08.02.16

Malaysia. What a beautiful place. We arrived in Malaysia Wednesday afternoon and Mit, a friend of Robert’s who happens to be going to college at Oklahoma Christian, picked us up. We rode a bus for about a hour then a train for about 30 minutes and finally ended up in the city where the twin towers are. The name of the city is Kuala Lumpur. It is a big city and if I were to take pictures and show you, you’d have a hard time guessing it wasn’t in the United States. The reason is because it is very westernized. Great Britain was in control of the country until about 60 years ago. Anyway, the tall buildings, bridges, train tracks, shopping malls, fountains, and apartments all looked like they could easily belong in America. I was surprised to see many of the stores in the mall were also found in America. There was also a Chili’s and Baskin Robbins. We left and headed to Mit’s hometown. It was a small town with a nice restaurant that we ate at and enjoyed Chinese food. We then went to his house where we stayed the night. It was a beautiful home that reminded me of a Spanish style home. For breakfast Thursday morning, we had Indian Roti. It basically is a tortilla cooked on the skillet then you dip it in the curry sauce. I really enjoyed the savory breakfast. That afternoon we got on a bus and went to the city of Melaka because that was where the Asian Mission Forum was held. It is a city full of historical sites and history. We needed a taxi and the sketchiest taxi I’ve ever seen stopped to give us a ride. I was super hesitant but just had to trust that he would take us to the hotel. We arrived safely and the man driving the taxi explained the history behind several of the buildings we passed. The hotel was more than fancy. It was definitely in the top 5 of the most fanciest hotels I have ever stayed at. We enjoyed delicious western meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The experience of the AMF was unforgettable. The people were so friendly and Godly. They are truly talented in what God has called them to do. I met so many people and connections were made with people all over Asia. The Asian Mission Forum consisted of missionaries all across Asia. There were 2 sessions a day with one 4 hour session in the morning and another from 7 to 9:30 each night. Each session was filled with listening to personal experiences, a series of lessons on leadership, and singing. The man who spoke on leadership had an interesting way to view the cycle as a Christian in the Church. He suggests that we should go from passive followers to active followers to leaders to mentors. During our afternoons of free time, all of us interns took like 3 hour naps. It was definitely needed because the last few weeks of the internship were super busy and draining both mentally and physically. The only interns who went to AMF were the 7 westerners. Mckenzie, Abby, Katie, Isaac, Jason, Tan, and I. We got back yesterday and today was a very relaxing day. After talking to my momma on the phone, I am now completely packed up with only a few things left that I will need to use in the next couple of days. I am anxious to return home to see my family and friends.

This verse has been very helpful these past few days because I will face changes when I return that have happened in America while I have been gone and will have an effect on me.¬†“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Please pray for safe travels as Katie and I return home Thursday.

