Tag Archives: Bangkok

Bangkok: No Longer a Guest in My Own Home

It is my first full day at home as a permanent resident, and not a guest. It feels weird…to be walking up and down stairs, having a kitchen with proper pots, pans and propane and also sharing this home with three more ladies – my mom and my sisters. After five years of living by myself in a small studio room, this is definitely an adjustment. I teared up a little when my mom said to me this afternoon, “This place is also your home. Don’t act like you’re visiting.” So Mom and I spent the whole day building a nest, which means lots of cleaning and shuffling things around. My sisters were overjoyed when they came home and realized they just escaped from an enormous task of helping me and mom. They always joke around that if Mom and I team up, they do not want to be in the house…because it means there are a lot of chores to do. 😛

The drive back yesterday was 10-hour-long, even longer than the usual bus ride! Mom and I left Chiang-Mai at six o’clock before the sunrise. Initially, I was a wee bit scared because our car had a tiny heat problem, and it could not be fixed in time of my departure. But the mechanic who took care of “Grandma” (that’s how I call the car) said that as long as we drove slowly and did not try to accelerate the engine, we should be fine. The last order he gave us was, “And store a lot of bottles of water. You may need them along the way.”

Knowing too well that the car might overheat any time while I was driving, I prayed fervently before and during the ride. At one moment, I heard a still small voice whispered, “Do not be afraid. I am going with you.” In the dark, I drove…with increased trust and confidence…knowing that whatever happened, God would be with me and help me through difficult circumstances. He had used this experience to emphasize the theme of wholehearted trust and reliance on God that I have received since the beginning of this year. I have learned to not expect that all my problems will be solved for the sake of convenience. Instead, God has taught me to fully expect His presence in both easy and tough times; and to cling to His promise, “Do not be afraid for I am with you.”

Thankfully, the engine did not overheat and we did not need those stored water bottles at all! The drive up and down the mountain during the first five hours was pleasant. The early winter morning air was crisp and clean. We enjoyed the rolling hills and lush green fields along each side of the road. The most wonderful thing was the sunrise – the fiery orange ball that slowly glided up the sky and caused arrays of colors to streak through the mist. It was phenomenal.

Unfortunately, the latter half of the ride home was not so enjoyable. As we put more kilometers away from Chiang – Mai, half of me wished we could turn the car around. I started to experience some culture shock with continual change in environment; brown flat land, scorching heat, central dialect, industrial districts, pollution and, the worst of all, Bangkok traffic jam. At five o’clock in the evening, I was so ready to  jump out of the car and stretched. When mom parked Grandma in front of our house, I breathed a prayer of thanks and almost ran to the door.

With all that said, I must admit – it is good to be back home, not because of the conveniences of a house (although it is definitely a part of it) but because of the interaction I get with my family – swapping stories, telling jokes, discussing plans and eating dinner together. Though you may have gone away from home for a couple of years, and many things may have changed; one thing is always the same – love. In 10 or 20 years from now, I am certain that I can always come home and be accepted the way I am today.

On a different note, I am still waiting INTENTLY for my visa to New Zealand. This week and next week will be a nerve-racking time for me as I am expecting a call from the embassy. This is the 2nd week of  the application process. And from their website, it usually takes about two to three weeks to know the results. So it can be anytime now or another week. If I could have my way, I would love to get the visa tomorrow, book the plane ticket and leave the country by January 30…because school will start on February 7. Yet the possibility is slim. And I am trusting in God’s plan and timing. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to meet with some people who either live or have gone to New Zealand before I moved down to Bangkok though. So now… I kind of have some ideas of what to expect and what to do. And let me just say – feeling excited is an understatement! 😀

Anyway, I am going to call it a night; and go watch the Hobbit’s behind-the-scene. Tomorrow is a day of cleaning, unpacking and doing laundry. But I hope to sneak in some grocery shopping and brownie making (I just learned how to make some gooey, fudgy brownie…and I am stoked to try it!).

So…with no further adieu, good night. Thank you for reading! 😀


Goodbye, Chiang – Mai…

After 5 years, 6 months and 21 days, today is my last day in Chiang – Mai. It is still unreal to even ponder the thought. But looking around my room, with boxes, bags and furniture all taped and tied, there is no denying it – I am saying goodbye to this city I love. For real.

