Unexpectedly Home.

They welcomed us into their dwellings, one by one.  Sharing their trials and aches, stories of spiritually lost family members and currently upset stomachs.  We joined them on the woven mats covering the floor, opened our minds and hearts, and lifted them up in healing, both in English and Thai.  Visiting home to home, I saw a pattern.  One that in each new place, a new team member lead the prayer.  I panicked, knowing my time was coming to speak out loud and worried my first group prayer wouldn't measure up.  The woman, dressed in hmong cloths of brilliant pinks dabbled with navy details explained her daily battles, ones that left her the leader of her home both physcially and spiritually.  I listened quietly and intently, knowing I was about to be called upon.  And as the Pastor requested I begin, I begged God to lead my words.  Closing my eyes, my arms turned to strong, solid stone - hands clasped in reverence - and the prayer effortlessly flowed from my being.  Tears welling behind my eyelids, I sent up requests for this Thai woman I never could have dreamed up.  The Holy Spirit was all around, there was no doubt about that (when you know, you know, you know) and it was through him that I led my first group prayer.  

Some film images from our first Hill Tribe Village.  This town was nestled in the mountains about 2 hours outside of the bustling streets of Chiang Mai. Wandering the red dirt roads and exploring the local's homes, I felt a great sense of comfort and ease, almost as if I belonged there.  Maybe it's just the country girl in me, or the soft, layered mountain lines that resemble Virginia, or the crow of roosters that rang out reminders of humble towns in Hawaii that made it so familiar, but from the humble one room family quarters with no furniture (but t.v.s!) to the livestock living in close quarters, it felt like home.

Contax 645  |  Fuji 400h  |  Richard Photo Lab

 

Roosters make me happy.  They are everywhere in Thailand and all over Kauai.  And oddly, they remind me of a gift Marshall once gave me that when I received it I was at a loss for words, but now I happen to love.  (it's a long, rather hilarious story, the one of the rooster statue...)

The first Christian believer in his village.  He said he was around 120 or 130, he wasn't sure.  ;)  His succession of sons are now leaders in the village church.

This puppy!  I loved him, but knew better than to pet him.  All of the wild cats and dogs there are rather calm and seem disciplined.  Caesar must be right.

Part of the mission trip group from Hope Chapel (the other members were doing a medical mission in another village) along with our Thai church guides.

My friend Yai.  I grew fond of her and love her sweet heart to pieces.  She grew up in the Hill Tribe villages and is now going to college for business.  She helps out at the church with Pastor Allen (the main pastor we were assisting while we were there).  I adore her.