A few weeks ago, Brook and I went to camp. Camp? Yes, camp. For a whole weekend. With 50 other Thai friends from our church. And, I’ll bet you a whole bag of Tostitos Hint of Lime (those are like gold over here!) that our camp looked nothing like the camps that you’ve ever been to. Why? Because ours was set in the middle of this.
The camp we stayed at was along a small river set far back in an old, no longer harvested, coconut grove about an hour out from Bangkok. It was beautiful. There really is nothing like waking up to this sort of view every morning, listening to the animals and birds chattering away through the treetops. Every time I went for a walk from our cabin to the meeting area, or when we drove our car through the slender, winding paths to get back to the campsite, I marveled at the fact that I was actually in a small jungle, in a tropical and very foreign country, and that it was totally normal… or at least the normal that I’ve come to know over the last year and a half. But, that’s a post for another day.
Anyways, the church we attend takes a weekend every year to get away with members and friends of the church to recharge, evaluate, get their vision on track, and just have some fun with each other. After everyone arrived at the campsite (most people carpooled in vans from the church in the city), we headed out for a little “thiaw” – a fun outing – to some local floating markets, where a couple friends of ours took it upon themselves to introduce us to any and every type of snack and treat we had yet to try in Thailand. (I wrote about this one a couple of weeks go on Tasty Tuesday.) That night, and the following day, was filled with great times of worship, prayer, teaching, and workshops on refining their vision for outreach and the church’s future. There also was a barbecue. (Yes, Thai people love barbecues, too!) There was lots of talking, lots of playing, and even a group picture… after all, it was camp.
Since the church is completely Thai led, of course everything was in Thai. And, guess how may people at the camp spoke English. Two. Betcha can’t guess who they were, eh? It sure was a stretching 3 days for us, but, it was sooo worth it. We had the chance to finally see a lot of people outside the church setting, talk with them for more than 5 minutes over lunch (pretty much all Thai churches have lunch together every single week – nice, huh?), and actually get to know people a bit better. Granted, we didn’t always understand what people were saying, nor did we always have to words to communicate what we wanted to say… but, the fact that we were there and trying spoke volumes to them, and that has been evident the past couple of Sundays since.
I have a small bunch of pictures located on Facebook, so if you’d like to see a little bit more of the camp, the church members, and so on, just click right here. It’s a public link, so you don’t need to be a Facebook member to view it. Just click and enjoy!