During the time I have lived here, God has stretched me and enlarged my world. When I first came, I was only 24…eager to go on adventures and conquer the world. The same spirit still lives in this 29-going-on-30 lady, except that she is now aware of and knows the bitter feeling of pain and suffering  in the world; but also the richer, sweeter and more grace-filled blessings of God through brokenness.

For the past couple of days, I have been walking to different places to indulge myself in reminiscence of my time here – the Ping river, Rimping supermarket, the iron bridge, Warorot market and many more. Mom and I were walking past the main road, into small alleys and out on the main road again. It was neat to submerge myself in the Chiang-Mai way of life one last time before hitting the road into Bangkok, the capital city that is bubbling with political turmoil.

I will miss the mountains and the lush green jungle

I will miss the mountains and the lush green jungle

The iron bridge, Ping River

The iron bridge, Ping River

Chiang Mai - Lamphun road, where my apartment is located. My favorite past-time activity is to walk on the other side of the street, along the river and watch the sunset.

Chiang Mai – Lamphun road, where my apartment is located. My favorite past-time activity is to walk on the other side of the street, along the river and watch the sunset.

Cycling has become a popular activity not only for locals but also tourists.

Cycling has become a popular activity not only for locals but also tourists.

Nawarat Bridge

Nawarat Bridge

My little space that I crave coming to at the end of each day

My little space that I crave coming to at the end of each day

Smiling faces after school day is over

Smiling faces after school day is over


I will miss chilling in my favorite coffee shops. Bangkok will have a large shoe to fill in when it comes to coffee.

What I will miss the most is my friends. These guys. And a few more that are not in this picture. I would not have survived and enjoyed living here without these guys.

What I will miss the most is my friends. These guys. And a few more that are not in this picture. I would not have survived and enjoyed living here without them.

And this...too.

And this…too. The culture. The people. And the love for them.

In this season of life, I am yet reminded again of J.R.R. Tolkien’s song:

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet.

And whither then? I cannot say.

My journey in Chiang-Mai may end today; but my walk with the Lord still continues. And I am looking forward to many more.

Prayer points:

  1. Please pray for Mom and I as we drive down to Bangkok tomorrow morning (Wednesday). It is an 8-9 hour drive down. And who knows what we are going to find when we hit the city.
  2. Pray for me as I wait for the visa approval. It has been a week after the application submission. The process usually takes 2-3 weeks. Pray for peace, calmness and productivity as I wait for something to happen…that I would make the most of every moment instead of complaining and making myself and those around me bored because of my complaints. Hahaha.

Visa Submitted! Woohoo!

My visa was submitted. Finally. One major task – checked.

I feel very thankful to God for the love and compassion that He has given to me through many people. This visa application would not have worked out if Annie, a very trusted friend, made a trip to the hospital to get the health check-up result for me, reviewed all my documents and sent it to Bangkok, while I was driving through bumps and potholes up to the mountain. Then, another friend, Sam went to the bus station in Bangkok to retrieve the package and then to the embassy (twice, because I forgot to mention that it was moved to another building) to submit the application for me. I would not have gone through all the fuss and complications with surprisingly calm manner if my family and friends had not spent their time praying for me. So thank you all so much!

To be honest, I had expected to be anxious and stressed out, especially when I have only three weeks left before the school starts…and I still have not got my visa or booked my flight. I should have been. But the Lord has instilled in my soul the confidence I can have in His plan, acknowledging Him in every step I take and trusting in who He is. So, when a hard question like “What will you do if your visa does not get approved?” comes my way, I am ready to answer that I do yet know but God will direct my path exactly as He wants. I have made a choice to follow at all costs. Uncertainty does not scare me anymore.

An answer that I can give to you is this – I am moving back to Bangkok. I have been living life on the edge, traveling to places I would never dream of and doing things I did not expect myself to do – like climbing cave or traveling solo…all included me struggling and being forced to overcome my fear. And I have to be frank with myself – I am a bit travel – worn. I would love to spend more time with my mom and sisters, feel the warmth of evening sun on my cheeks as I ride on river taxis and try out new baking recipes. No, I am not yet done with adventures (and I am sure that there will be many more when I go to New Zealand) but a girl needs a time off from excitement.

So my plan is to leave Chiang Mai by the end of next week (or a little before, depending on when I can get my car back from fixing). I am making the most of my final week – in between running errands and packing – by eating, meeting with friends and going to places that I know I will surely miss like the riverside, markets, malls and Rimping supermarket. It feels weird to be saying goodbye to this home I have been living for five years. But the time has come.

