Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Northern Thailand Trip

2 weeks ago we returned from a 2 week teambuilding trip up in Northern Thailand near a city called Chang Rai. Our purpose was to harvest a rare valuable wood called teak. This land with all the trees was donated to the ministry several years back. Much of the wood will be sold to help with the ministry’s vision to expand and church plant throughout Asia and the rest of the wood will be kept to assist building projects within the ministry. As soon as we arrived at the site we started a small fire to clear out a camping area. But the hot and dry weather combined with strong winds blew the fire out of control.

The students and I fought hard in the heat to stop the fire from spreading onto other peoples land threatening their crops and even some homes. Many students were running back and forth with buckets of water but it was way out of control so one of our leaders and I agreed on creating a dirt path perimeter a hundred feet back to cut the fire off. Eventually we had all students working on raking out a dirt path which seemed to be working. As the fire was weakening the fire fighters showed up and put out the rest of the fire. What happened in the beginning was that the fire was pretty much out and the students looking after it got distracted for a minute and then it just took off. At the end of that day exhausted and covered in soot I thought to myself “what a way to test our team dynamics!” Part of the focus of this trip is in fact team and character building. At the beginning the students were running all over the place throwing water almost everywhere but near the end we pulled it together and began to overcome the situation. So many life lessons came out of that experience about leadership and team work. The fire ended up being a great thing because it cleared all the brush and vines providing easy access to cut down the teak trees so we burned the rest of our property under good and experienced supervision. No one was injured throughout the trip.

The rest of the trip consisted of hard work: cutting down heavy teak logs and lugging them down the hill into a pile from 6 am to 5 pm. The trip was a great time to get away from everything so we can focus on our spiritual growth. It was an awesome opportunity to glean from our leader’s knowledge, wisdom and experience.My wife and I are looking forward to our return to Canada but it doesn’t mean that it is the end of our service to God overseas for who knows where He may lead us to next whether it be short-term or life-term. Please keep us in your prayers about God’s direction in our lives that we make the right choices according to His will for our next step in life and the steps to follow.

God Bless,


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