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Life in a Northern Town (of Thailand) My name is Shayne Rochfort and I am a servant of God, volunteering in Hangdong, Thailand! I am helping support an amazing team in their work in the local schools and community. My main role involves everything and anything.

The Nations Course is finished, Amen . . . Highlights  Completing Visa/Border run successfully  Completing the Nations Course and passing  Going to PanAsia Conference (ACC Missions)  Hosting 4 teams in 4 days  Celebrating Mother’s Day Thai style I miss you Mum!!!

As you may have picked up from my previous newsletter or from some of my Facebook posts, I have been studying a brutal six week cross cultural missions course. Whilst being so very helpful to me currently, it has given me a bunch of insights into all of the things that make culture what it is, why people act the way they do, their fears and insecurities, what makes them tick and even why you can and can’t do some things that are fine in most places. I am not much of a studier or reader, so I was behind

the eight ball to start. Apart from my daily readings, I wouldn’t have read six pages in the last six years for fun. For much of the course, the reading load was around 200 pages per week and for many readings, you were required to have some kind of interaction with them in report form.

Volume 1 Issue 3

Well, thankfully, I finished the course, completed all my assignments and actually passed. “Geng maak(well done) ” I made many lifelong friends out of the course, who have all now returned to their own mission works and it has been great to hear how the course had also blessed them.

Mother’s Day - Thai Style - August 12 In Thailand, Mother’s day is celebrated on the Queen of Thailand’s Birthday, as she is regarded as the “Mother of Thailand”. The whole country has a public holiday for families to get together and celebrate. At The River, plans to commemorate Mother’s Day started a few weeks back. We planned several events, at each one we would celebrate and honour each mother and give them a special gift. These gifts were lovingly put together over the last two weeks by the team.

The big Mother’s Day celebration was hosting around 200 mothers and families at The River Centre. We invited mothers from all communities the team works in, plus all our kids club and youth club young people and their mums. People started streaming in about 5:30pm and they were greeted and given the chance to sit and chat or to join in a few fun games out on the grass. Around 6pm we all went across to share dinner together. The food had been specially prepared for all the mums, so that no We went to visit Hang Dong hospital, on Mother’s Day eve. It was extra spice was necessary (if you get what I mean). Everyone well received by all the patients, families, doctors and nurses (some of whom joined us in singing our song). The team went all over the loved it and was well fed. hospital seeking all the mothers we could find. We visited the After dinner, we all joined together in the hall for a short proMother’s clinic, the general wards and the emergency departments, gram, some of our kids club children presented a couple of sung a traditional Thai song and gave out gifts. A great connection items, first a couple of girls did a beautiful traditional dance and was made with the patients and the staff, with the staff keen for us then a group sang a song for everyone. Finally our night ended to visit more often. with each mother coming up the front and being given a special After visiting the hospital, that night the team visited several of the gift by their children. Many members of our team were lucky communities we are working in and had a short program at each enough to have their mothers join with us for the occasion, and including games, fellowship, singing and special gifts. Some of the several of our girls inherited mothers for the night. There were mothers there had celebrated many mothers’ days in their lives. many hugs and kisses and tears flowed. It was beautiful! Mother’s The team sang and distributed gifts, we prayed for blessing for Day for me is a remembrance of love, a love so hard to describe, each mother and it was time to head home. The community leadbecause whilst sometimes painful was always constant and enders thanked us for visiting. It was a blessed day and well received less, but just a fraction of God’s love for us. Thanks Mum! by everyone, but the main celebration was still to come.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring: all of which have the potential to turn a life around." -- Leo Buscaglia


Life in a Northern Town (of Thailand)

Thailand - The Facts

Other minority groups include

climate influenced by monsoon

Malay-speaking Muslims in the

winds. The hot season [February

sent the gospel. However, there

south and hill tribes in the north. to May] sees temperatures reach

has not been a great response.

Geography

Population

Thailand measures 514,000

Population: 66,430,874 current est square kilometres and contains [Aus: 21,515,754 ] Density: 129 per sq km [Aus: about 3 per sq km]

many contrasts. The north and west are mountainous, the north -east is a huge barren plain, the

cially the Kingdom of Thailand, has few Christians. Spiritually

[June to November] temperatures reach 26–37°C with cooler temperatures of 13–33°C from December to February. Inland areas are the hottest.

central region is fertile and ex-

Language

The population is unevenly dis-

ceedingly densely populated and

Thai, a member of the Tai lan-

tributed, with the greatest con-

in the south there are narrow

guage family, is the chief lan-

centration of people in the cenThailand, formerly Siam and offi-

40°C. During the wet season

coastal plains and high mountral region. About 75 per cent of tains. The country is 70-75 per the inhabitants of Thailand are cent rural.

guage. English is taught in all

Thai. The largest minority group

Climate

There are also many tribal

Thailand has a moist, tropical

languages used in our area.

there are many opportunities,

are the Chinese [14 per cent]

with a general openness to pre-

and most are Thai nationals.

schools and colleges and is used in commerce and government.

Pictures of me! At the Hot Springs (clockwise from bottom left), My pretty leg after “cooking” it, CM behind me, Graduation Day, Ri and me, English at Kids Club

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO PRAY:

The River Training and Convention Centre PO Box 11 HANGDONG CHIANGMAI 50230 THAILAND

Phone +66801202074 Email schoolies2@yahoo.com Skype - slr_legend

Please continue to pray for me in my work here that it will not just be serving, but that out of a growing personal relationship with God, it will be serving with love. Pray that I would remain patient and God-focused when I get busy and tired.

Praise God for The River Team - our team is now back together and has even grown considerably, please pray that we can all work together well and that we can bless this community in all that we do.

Please pray for our whole River team as there has been much sickness going around lately. We work in close quarters and it doesn’t take much for several members of our team to be hit at the same time.

Praise God that I passed the 6 week course and that I can use what I have learned in my work here.

Please pray for our kids, our youth and everyone who visits our facility.

Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Eph 6:19-20(NIV).

Any questions please do not hesitate to send me an email, schoolies2@yahoo.com or give me a call.


Life in a Northern Town - Issue 3