Something that God spoke to me this morning, while I was having breakfast, was:

“Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.”

And I take that as His promise. I have done all I could. Now is the time to watch God at work.

The Slum Walk

bangkok, to my eyes, is and always will be the same. yes, there will be new technology, high-rises and malls. but it will remain true to its identity and city life: packed streets in rush hours, polluted air and people everywhere.

yet, as always, bangkok gives me memories to cherish despite its madness. i got to walk a slum with 4 little girls and their former volunteer teacher, who is a compassion LDP graduate. they led me by hands to their favorite spots within that tight community and cheerfully jabbed away about dancing and picking new clothes. i, a woman with camera, was dragged here and there to snap the shots they wanted.

“kru mink, here, take the picture of the ducks and geese.”

“p.mink, i want to show you my favorite spot. i always come take a nap here.” (it is actually a small wooden patio roofed with wood and some plants by sewage)

“look! the fish! did you snap some shots for me?”

as i strode by the rotten-sweet garbage dump, i saw adults chilling on picnic chairs outside like you would on a warm summer day in your lawn or by a lake. random broken leather sofas were placed by the community pavement. every space was used up to hang flower “bottles”, household items and clothes. i always think that slum is one of the places rich in beauty and culture. this one is no different.

when i looked at the children, who took delight in the beauty surrounding them and was zest with life, i was humbled and reminded of this verse in the beatitudes:

“blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (matthew 5:5)

no one is too small in the kingdom of God. in His eye, there is no difference in social status or race. if His people are willing to humble themselves before Him, even the mountains can be moved.

Success Redefined and Some Happy Pictures

here is a tidbit from “faith that breathes” by michael ross. i wanted to post it yesterday but i didn’t have the book with me. i’m on day 21 “success redefined”.

a faith that breathes…

…never says, “God, this is what i want.” instead, it always asks, “God, what do You want?

…never says, “God, i won’t…” instead, it always says, “God, i’ll do Your will.”

…never looks for self-satisfaction. instead, it looks to satisfy God.

…never seeks the approvalof others. instead, it seeks God’s approval.

…never measures success by how well things are going. instead, it measures success by a life centered in God’s will.

…never puts its own needs first. instead, it always thinks of others first.

…never looks to its own capabilities to solve a problem. instead, it relies fully on God’s power for guidance and success.

this small excerpt resonates with my current experience. as i mentioned yesterday, the sense of failure continues to nag at my heart. but how sweet God’s grace is! i don’t need to be afraid that i’m not living up to the bar. there are standards in life, at work and even at church. however, the only standard we have to live up to is the Lord’s.

God’s standard is not a long list of rules and to-dos. there is only one thing He requires from us – obedience.

a flip to the next page in “faith that breathes” is the real journey section by toby mac. he speaks of success this way:

“a lot of times they see dc Talk and me as just ‘big business and lights.’ but we know that’s not real life. the real life is who we are in Jesus and how we’re living that day to day.”

if success means doing everything one can, even neglecting his family or stabbing his friend’s back, so that he can be the top of everything, it’s a failure.

if success means putting on a fake smile when his life is shattering to pieces, it’s a lie.

if success means being responsible and strict but having no time to relax, he is not living a life.

success means living a Christ-centered life and committing to obeying His command and will even to the point of ridicule. that’s faith.

“brothers, think of what you were when you were called. not many of ou were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. but God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.” 1 corinthians 1:26-29

every human is flawed from birth in spite of our intelligence or social status. that is why grace is so sweet. sadly, many people are either unaware or just forget this fact as they grow up. so they go on separate directions and boast their ways to the end of their life…to the doomed eternity.

but the good news is God’s love and mercy endure forever. His kindness has brought many people from all over the world to repentance. and i strongly believe that one day the prophecy in the Bible will be fulfilled…”that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” whether or not everyone on this earth will be Christ followers, everyone will be obliged to kneel before Him. not only because of His fearful supremacy and incomparable power but also of His everlasting goodness, immeasurable grace and enduring love.

by ending today’s post, i am putting up some silly pictures of my time in bangkok with my family and my friend, manna, during songkran festival last week.

enjoy! and don’t forget to smile…. :o)


okay, there are some normal photos as well…


top it all up with “the bangkok i love”…


here’s what made me happy the most…

the "m" family...from left: mo, mai, mom and manna...

