Saturday, June 26, 2010

Creepy Crawlers in Our Neigborhood

Big cities are nice, especially Bangkok. You can find pretty much anything - from food to furniture, to appliances - if you have the money. Ha! But... the experiences to get living out in the country is priceless. You get: dust instead of smog; red mud instead of black muck during rainy season; motorbike jam instead of car jam; loud karaoke shops instead of horns; trees to climb instead of buildings. Well, you get the picture. Even though we long for occasional trips to the big city, we love it here in Kabinburi. We get to have creepy crawling visitors occasionally. Not counting the usual humongus geckos/lizards and house spiders. Recently, we found a snake hanging on a tree just a few feet from our back door. See if you can spot the snake.That was out back. Just a few days later, Ed and our neighbors found a snake out front, crawling inside the water drainage pipe between their end and our end. Ed and our friend, Pape, worked so hard to capture and kill that snake - using a pvc pipe and a hoe.
Now... if you have a weak stomach, please don't look at the next photo. Ed found a couple of our neighbor guys one day using a blow torch to "grill" their dinner - field rats that they caught in the rice fields. Many Thais like to eat them. We haven't had them and don't plan to try them. Our son, Jojo is telling us just now that the smaller ones that they didn't "grill" were released back into the field to grow a little bigger. I have no other words except for "GROSS!"

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rocket Festival

Every year in May, several villages in our town hold a rocket festival. Big boys (men) build their rockets out of pvc pipes and home-made gun powder. They entern a contest on whose rocket will stay up in the air the longest. We took our student center kids to see some rockets one Sunday afternoon. Ed does rocketry as a hobby and hope to one day enter a contest too.
We seriously thought those people were going to stand back and AWAY from the rocket as they light that thing up. We were wrong!
See how close those people are to the rocket??? I had my zoom lens on for this shot! The sound alone was deafening.

Family Camp 2010

Every year we take a group from our church plant in Kabinburi to the family camp on Jomtien Beach, Pattaya organized by the Romphrakhun Fellowship of Baptist Churches held annually on the last week of April or first week of May. We had the biggest group from Kabinburi so far, 21 of us in all. Our co-worker, Jenni Starkey's van broke down as we were entering Pattaya City. During camp we had to pack all of those 21 people in our 11-passenger van to travel between our hotel and the camp site. Imagine the looks we got from people every time we got in and out of that van!

Every year we have been involved at camp in some way - giving lectures or helping in music. We were not asked to do anything this year so we volunteered to help in one of the children's classes. Ha! You know, sometimes when you volunteer, you end up being asked to do the whole thing. We taught the 4th-6th grade class and it was a BLAST! Jenni Starkey taught the Bible lessons; Ed led the games; Darlene did music, memory verses, and crafts. We were thankful for Pastor Ang and Orn, and Mae Sanit for their help. We had five sessions in three days: three hours in the mornings and two hours in the evenings. It was a fun fully-packed camp and the kids had fun. Boy, we wore them out! And yeah, we wore ourselves out too!

Songkraan 2010

Every year in April, everybody in Thailand looks forward to the Thai New Year which they call, Songkraan. It's also a Water Fight Festival that lasts for three days. It's a national holiday so you can imagine the excitement and fun everyone has during those days. It's the biggest water fight in the world, after all! People load up big water containers on their truck bed and go around the town to splash everyone they see. Some just stay on the side of the road and wait for the trucks and motorbikes to come by.

April is the hottest month of the year. Thais pay homage to their lord Buddha to ask him to send the rain.

The older folks, usually 70 years old and above are seated in a row so the "younger" ones can bless them by pouring water on the shoulders and hands. We love this part of Thai culture -showing respect and bestowing honor to the older ones.

The Angels Rejoiced on Easter Sunday

Three days prior to Easter Sunday we had our "Summer Fun" for the Student Center kids. We had singing, memory verses, games, movie, popcorn, crafts, and swimming at a public pool. The kids, as usual, had a blast. Our friend, Ron Powell, from California came to help us out during those days.

One of the crafts we did was coloring eggs for the Easter egg hunt. After our worship service, we went to a nearby park for lunch and egg hunt. Both big and little kids had tons of fun with that. Ron brought some plastic eggs from the States so stuffed those with Thai coins and candies. The Thai kids have never had anything like this before so it was a pleasant surprise for them. Sorry we don't have anymore pictures of the "Summer Fun." I (Darlene) thought I saved all the photos but couldn't find them anywhere on my computer or any other disks.

Jenni Starkey did a series of lessons about the life of Christ which led to the resurrection. After Sunday School, two girls came up to me and said they were ready to ask Jesus into their hearts. I sat down with them and explained God's plan of salvation just to remind them of what they had been learning on Sundays. They were so ready. I wish you could have seen their eyes and their excitement. The angels rejoiced that Easter Sunday when Jin and Faa asked Jesus to live in their hearts. What a great day for a spiritual birthday!
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