Pua Mission Trip -- May 2018
Ten of us headed to Kathy's Home in Pua, Thailand to conduct the quarterly English camp from 18-21 May 2018. The Thai academic year was about to begin and the team was excited to meet ten new children at the home. Read the trip report to find out more.
The team comprised 10 members: Beh, Siew Kim, Kim Song, William, Karen, Susan, Isaac, Joni, Joanne and Sze Gar. Joanne (from Team New York) joined the GBC team for the first time while Isaac flew all the way from Washington DC and arrived in Pua a day earlier.
The flight from Singapore to Bangkok was delayed and upon arrival, we were met with a long queue at the immigration checkpoint at Don Mueang airport. Once again, through the resourcefulness of Beh, we were granted a special short queue at the immigration counter meant for diplomats. Alas, the time it took for us to clear this short queue was almost just as long if we have stayed in the normal queue! Nonetheless, we were very thankful for the 10 minutes it allowed us to grab a speed lunch at Magic Garden before our flight to Nan. Some of us who had to check in luggage or get boarding pass printed had to forgo the lunch though.
We were thus very grateful that the flight from Bangkok to Nan was on time and uneventful as well as the ride from Nan to Pua. Upon arrival at Oopkaew Resort, we were met by William and Karen who had arrived from Beacon Hall in their own car, as well as Isaac who had reached Pua a day earlier and was on a fruitless hunt for wonton mee earlier during the day, not knowing that the stall only operates from 5pm onwards. So, he was just as glad that the team made it to the resort in time to have our wonton mee fix before we headed to Kathy’s Home.
For the return journey, William and Karen took a leisurely drive back to Beacon Hall while the rest of the team (including Kim Song, yea!) flew back the next morning to Singapore via Nan-Bangkok (Joanne stayed on in Bangkok). Even though the length of the journey was the same, somehow, the return flights have always left us feeling exhausted upon arrival in Singapore as opposed to the excitement and joy we felt when we reached Pua.
Morning Devotion and Sermon
On Saturday morning, William led us through a meditation on Psalm 50. We were reminded of who God is – the Mighty One, the LORD – and what He wants from us. At the end of the devotion, Karen shared with us a video of a beautiful hymn: “Father I Place Into Your Hands” as an encouragement to us to obey and trust in Him.
Beh led Sunday’s morning devotion emphasising the importance of patience from Acts 1 and how God has given us the Spirit to guide us. He invited the team to reflect on how do we know we have the Spirit with us. For some of us, it was being at peace with the decisions we made; but most of all, we know that the Spirit is with us because Jesus has assured us and we have the Bible to guide us. He mentioned that we are often impatient with results especially when it comes to ministry or missions work and this prompted Karen to question if impatience is a sin. As we reflected on God’s word on the fruit of the Spirit, it became clear that impatience indeed is a sin.
For Sunday’s message, knowing the disciplinary issues that the home has experienced with some of the older boys recently, Siew Kim recounted a few childhood incidents when he had broken the rules set by his parents and teachers and how he was in turn disciplined. He identified with the boys that he hated the discipline meted out at that point in time, but now that he’s older and wiser, he has learnt that without the discipline, he would not be where he is today. He ended the message with Hebrews 12:5-11 on why there’s a need for rules and that it was out of love that discipline was being carried out. He assured them that though discipline can be unpleasant and is often painful, it will “produce a harvest of righteousness and peace”.
We had the first session on Friday evening, followed by three sessions on Saturday and two sessions on Sunday. We have ten newcomers for this camp and they were all well taken care off by Karen, Joanne, Kim Song and Beh – see Group 8’s reports. A few students had to miss class during the day on Saturday. Some of the girls who have graduated – Sasimai, Jirapinya, Jenny, Suparat and Koranit – returned and helped with the classes.
Our gratitude to (L-R) Jenny, Suparat, Sasimai, Kornanit and Jirapinya who returned to Kathy’s Home during their vacation to help out.
Sunday’s End of Camp Sharing
We were heartened that a number of the older boys came up to apologise for breaking the rules of the home and promised that they would not commit the same mistake again. We were very encouraged by their desire to want to set a good example for the younger children henceforth. Praise the Lord!
Please check out Kathy’s Home Facebook for more photos!
We give thanks to our Lord for:
- Mak and Narola and their love for the Lord and His children.
- Nokton from Nagaland who is committed to come alongside Mak and Narola to serve at Kathy’s Home.
- the repentance of the older boys and their desire to set a good example.
- the girls who have graduated and came back to help with the classes.
- Joe Lauw’s generous donation of 20 refurbished laptops to Kathy’s Home and Beacon Hall.
- Siew Kim’s willingness to step in to organise this trip as Won Lee was not able to make it; as well as his willingness to step up to any role – be it a coordinator, photographer or commoner.
- Beh’s resourcefulness and shepherd’s heart.
- the joy that each and every member has as we serve together.
Please pray for:
- Mak, Narola and the house parents that they will have the wisdom and strength needed as they shepherd the children.
- Nokton as he prepares to commit long term to serve in Pua, such as taking up Thai language classes in Bangkok.
- the newcomers that they will assimilate well.
- the children who are facing difficulties/struggles back home.
- the new boarders at Beacon Hall – that they will settle in well and stir up one another to love and good works
- for William and Karen to continue to have the joy, patience and strength needed as they shepherd the students at Beacon Hall.
- that our joy in the Lord will continue to guide and shine forth in us.
31 August – 3 September 2018