Experience of a Lifetime: Encountering With God

i went home. and something amazing happened. i encountered with God.

i knew that i have been carrying burdens on my shoulders: worries about uncertain future, fear to love again, resentment towards certain people in life and continual sense of failure. but what i didn’t know was that i needed God.

i went to newsong on saturday night with my friend, matt, who came from cambodia to visit. i also met up with p.ja, another friend who i dearly love and miss. we used to hang out a lot when we were still in bangkok. but since we got scattered…me in chiang-mai, matt in cambodia and p.ja in australia (then a few others who are now in america), we never got to go to newsong together anymore. so it was a special night for me.

while waiting for the service to start at 6:30, i was introduced to a girl called “natalia” who came from the country of columbia. she was as joyful as bright-colored flowers and as free-spirited as birds. she spoke english with a tinge of spanish accent. but that even made her more beautiful. she is now in bangkok ministering in the klong toey slum community with the vineyard church. we talked for about 10 minutes and the worship started.

we were called to stand up and sing praises to the Lord. i have been attending the karen church for so long that i actually forgot some of the english songs. i stood there in the midst of people i didn’t know…people who came from canada, america, columbia, korea, thailand and many other countries. surprisingly, i felt right at home. after the 2nd song was over, i suddenly felt exhausted and had to sit dow. i wasn’t sure if i was physically or mentally tired…i just had to sit down. so i snuggled comfortably into a dim corner of the soft couch and closed my eyes to listen to the sound of worship.

“jesus, lover of my soul. jesus, i will never let you go. you’ve taken me from the miry clay. you’ve set my feet upon the rock and now i know….” the singing was swelling like ocean waves in the evening….crashing against the shore of heart. in quietness, i felt the nudge to turn to psalm 62. i was perplexed because it seemed such a random number.

so i whispered back to Him, “are you sure? psalm 62? why such random number?”

“yes, psalm 62 it is.”

i turned and read:

“my soul finds rest in God alone;

my salvation comes from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

He is my fortress. i will never be shaken…

find rest, o my soul, in God alone;

my hope comes from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

He is my fortress, i will not be shaken.

my salvation and my honor depend on God,

He is my rock, my refuge.

trust in Him at all times, o people;

pour out your hearts to Him

for God is our refuge…

one thing God has spoken,

two things have i heard:

that You, o God, are strong,

and that You, o Lord, are loving.

surely you will reward each person

according to what he has done.”

while i was half-way through, pondering on the word “rest”, “rock” and “refuge”, natalia walked over to me and looked at me gently:

“mink, i just feel that you have been tired. and the Lord wanted me to tell you that you can rest in Him because He is your Rock and your Refuge.”

i was taken aback with surprised. then tears unexpectedly came. all i could do was to hug this messenger of God as tight as i could…like she was the Presence of God herself. the message was significant to me although i wasn’t sure at the time why He chose psalm 62.

rest in the Rock for He is my Refuge – that’s the message.

perhaps He is cleansing me from the clutter of tangled thoughts and concerns. perhaps He is preparing me for the future that is yet to come. i don’t know. but i am holding on to this experience and the message He’s given even though my faith is so slim like a single thread now.

matt told me while we were on a taxi together that his philosophy is to go out in faith whether or not he is confident it is God’s will at the point. so many people have robbed themselves off of the adventures because they were waiting for God’s will to be tangibly revealed. this greatly encouraged me. for i want to live fearlessly. but i have cared too much of what others look at me or think of me. no more. i will ask “what is God thinking of this?” instead of “how will i look if i do this?” and if it’s not right, then He, with loving kindness and grace, will close the door and guide me to a different one.

i, personally, was given a vision to serve the karen people in thailand/ burma. but i’ve been bothered by the question – do you have any solid goals which you are planning to achieve? none. zero. i guess that’s why i constantly have this sense of failure in my heart. people i know seem to do excellent jobs, know where they are going and on top of everything. but i struggle with questions everyday.

but i learned from talking to another friend of mine, kristin, that it is okay to not have goals. to just live one day at a time. to enjoy every moment of it. to give God the glory due Him for now. then He is going to reveal bits by bits of His plan to me. no need to fret over the unseen future. what happens now will direct the course of the future…in the mighty hand of God.

