Saturday, March 31, 2007

7 days in klong Toey

Well I have been here in Thailand for just on a week now, and it feels that this is the first time I’ve had to catch my breath. I’m here again with UNOH as part of one of their ESL short term trips, coordinating the trip for 15 people from Melbourne, and partnering with the Ta Rua church here in the slum of Klong Toey. One of the biggest things you need here is FLEXABILITY. I thought I was going to be with a group taking 50 kids away to a beach side camp, and was so much looking forward to the beach, but in the end have been leading a team in the slum of Rong Gow. I am the person with the most Thai and experience on our team, having no locals at all, which at the beginning of the week I was feeling not real keen to say the least, but God has other ideas. The week has been fantastic with some great relationships with the kids and with the community. One of the challenges we have had is that there has been some kids card gambling right where we do our lessons, which is on a stage directly under a freeway overpass. This is so sad, as well as highly illegal to see 10 year old kids introduced to this EVIL so early on, not knowing the language has been hard as we can’t speak to anyone about the issue there. But our strategy, as well as praying is to offer a better alternative and each day our group of kids has grown, so now we have about 22, 10-12 year olds who love to come each morning. We will go back next week to teach again and at night time teach also at Glua Prick community, a real challenge as the weather here is very HOT so tiring.

Another highlight has been spending time with Celtic muso Sammy Horner, who was with us for 2 days on route back to Scotland. I had never met him before despite having known of him for 15+ years thru John Smith and Sean Stillman and God’s Squad, and played heaps of his music. So was great to hang with him and we got on like a house on fire and he seemed very moved by his experience here in the community as he met Jesus thru the poor. So now is the halfway mark, its also been great seeing old friends, both UNOH workers here, Ash, Anj, Rod, Jodie and Chris as well as many Thai friends that I have met over the years as well, it is a real blessing and privilege to have sisters and brother from this part of the world. Will be interesting spending Holy Week here in a Buddhist slum, attempting to share the love of Jesus.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Community Meal Night

Tonight we had our first Ferntree Gully Community Meal Night. After about 6 months of planning and talking and procrastinating we finally got underway tonight at the local Ferntree Gully Guides Hall in Underwood Rd. We had sent out flyers during the past few days, spoken to many people, even the local paper would like to do a photo and story on us in the next couple of days.

But the important thing was we met and apart form the volunteers and kids, we actually had some other people turn up, which was great. It was a very relaxed night with roast chicken, mashed potatoes and pumpkin, served with salad, and finished off with some lovely mixed fruit for desert.

The highlight without a doubt was just sitting down all together and chatting over the meal and hearing similar stories of others saying they would normally be on their own for tea every night, which sucks. There was a great sense of community and a few of us were able to pray with one man who came in. I reckon tonight was one of those nights where we met a few angels. Looking forward to sharing with them and many more over the next few weeks. At this stage we’re aiming for every Wednesday night, 6.30-7.30pm, drop in if you’re in town…

Friday, March 09, 2007


The last few weeks have seen the beginning of UNOH’s Submerge course. In partnership with Tabor college, it is a Cert IV in Christian Ministry majoring in neighbourhood transformation to those neighbourhoods facing issues of poverty. We hold lectures each Tuesday night in Springvale and students are involved in 15 hours ++ practical ministry placement throughout the week, plus supervision and peer reflection groups.
It has been great to be involved in helping set this up over the past few months, and I am currently lecturing on Bible Survey during our Tuesday nights. It is great seeing people “switch on” to the Bible and see God’s plan for redemption throughout it. Also get to show the famous lego Bible stories as well.