My Paradise is a Loving Place

Wednesday night 10/24 a couple of us headed on Bart at 10pm on our way to SFO.  Excitement started to build and the closer we got to the airport the more I could feel butterflies in my stomach.  Then before we reached the airport I was able to check my email and finally received one of the emails I had been waiting for from the US Embassy in Yangon.  YES – I have an appointment on November 13th and this is big deal.  It has taken me countless of emails over several months to finally get this invitation.  They were most likely tired of receiving my constant requests and thought to themselves “better meet this lady or we will never get rid of her.”  

Once at the airport we gathered as a team and off we went.  It is a VERY long journey to Chiang Rai when you are on a tight budget – SFO, Taiwan, Bangkok, Chiang Rai.  Some of the team members had several hours of sleep.  Me not so much: -0- hours.  

Once we arrived in Chiang Rai our luggage was still in Bangkok.  Last year out of all the team members my suitcase was the only luggage that did not arrive.  This time I was prepared and had extra stuff in my carry on.  YEAH! 

We finally got to our hotel room and after dinner there was nothing left in me (have no idea of how many hours I had been up at that point) and I passed out at 9pm and slept well. 

10/27/18 – New Morning – the energy of the people around us waking up was exciting.  Victor & I had breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and I was reminded of our first trip together to Bangkok in 2015.  After breakfast we walked the streets of Chiang Rai and came upon all kinds of markets.  Fruits, Pet Store and Funeral markets – strange to see them lined up like they are here.  After about 1-1/2 of walking we headed back to the hotel to get in vans with the team and head up north to Mai Sai. 

On our way we stopped to have lunch and pick up pies for the “Safe House” - they love pies and it is a yearly treat.  We had a wonderful lunch and climbed in 2 vans headed to our next stop.  If you remember the boys trapped in the caves – that is Mai Sai. 

Over the border we were reunited with our wonderful family and all I can say is that it felt wonderful to be hugged and loved again by them.  I had no idea of how empty I felt after this last year – how tired and absolutely drained I am.  I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to give anything to these women and children and I may just be learning that perhaps that’s the point – to be so empty that I must receive. 

After a heart felt reunion where are faces hurt from smiling we had worship time together and then a wonderful meal.  Every time I am here I am reminded how Jesus was able to feed thousands with so little.  This is the same feeling I have when I am here.  I marvel at the amount of food that to our western’s eyes, don’t seem like much but completely satisfies us all. 

After another long day we headed to our hotel where we looked forward to starting the air conditioner, shower and fall asleep.  Well, a couple of rooms we subjected to Air Conditioning “Trolls” that played havoc with our system.  The room stayed 30°C. After more than an hour we came up with a plan to get us all through a night in cool rooms.  At times it is difficult to keep ones “cool” in these situations and I was frazzled to say the least, but we got through it and had a good night sleep.  And today we woke up to another morning in what I like to call, my paradise – is a loving place.

Wenche Miriam ~~~

Matthew 14:13-21 NIV  -  Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand  

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.  

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”  Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”   “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.  

 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 

They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

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