i feel that God is revealing His heart to me. and i don’t want to miss the opportunity. my heart is calloused and torn. and i want Jesus’ love, through His wounds, to heal me. i am going through a phase of life where there are more questions than answers. but i need to TRUST the Spirit to guide me…to help me discover His heart for the world.

last thought. i was watching the left behind series yesterday with my mom and mo. i’ve read the books but not seen the movies yet. so it was exciting for me. there was a part in the tribulation force (the 2nd one) where bruce and other tribulation force members, who got left behind, passionately preached the Gospel to whoever came into their contact. they didn’t timidly approach the people with leaflets in their hands. rather, they spoke with such authority but yet with respect of the Good News and the 2nd chance to repent. they preached Christ with no shame. and that got me to thinking…

am i doing this today? is the church doing her job today? i can answer for myself – no. while i watched the scene, the Spirit impressed upon me that what these guys were doing in the movie was an act of worship. i cannot find words to express it…but it wasn’t out of obligation or forced will. they felt the urgency and they let the Spirit drive them.

how can this happen in me and in the church? how can we stop looking inwardly and turn another direction to where Christ is leading us to?

encountering with God everyday can do. let Him be the Person who makes your heart beat wildly. be aware of His work in every breath you breathe. and be filled and overflowed with the Spirit. let our cups run over so many others will be able to drink deeply from this undying love – Jesus.

Available Only In Bangkok

i hate it when i have to continually say “i’m so busy”. but it’s a reality  in my life right now. i feel like there is not enough time in a day. if God would graciously add 1 more hour to the day or perhaps reduce the workload i’m carrying, i would feel like i could breathe again.

i’m not saying that i’m not loving life though. during this frustrating time, i know that i’m not going through it alone. God uses this busyness to tighten the bond between me and my colleague. and the scripture from ecclesiastes 4 that says, “two are better than one” rings true in this situation.

last week i was hosting a sponsor visit that was like a mini tour in bangkok, at the one and only amusement park in thailand called “dreamworld”. what a day! it was fun, sweaty, crazy and exhausting. i learned that i’m ever to host a group like this again without another compassion staff, i will not translate. while i was paying for the entrance tickets, my sponsor and child were left alone by themselves. i had to run back to be with them. not effective. lesson learned.

we did have fun though. the child came from the northern most part of thailand, close to the burma border. her father, who didn’t have a thai citizenship, also came along with a very young project director, only 25 years old. our sponsors (there were 3 of them supporting 1 girl) were in their sixties while the child was 6 years old. such a huge gap between ages. but they were all so energetic and excited. it took a while to break the ice but the funness of the amusement park did its magic. after the 1st ride, our little girl half-dragged, half-pulled her sponsors to try on different rides. she didn’t speak much but if you looked at her eyes, you’d see sparks in there. precious.

after that day, i stayed in bangkok through the weekend since thailand had its national holiday. at that point, i was too tired to even leave the house. taking a bus to the mall nearby for 15 minutes was too much for me. and i missed out on a lot of great adventures my friends were taking during that weekend. i felt like an old lady…staying at home all the time.

it wasn’t too bad though because i got to spend time with my family…catch up and have fun with them. on sunday, i was hanging out with some close friends from the youth group and went for ice-cream together. there was a newcomer, a grade-12 boy, who happened to be interested in the Gospel. so we sang some worship songs together and shared our personal testimony. afterwards, we went for ice-cream. good time. 🙂

yesterday (monday), i left bangkok at 2 in the afternoon with a group of compassion friends who were visiting bangkok. we were on a truck and stopped several times. so it took longer than usual. we arrived in chiang-mai around 11:30pm. i was too exhausted to even take off my dirty clothes. so i went to bed covering with dirt, car exhaust and soot. call me gross but if you were me, you would do the same thing.

now this week…only 3 more days left. and i haven’t done a half of what i’m supposed to. please, if you read this, say a short prayer for me that God would give me strength and motivation and 2 packs of instant coffee each day to keep me alert, awake and creative.

below are some pictures from this past weekend. i haven’t copied the dreamworld pictures onto this computer yet. so that will have to wait for the next post. enjoy some of my leisure and lazy time at home!

hot shot of mom's espresso


available only in mcdonalds in thailand. you see, it's not always unhealthy junk food. 😉

strangely dressed guy playing isaan music in front of Big C supermarket

me and mai watched "letters to juliet" together. beautiful love story.

my ridiculously thick hair. i never imagined this hair-do could get this big!

mai's creativity on her salad plate.

my church in nonthaburi

the preacher, a modern moses

noi, another adopted sister and me 🙂

tum and nam from youth group

coconut trees that i don't usually see up north

rare picture of my aunt, grandma and mom...altogether

we ate the whole fish. yum.

our swensens ice-cream with youth group

my sister's boyfriend and herself

our stringless guitar

burnt cookies. but may i say that i burnt only 3 batches or 18 pieces. the rest of them are fine. seriously. i just didn't take any pictures. 🙂

mo, i only saw her for 30 minutes before i left home. she just got back from chiang-rai.

on the way back to chiang-mai, we had to stop at a gas station because...