Blessings,

Meagan

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07.26.16

As I reflect on the week, I can’t help but think how fast it has gone by and how I only have 1 week left in Thailand. It has been an experience of a lifetime. I thank God for the time I have been given here. This past week has been non stop but I’ve enjoyed it. It has been good to keep busy by giving our time to the students who came from the border to come learn English and more about God from us. We were in teams that cooked all week and also had discussion groups. Breakfast came early each day and we did 5 or 6 lessons a day. We then had lunch. After lunch we had discussion groups to reflect on the lessons we have learned that morning. The afternoons were full of adventure because these students have never been to the city so it was the first time for them. Robert had each afternoon planned so while they were learning, they were also experiencing. We went hiking up a mountain. It was my first and last time. I did not enjoy it but after I got back to the truck, I realized that it was a memory made that I won’t forget. The next day was a challenge because I was so sore but I made it through. We also went to the “Sticky Waterfall.” The reason it was called the Sticky Waterfall is because the rocks are made of calcium so we could easily climb up the waterfall without falling. It was a beautiful scenery to take picture in so you can be sure I got plenty! ūüėČ There was one particular girl that I made a friendship with that was so sweet. She asked me to promise to never forget her. It was good to spend that time with her to share stories about life in America and how God has worked in my life. I literally have had rice every meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) every day this week and am looking forward to variety of options. The reason we had so much rice is because we cooked food each day that was food from their culture.¬†Thursday,¬†we had Khao Soi which is a noodle dish made by Jan for Cell Group. I have found that it is my favorite dish that I’ve had here in Thailand. It is spicy but I absolutely love the unique flavor. My roommate, Prae, shared her story for Cell Group and it saddens me that because of the language barrier, I am just now learning more about her life. We’ve become close friends and have enjoyed our late night visits and laughs. The nights are one of my favorite times of the day because a few intern girls just hangout in our room visiting about what girls visit about and we’ve grown to become like sisters. The common link that we all have is God and that has created a bond with each other that will allow us to all still be close friends even after we go our separate ways after the internship. Friday¬†was a memorable one. We first spent the afternoon at Bay’s Cafe which is an organic American Restaurant. I usually get the Peanut Blaster (as all of you know how much I like peanut butter) but¬†I decided to get the Chocolate Love. I definitely like the Peanut Blaster better. Then at 4:30 we got a Red Truck back to the zone and that is relatable to our Taxi’s in America. It was a lot of fun to wave one down then jump in and thankfully we had Dao and Prae to tell them our destination. At 6, all the interns plus a few church members took one of our church member friends who is around our age to Duke’s for dinner! We had a lovely time!! Everyone was so happy to either be eating an expensive meal or for all of us Westerners, we enjoyed a familiar taste! It was so good to see the smiles on everyone’s faces. It will be so hard to say goodbye. On Saturday, we went to the Chiang Mai Zoo. There were 10 of us who went to the zoo while a few others went and got tattoos. The zoo was fun and some of us rolled around in the plastic balls. It was impossible to stand up and I realized how amazing it must have been to see Jesus walking on water. We watched a seal and animal show. Both were interesting and entertaining. That evening we all went for Pad Thai and it was my very first meal in Thailand so it was nice to eat it again at the end of the internship. Sunday was special because all the Churches of Christ in Chiang Mai had one big service at the Zone. I met several other Americans and enjoyed the lesson which was preached by guy from Denver City, Texas. So once a month the Payap Christian Zone Church volunteers, this past Sunday we went to an orphanage. These children were so sweet and loved the games we played with them and the Bible stories that were shared. That evening I had the opportunity to meet one of the girls that will be in the same dorm as me this upcoming year at ACU. She was on vacation with her family and is friends with Branson so he introduced me to her and that’s how we met. We went to Walking Street together and shopped. I am looking forward to getting to know her better. Monday came early because we had to be ready to be picked up at 6:30 am to go see and play with the elephants. The sanctuary was about a hour and a half away and Neung (an intern from Cambodia) got car sick. When we got there we were given Karen clothes to wear and we fed the elephants as well as received hugs and kisses from them. I was so happy to just be among the beautifully created animals. When we finished that, we got to take a mud bath with them. It was so hard for me to do that because the water was not clean at all. I got past it and had a good time throwing mud around. We also bathed them in the river. Time flew by but I loved every minute of it. That evening we enjoyed eating pizza together and then we had about 3 hours of encouragement. We each took a turn in the “Hot Seat” and listened to the compliments by the other interns. It was a special time of tears, smiles, laughter, and sadness. I will never forget that night because I thought it wouldn’t go as well as it did. We truly have bonded during this internship and each have brought something unique to the internship. Today we slept in, had breakfast made by Abby and Isaac which consisted of french toast and pancakes, cancelled our Thai phones, and went to the umbrella factory. It was so neat to see how everything was handmade. A few interns got things painted such as laptop covers, phone cases, and bibles. For dinner, Prae and I went to get food together and enjoyed reminiscing about the internship and telling some of our favorite stories. It was a good last day of the internship. It’s hard to believe it is all over.

I ask that you say a special prayer for us because we leave tomorrow to go to Malaysia.

Blessings,

Meagan

07.16.16

This upcoming week is about to get super busy so I will make a short post about my solitude experience yesterday. This was the first time for me to do something like that where I spent 4 hours in the mountains alone with only my Bible, journal, and water. It was a peaceful time but I will be honest and say that I didn’t have the time that I expected. I was nervous going into it because you all know how I am not the typical country girl/nature person my sister would like me to be. ūüėČ We started out hiking up the mountain and I was anxious to see what would happen. When I got to my spot I sat down and suddenly I was attacked. I jumped up and thought, “Great. This is going to be awful.” Mosquitos by the thousands just found me to be super delicious the entire time. In all my frustration, I stood up and decided to pray for patience and forgiveness for being so angry at the mosquitoes. Once I got past getting eaten alive, I found myself getting distracted by the thoughts of how I needed to prepare for the upcoming week and leadership roles that I will be doing. So I decided to write them down so I could forget about them and continue my time in solitude. We read a verse in Hebrews earlier in the week so I decided that I wanted to read the whole book. I especially liked reading chapter 8, “…I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” I read a few more chapters from different books in the New Testament then I flipped to the Old Testament and spent the rest of my reading time there. Reading through Esther, Ecclesiastes, and Ruth. After reading for awhile, I spent some time in prayer. It was important to me to pray about what has been on my heart and mind. It was also important to pray for the students and us as we teach them¬†this week, that we made an impact on those God wanted us to during this internship, safety for the upcoming plane trip to Malaysia, and safety for the super long flight back home in a few weeks. There have been some things on my heart and mind that I really wanted to focus on and work through during my solitude time. Amidst our struggles, worries, temptations, weaknesses, and anything we feel is too much to handle, we must always remember that Jesus overcame everything and if we ask Him for guidance, help, and understanding, we can overcome anything with His help. I was encouraged after reading Romans 8 and was able to find understanding and a few answers to some my questions. My prayer list has slowly began to lengthen and again I would love to hear it if you’ve got any prayer requests that I could be praying for.¬†Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”¬†I also feel that we as Americans live a very scheduled life and live from task to task. We try to get the most out of the time that we have. Going back home, I hope to live a more simplistic life and focus more on living a life based on God’s plan as opposed to a plan from the calendar. I feel like God has given us the things we do each day for a reason but I need to make sure to focus on doing it for His Glory and not to do it just to mark it off of the list.

