Tuesday, April 19, 2016

From the Mountains to the Rainforests and Back

Some of our Team, Crossing River 

A team of 12 people from Covenant Heights and our "Front Range & Beyond" churches traveled to northwestern Thailand to partner with our Thai sisters & brothers at our sister camp, the Amnuay Sook Training Center.

With a group ranging from our pre-teen-aged campers to our "not quite 70" team members, we represented a wide spectrum of age, experience, and skills, which allowed us to minister to the Thai people and to each other in such an amazing variety of ways. We had a wonderful trip full of good work, plenty of laughs, fantastic fellowship & team bonding, powerful interactions with other Christians, and lots of learning for all of us!

Camper Team Member Learning to Weld
with our Facilities Director
There was so much opportunity for growth on this trip, as we taught each other skills, pushed through exhaustion and frustration, chose to have good attitudes & joy despite the unpleasantness of some jobs & the heat of the days, blessed & were blessed by other people, and experienced the culture and people of Thailand. We saw prayers answered time and again, for safety, for health (and healing for our team members and Thai partners who fell ill while we were there), for the right equipment & supplies to be available (like the antique door for the entrance!), and more. Praise The Lord!

Amnuay Sook Training Center Structure (Thai Camp)

Being a Blessing to Kids
Many Coats of Mud & Sanding

We were able to work alongside the Thai people, overcoming language barriers to connect with one another (everyone enjoys a laugh, a kid's smile, and good food!) We also had many chances to encourage the Thai missionaries in their ministry, by showing up & showing them we care about their projects, helping move the camp forward, loving on their children, and being helping hands however we could.

Our team also had time to explore the Thai countryside, enjoying local food, visiting with different villages & missionaries, hiking, playing in the river, riding elephants, and so much more. These opportunities were invaluable, as they helped us gain a better picture of who the people of Thailand are while also letting our team bond & refresh between hard days of work.
Hanging Cement Ceiling Tiles

We spent many of our days in construction work at the camp, hanging cement ceiling tiles, mudding & priming & painting walls and ceilings, spray painting & welding support beams, adding flashing to the upper rooms, refinishing a door & windows for the main floor, digging post holes, and many other projects. We also assisted with lunch preparations alongside the camp cook and loved on the employees' kids.

Refinishing Antique Teak Door
for building entrance

Duck Duck Goose at Kids' Program

Craft Project at Kids' Program

On Saturdays, the camp runs the Bright Future Kids' Program, during which kids from the surrounding villages come to camp for english lessons, soccer practice, crafts, Bible stories, and a good meal. We got to help with all sorts of aspects of the program, running games & crafts, acting out the Bible story of the paralyzed man being lowered to & healed by Jesus, and getting our butts only slightly kicked in a soccer game.

Playing the drums during
 Fish Farm Devotional Time

We visited the Chiang Mai Fish Farm that was started by covenant missionary Randy Bevis (our contact & co-minister for our trip) and which is now run by Thai Christians. The Fish Farm is a "Business as Ministry Model" ministry, where the company runs an ethical, Biblical business which employs community members, generates income for the area, and provides opportunities for the community to help themselves out of poverty, while also generating funds & support for ministries & programs (such as the Amnuay Sook Training Center camp and others) and witnessing to their workers & business partners. We were able to join the staff for their Monday devotional & worship time, and a few of us even joined in on the instruments.

Fish Farm Devotional Time
One of my favorite facets of the trip was seeing The Church partnering together in Kingdom Business. Both in our work with the Thai believers at the camp and in meeting other missionaries (at Easter service in Chiang Mai, at other villages, and with other volunteers that came to the camp), we got to see and be a part of believers from all nations partnering together and working alongside one another to glorify God's name and spread the Word of His salvation & love- what a honor to be a part of such a mission!

Thank you for your prayers & support of our team and the ministry in Thailand. We are excited to see what God does through the camp & staff there as they move forward, and to see how God works in each of our team member's lives post-trip.  As we have returned to our "normal everyday" lives in Colorado, I pray that our team members are living out each day on mission- living each moment with Christ and sharing His love in practical, tangible ways with others. I pray the same for each of you!

Soccer Game: Thai Kids vs Our Team during Kids' Program
(it really was a close game... sort of!)
Please continue to pray for the people of Thailand and Asia. There is so much dark there (false religions, unstable governments, poverty & poor health, persecution, corruption, etc), but there is also bright light (in the faces and hearts of our brothers & sisters, in the miracles God is working, in His creation, and more!). Thank you again for your prayers & support. May God bless your day & heart in new ways today!

Jessica Drogowski
guest services director

Missions Team
Back Row: Kurt Lundstrom (Faith Covenant), Tom Cousineau (Covenant Heights), Heidi Wolle (Christ Community Covenant), Chuck Eklund (Faith Covenant), Tom Hoskins (Covenant Heights), Randy Bevis (Covenant Missionary), Ben FitzPatrick (Colorado Springs), Sarah Bliss (Covenant Heights), Ethan Dixon (Covenant Heights)
Front Row: Jessica Drogowski (Covenant Heights), Bri Wolle (Christ Community Covenant), Anders Wolle (Christ Community Covenant), Linnea Wolle (Christ Community Covenant)

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