...well, look at that steam coming out of that thing! we thought the truck wouldn't make it but praise God! we're all back home safe and sound.

Saturday In Bangkok

as much as i love being home, i terribly miss my church and youth group tonight. around 6 o’clock this evening, while walking in a crowded mall, i remembered that…in chiang-mai…my friends were having the music practice at church. and it bummed me out a little bit not being able to be there. 😦

have you ever felt this – when you miss someone or something so badly your heart can’t almost bear it?

i miss the quiet and humble characters of the karens i’ve come to love; the uniqueness of their culture; the solid foundation in their root; the love for their own people and the way they hold on to one another…most importantly, their smile and their presence.

but as we all know, the present will soon become the past and it will shape the future. thus, it is here and now that i am with my mom and my middle sister.

we had a wonderful saturday. mom went to buy flowers for church in the morning while me and my sister slept in. then we watched “letters to juliet” before lunch. such a romantic movie! it made me want to be in love with someone even more. tehehe. 🙂 then p.dee, mai’s boyfriend, came with our lunch – kao mun gai (chicken with rice). mmmm, yum! around 3 o’clock, mom came back feeling exhausted. so she sat down to drink a cup of hot coffee, a few guava slices and a banana muffin before we went off to a car tent and the mall.

the reason we stopped by the car tent was because i’m hoping to buy a car in this upcoming year. but my budget is quite tight and can’t afford too pricey one. so a used car is a better option for me. i’m still praying if this is what i should do. i knew that if i owned a car, i would use it for others. i understand well how having no transportation of one’s own can be difficult. so whenever possible, i’d like to be able to pick up or take people to places. that’s my goal. we’ll see…

in the evening, we had an incredible dinner at the sizzlers, my all-time-favorite restaurant. i haven’t had it for so long that i ate too much! after going to the karen church for a few months, my lifestyle and eating attitude have changed so much. my karen friends are so laid-back and not very fussy with eating. i have been used to eating and enjoying burmese and karen food so much that i didn’t bother thinking about pizza, spaghetti, burgers or potatoes at all.  they also don’t snack. when it’s time to eat, they concentrate on eating. you should see their serving…it is like a mountain of rice in a plate! when they’re done, they don’t go looking for ice-cream or chips. i know some may not agree with this kind of diet…but i found it very helpful to my eating habit…and saves me a lot of money as well. lol anyway, i did have an enjoyable time at the restaurant. salad is always good. 🙂

i don’t have a lot of deep thoughts going on these days…since i’m on my vacation…and i’m not supposed to be thoughtful. lol okay, that was very unthoughtful of me to say that. but you got my point. 😉

so that was pretty much my saturday. not quite productive or eventful…but pleasant and enjoyable. tomorrow, i’m going to church and meet up with some friends i haven’t met for so long. then in the afternoon, i planned to bake some chocolate chips cookies! 🙂 i’ll let you know if i burn the stove. 😉

p.s. i did take some pictures of my trip here. but that will have to wait until i get back to chiang-mai.

First Day of Traveling

today started at 4:15am for me. now it’s 11:00pm, local time in guilin, china. we took 3 flights altogether: chiangmai – bangkok, bangkok – guangzhao and guangzhao – guilin.

praise God, i barely had any cough or dizziness…just some headache in the afternoon because of dehydration. 🙂 He is the Great Physician indeed.

i still find it hard to believe that i am actually in china…that i am not in thailand anymore. i used to have dreams about going to other countries like france or america. but i ended up disappointed when i woke up. when i was boarding the plane in bangkok, i almost had to pinch myself to see if i wasn’t sleeping.

it’s amazing. i look forward to this week of learning, getting to know new friends and experiencing God. i want to be exposed to what He has in store for me as much as possible…because i know that this training will benefit so many others in the future. i need to work hard and do my best.

