ARK INTERATIONAL | 2010
Tales from Thailand 1
Weâ€™d like to introduce you to
Pip: Short term volunteer
Bon: A picture of Thai youth today
Surene: A trip to the try line
MEET PIP When God asked me to go on a short term missions trip to Bangkok to work with Ark International I thought: “BRILLIANT! My heart is to work with kids and I would love to get out of the country for a bit.” I wasn’t sure if God had made the right decision about asking me as I didn’t think I had any skills the team could use. But who am I to question him? Especially if it means he provides the finances, I get to see a new country and miss out on a week of university. Tough choice. I thought I would have a fun time playing with kids, maybe do a little craft, see some sights and do some great shopping. If God had let me in on what I would really get to do and learn there is no way I would have believed him.
God changed so much within me and really opened my eyes to the work he is doing in Bangkok. I felt so privileged when I discovered that I was able to contribute skills and knowledge to a team that does such amazing work. I learnt so much from these guys and they made me feel ridiculously blessed! Each and everyone of them has a passion for God and to make his love and truth known, not only to children at risk but anyone they encounter. As we worked with the kids at Nak Suu program on Saturday I felt quite in awe. I could see why the kids were so excited to be there. Every member of the team was filled with a joy and energy that drew the kids in. Whether it was teaching about the scripture for the week, cutting up oranges or encouraging the kids through their rugby drills I could see Christ represented through them. In everything they did they did it with his love and wisdom.
NAK SUU RUGBY TRAINING
MEET BON PAGE 5
Bon is 9 years old. He is from a remote village in Northern Thailand. Bon’s mother died 2 years ago and his father is an alcoholic. Daily, Bon experiences the effects of hunger and abuse as his father goes into rage fits and beats him. He stopped going to school because they didn’t have enough money for his uniform and books. Recently, a man came into the village and offered to pay Bon’s father 3,000 baht (equivalent to just over $100.00) to take his son into the big city to get him a good job. The father, in his drunken stupor agreed.
As the boy was being taken away, a neighbour suspicious of the man was able to intervene, take Bon away and hide him. Two days later, Bon was dropped off at a large white house – his ‘new home’. He was permanently placed in the care of a children’s home. However, the emotional issues that ran deep within Bon’s life soon began to surface in his actions and temperament. The worker’s in the home didn’t know what to do with him and repeatedly called him a ‘naughty boy’ and would lock him in a room away from the other children to punish him.
MEET SURENE Some of my closest friends have often queried my devotion to that glorious game called rugby. Perhaps justly so as I have often imagined God leaping from his throne, mad with delight, as Brian Habana skids over the South African try line. Now, before I distance too many readers, allow me to qualify. I am willing to concede that God may not exclusively support the Springbok campaign but a fan of Rugby he definitely is. It is a strange train of thought that will take you from Rugby to Bangkok, Thailand, and the beautiful children who call this city home. Clearly God does not allow himself to be dictated by the logic of man. Nak Suu, a program facilitated by ARK International, provides opportunity for about forty orphans to meet every Saturday to strengthen their bodies on the Rugby pitch and their spirits on the sidelines as they hear powerful messages of love from the word of God.
This August I had the opportunity to witness and volunteer at this weekly event. Children between the ages of seven and fourteen were unloaded by a variety of vehicles, name tagged, grouped and cuddled. I accompanied the younger kids to the playing field and participated in rugby drills, practicing catching and passing, working on speed and agility, and developing a love of the ball. If this is where the day ended, then success would merely equate a momentary escape from the children’s impoverished lifestyle, a temporary relief of boredom and although this is noble in itself, I am happy to say that the day had not yet concluded. With tired muscles the kids marched off the field, gathered under the verandah area and heard that the authority of God is underpinned by the love of God and that it is under this authority and under this love that we, in turn, love our ‘brother’. These are the simple teachings that have the potential to change lives, which trumpets God’s perfect love is more than sufficient to meet an impoverished economy of pocket and spirit, and can overcome the daily injustices these children encounter. I was touched by the children’s generosity as I was not allowed to see the passing of half an hour without being offered a glass of water. Also the Nak Suu staff ’s commitment, love, creativity and obedience to God is inspiring as they are directly discipling these children, each a treasure in the Kingdom of heaven. In the Nak Suu ministry I see God using talent for a game and love for a ‘brother’ to further his kingdom and bring more to the light and love.