On Saturday Hope was blessed with the chance to take 29 kids to the Chiang Mai Zoo. When the kids first arrived they lined up and were rather quiet and shy around us. We decided to show them several attractions such as the Snow Dome, Pandas, Aquarium, and Animal Show. In the Snow Dome, which maintained a constant temperature of 15/20 degrees, they were able to jump on inner tubes and slide down a man made icy hill. The giggles we heard were fantastic.
The aquarium, Pandas, and Animal Show were all very entertaining for them and to hear their laughter was wonderful. As the day progresses, the kids became a bit more comfortable with us. We shared a nice lunch and were able to spend a fair amount of time with them. At the end of the day, as we said our good-byes, we received several hugs before they loaded up their vehicles for the trip back to Chiang Dao. All in all it seemed a wonderful day was had by all.
Sunday was a trip to Chiang Dao to visit the kids at their home. As we arrived we were greeted by them waving and jumping up and down. They led us into their worship area and where they, the children, led the worship service with songs and prayers. How inspirational that even with the language barrier we were able to have a great service!! After service we played several games with the children and enjoyed their company for a few hours. We bought a lunch of chicken and rice which we all shared. Before we left we got a tour of the home.
I think the relationships we started this weekend were meaningful and what Christ calls us to be! When we are in relationships with others, especially a different culture and 12,000 miles away, it makes it even more special.
How are you in relationship with others around you and far from you?