wow, there are lots on my mind. if i have some down time, i will attempt to reflect on that. for now, i hope you enjoy the photos i took on our 1st day. 🙂

thank you so much for your support, prayer and encouragement.

i love and miss all of you so badly. i hate to say this…but i’m beginning to get homesick.

our taxi to the airport. at 5:30am.

sunrise in chiang-mai, at 7:00am

our breakfast, sweet chicken w/ spinach and cheese sandwich

bangkok sky, 8:00am

can't be too careful. i was sick. but now i'm healed. praise God! 🙂

waiting to check in our flight to guangzhao. we were still laughing at the time.

boarded our 2nd flight. getting a bit tired from walking all over the suvarnabhumi. 12:00pm

our lunch with china southern. grateful for food but glad there was salt and pepper. 🙂

landed in guangzhao at 3:30pm. i could have got caught taking this picture! there was an officer strutting around making sure everyone behaved well.

1st bathroom experience, 5 stars. this is a censor flush toilet. it was not what i expected.

still in guangzhao, in the boarding area, around 5:00pm

2nd bathroom experience from the same airport. i thought the toilet was broken. but every room is exactly like this...with no lid and proper flush-handle. but i was still okay with it.

sunset in guangzhao, around 6:00pm

somebody sneezed and coughed. hence, the masks.

sunset in guangzhao, around 6:30pm

arrived in guilin at 7:00pm. 3rd bathroom experience. i walked away.

the guilin airport

we drove for another hour to our resort in yangshuo. the staff welcomed us with a glass of fresh orange juice and a plate of homemade cookies. mmm.

our home for the next 6 days.


with all that has been going on since thursday evening, i have had no time to write at all. time has slipped by and i have only 2 more days at home. it has been filling to meet my family and spend time with two of my dear friends whom i have not seen for a long time. stories were exchanged. i know God is in control.

yesterday, i was helping my friend, heidi, teaching conversational english to a group of ladies living in a slum nearby ramkamhang university. when we walked into that little alley way and stood in front of a shack, my heart almost stopped as well. the place looked more like a ruin than a house. there were rocks and rubbles scattered all over at the entrance. junks were everywhere. as we looked inside, we were greeted by a stern looking lady, who was sitting on the floor weaving a colorful purse made out of plastic bags. beside her was a mentally challenged boy, who squealed, shouted and talked away with us about something he only knew.

i wasn’t prepared for that. the night before, i was staying at a condo suite, all furnished and luxurious. this was even less than less. suddenly, i felt out-of-place and a bit nauseated. now, i know it is a bit unfair to say this since i am working with an organization that helps the poor. but every time i visit compassion projects, i know beforehand what to expect and have time to brace myself for it. this was different. although i knew that this area has  been ministered to by ywam, and that the girl who was with us has been well acquainted with the ladies before, it was intimidating.

i was no longer a “compassion headquarter” ‘s representative. i was in for real, vulnerable and exposed. that was what made my heart thirst. this was exactly what i have dreamt of – to be on the frontline, in the midst of hardship, ministering to people.

heidi was a great teacher. i am not sure if i could have done what she did, especially loving her students right away and also the mentally challenged child. initially, there were to be only 2 women but we ended up with 5. heidi started with the introduction like hello, what is your name, where are you from and how old are you. it was very inspiring to see how the ladies were eager to learn to speak. then we ended the session with the song called “deep and wide”, pointing to the love of Jesus.

being in a place like this brought me to the reality – that this is what the majority of people have to endure. skyscrapers, air-conditioner, home theaters, hi-speed internet and cars are only illusions. people are trapped in these luxuries and called themselves “better off”. the truth is, what they own is not even theirs. there will be one day when one is stripped out of everything. and all that is left is bruised soul.

although the poor may not materially own anything, they have the guts to confront with the harshness of life. i do not intend to call everyone to sell all their possessions and live with the poor because i believe God has given us what we have to serve His purposes.  but it is a wake-up call for us to look hard at our own life and be true to ourselves. worldly possession is to pass. what are we going to do when there is nothing left to enjoy? what then do we do with what we have? we can say, “tomorrow may never come. so let’s enjoy the moment! eat, drink, party!”

have you ever seen one so skinny scrounging food from garbage dump?

do not take what you have as granted. the Lord gives and takes away. let us bring what we have to do His will, to make this world a better place.