Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

{p,h,f,r} - Thailand

taking a moment to find joy in the little things

There really isn't anything little about a trip to Thailand, but the trip was HARD. I had to find joy in the little things to get me through this experience. 

There were so many beautiful flowers in Thailand - I'll be doing a separate post of all the flower pictures I took next week, so if you are interested in seeing a wide variety of different flowers, be sure to come back. 

Our friends live on 20 acres of an old 100 acre mango orchard.
We enjoyed walking around and exploring the property a bit.

We spent the last few days of our trip in Phuket - an island in southern Thailand. This area is Thailand's paradise, unfortunately there is so much tourism and they've (in my opinion) ruined their paradise.

sunset over the Andaman Sea

We met our Compassion child, Orm, on our first full day in Thailand. I'm so happy we met her, but it was not a fairy-tale meeting by any means. You can read more about the details and our time with Orm here.

Despite the hard times, there were a lot of happy moments and memories made on this trip. The girls loved riding in the back of the pick up truck - everyone does it in Thailand. They loved the speed boat ride, swimming in ponds, lakes and pools, snorkeling in the Andaman Sea, riding horses and seeing friends. 

Thailand has some interesting potato chip flavors. Both the lobster plate and sweet basil chips were too spicy to eat. Other flavors we didn't try included oyster, salmon and scallop. 

We saw several of these "vehicles" near the Thailand/Burma border. It's powered by a generator and moves pretty slowly, but it's much cheaper for the villagers to travel this way than by car or motorbike. 

What can I say? Squatty potties are an adventure in and of themselves.
You squat, pee and then rinse the toilet with the water. This was one of the nicer ones we saw.

I had really hoped we'd get a chance to ride an elephant, but instead my girls rode a goat! 
Almost as exciting.

One of the things that struck me most about Thailand was how much these people - this country - needs God. Every person needs God and every country is full of people who choose not to believe. But Thailand is 94% Buddhist and the idolatry of Buddhism and animism is apparent everywhere you look. The kind of Thailand is highly revered, and he's been a good king, but even he gets worshipped - there are posters and shrines to him everywhere, too.

There are also many ethnic refugees who have been forced to leave Burma by the Burmese army. We had the wonderful opportunity to cross into Burma (illegally) and meet one group of Karen people. Some have left Burma and now live in Thailand, others live near the border, but on the Burma side. They have nothing, yet they welcomed us and extended hospitality to us by feeding us. I'll be writing more about this experience later. 

I've mentioned a couple times that this trip was was. There were 10 flights, 20 hours of driving, extremely hot conditions, mosquitoes, a sick child, a hurting back, a difficult language barrier, large tourist crowds, funny smells and tastes, disappointments, unmet expectations and more. Yet I saw and learned things about Thailand that I will remember forever. Things you can't learn from reading a book. I met people who are giving every day of their lives to help the oppressed. When I compare my life to theirs, I feel lazy and useless. 

I have many more stories and photos to share...I hope you'll come back to hear them.


  1. I love all the pictures! I can't imagine how much processing you have to do after such an intense trip!

  2. Jill, I can't even imagine how tired you are after the trip and all of the traveling you have done! But what an amazing opportunity you had with your family, despite the disappointments and hardships. I am looking forward to reading more about your trip, just make sure you get some rest!

  3. I read your post about your meeting with your compassion girl and pray that she and her family will truly come to know Jesus. I'm thankful you had a safe trip, and look forward to hearing more. Overseas trips are hard and challenging and perhaps others just "leave out" that part. Thanks for being honest!

  4. I'm so happy you had this experience, even if hard. My first trip to Thailand was in 1994. All I could think of was how much I wanted to get out of there. But then, I went back to teach school for two years in Bangkok. After that, I went back to live there for 6 years. It grows on you. It's always a bit hard, but then you adapt. I'm praying that I will be able to go back for a visit this year or next. There is so much that I give thanks for regarding those years living there, as I'm sure you do in your short visit! It changes you for sure. I can't wait for your other posts. Going to read about Orm, now.

  5. I can't even imagine what it would be like to go to a country like this, to process it all. Your photos are beautiful!

  6. What a FABULOUS experience! I'm really at a loss for words right now. Thank you so much for linking this up!!

  7. Such beautiful photos and it was so nice to read! I live in Thailand with my Thai husband and son, and so I can understand so many of the things you have written. I'm looking forward to reading more!

  8. Jill, I just read about your time with Orm and time with the Karen. I'm not sure when (hopefully when not if) I will be able to go back but I am glad for your partnership in prayer for Burmese refugees. Blessings as you process your trip! Will be praying for Orm too.