemed to cool things down a bit. Today's high will be 93, but right now it's only 84. That's good. Given the tolerance for hot weather here, the kids at our orphan homes will probably be breaking out the heavy blankets any night now.
My family is doing well. I'm a bit under the (ever-changing) weather, so I'm staying at the hotel with Chien while Kori, Pak and Xiu Dan head out with our director Tutu and ministry advisor Mike to visit a Lahu village. Some of our kids are Lahu, and most came from very poor villages like the one my family will see today.
This week we've been joined by Tim Crandall and Eddie Hastings from Chet's Creek Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Tim is the director of the church's adoption ministry, and Eddie is the Pastor of Administration. They're here to check out Asia's Hope and evaluate possible partnerships.
I can't tell you how thankful I am for Chet's Creek. It's my parent's church, and it has literally been a Godsend for them. My mom, dad and little sister moved to Florida a few years ago, and were embraced by Chet's, a loving and energetic faith community with a vision that extends beyond north Florida to the ends of the earth.
Tim and Eddie joined me and my family this week to visit our Wiang Pa Pow campus, aka "The Farm." This campus houses a widows' ministry, and orphan home and a number of agricultural and micro-enterprise projects. We're currently working to pay off the land completely, and have made great strides thanks to amatching grant by the Florida-based Van Voorhis Family Foundation. Eventually, The Farm may house as many as three more orphan homes.
While at The Farm, we killed a pig in the Karen tribal tradition (Tim did the honor, spearing the pig in the heart), played with the children for hours on end.
Tim, getting ready to do the deed.
The least gory picture I can post.
It's been such a blessing to hang out with Tim and Eddie, and I'm looking forward to visiting the church again in October.
Every day here is full. Maybe a bit too full. But there's so much to see, so many kids to play with, and so much to eat. I'm enjoying everything, even the rain.
The bamboo Hilton.Eddie making friends with the kids at Wiang Pa Pow.The orphan home at Wiang Pa Pow.
One of the widows harvesting longan fruitThe orphan home at nightLate night songs
Widows and staff sing "Blessed Be The Ties" in Karen languageThe kids at Wiang Pa Pow get ready for schoolTim tries on a traditional Karen tribal vest