After 13 hours, 4 full movies, a Friends episode, and two meals...we arrived in Bangkok. Our first task was to get all 18 of us to our hotel for the night. After several miscommunications, our shuttle being given away and some wrong turns, we made it! The next morning we flew to Hat Yai where we were greeted by the Student Life staff including P'Mitch. Mitch is a kiwi that has moved to Thailand with his Thai wife and children to work for Student Life (Campus Crusade for Christ) here. He has been a huge help in getting us here and getting us ready for campus ministry starting on Tuesday!
We have already met a ton of Thai students. We were on campus Friday for a prayer walk and were introduced to several student leaders within SL. We have already done one New Zealand cultural show, and have been in orientation for the past few days and there are a few thing that have stood out to me.
-something P'Mitch mentioned about the importance of us being here. He talked about how to be Thai pretty much means to be Buddhist (almost 95% of the population, other 5% Muslim). This can make it very difficult for Thai Christians to share their faith with other Thais because they almost feel the Christian is being disrespectful of their heritage and going against Thailand. By having us here, students want to learn about us, and it gives the Thai staff and students the opportunity to share the gospel when they otherwise may not be able to. The Thai students open their hearts and minds just a little bit more than they would normally.
-one of the staff here, P'Boy, told us yesterday how we, as a team, have encouraged him so much already just by being here. He said, sometimes they feel they are up against the world and not getting anywhere. But they are encouraged to have us here and be "going up against the world with them".
Anyway, just some thoughts for now, I'll check in soon!