A small recap on what we’ve done this week other than solitude:

It hasn’t been too eventful because we’ve been cleaning the building that the Karen girls will be staying at tonight through Friday. We also have been had equipping time each morning. Wednesday, we had the weekly English camp. Thursday, we had the weekly Cell Group and this week Mark (an intern from Louisiana) cooked Gumbo for all of us. Last night (Friday) we enjoyed a “Girls Night.” Robert’s wife, Jan, opened their home to us. The Thai girls our age who are members of the Church and all the girl interns went to her house for Spaghetti, a Devotional about Walking like Jesus led by Katie, mug cakes, and movie time. We all enjoyed the time talking, laughing, crying, sharing our secrets, and just doing what girls do. I haven’t done something like that in so long that it felt good to relax and just be encouraged by girls. These girls all have a special place in my heart and will be so hard to say goodbye to them in a few weeks. Since we’ve gotten closer, at nights we normally find ourselves in one of the rooms just talking late into the night. These times that we spend doing things other than sleep, will be the times that we remember most and grow closer together as friends.

Blessings,

Meagan

07.11.16

So much has happened in the last week and it will be super hard to remember everything but I’ll do my best! Saturday and last Saturday we got up early and went to the Gethsemane Children’s Home. Both experiences were pleasant and full of teaching, games, and singing. This past Saturday was a special day because over the weeks I have been teaching 12 year olds english and we have become friends. I will be sad when I have to say goodbye to them. We had the chance to meet the couple who sponsors the home and they are from Missouri. Sunday was a good day full of fellowship with the church members. Most of us went and ate Subway sandwiches then enjoyed some honey lemon tea! Monday afternoon the Westerners had the most amazing opportunity to meet with a few church members and they took us out to a coffee shop to enjoy coffee and get to know each other better. It was a fun time asking questions about our future, past, and what we hope to get out of this internship. Tuesday morning was fast and furious. We finished up last minute colorings and laminated everything. I spent most of Tuesday in my room sleeping because I was sick. Thankfully, I was better before we left. Wednesday we left at 7:30 to head to the mountains! Because of previous car sicknesses, I rode in the car and took Dramamine. That medicine put me to sleep so fast that I wasn’t awake for any of the trip to the mountains! Oops. Along the way, we also stopped at a gorge which is where two mountains meet and a river is between them! The view at the top of the mountain was very peaceful because of the cool and cloudy weather. We had a few minor issues with two instances of locking the keys in the car but the guys were able to unlock it within a hour or so. We got to the town where we jumped into the trucks that were 4-wheel drive and we drove about a hour right into the middle of no where. The village was so peaceful and breathtaking. It was also somewhat cold on the mountains. At night it was cold enough that I should’ve brought a jacket! I had no idea that it could be so chilly in Thailand. The teachers and students were so welcoming and we felt so loved. They fed us, preformed for us, and even hosted a karaoke night for us to enjoy. The camp was a success because of the work that Dao did putting it together. I had the opportunity to teach the Resurrection of Jesus on the first day and the second day I was a group leader! I enjoyed both because of the different kinds of bonds that were made. We also sang the teachers and students two 4 part songs, The Greatest Command and Someday. The Greatest Command song always melts my heart and is one of my favorites. Even though they didn’t understand the words, they still gave us their undivided attention and had such big smiles when we finished singing. This will be an enjoyable story for all…So one of the group activities was to play musical chairs. The interns didn’t start off participating because in the Thai culture the unselfish attitude that they have therefore they would’ve let us win simply because we were older. Eventually we did play and Thai’s aren’t competitive so I was going to show them competition. I got down to the last round of musical chairs. 1 chair and 3 people left. The music started and when it stopped one of the interns went to sit down and I grabbed the chair out from under him. He fell on the ground and I won. It was a much needed laugh that everyone (even in the intern, Mark) thanked me for. We came back Friday night and Saturday morning we got up early to go the Gethsemane Home. We split up on Saturday mornings and some interns go to a different children’s home. After that, we caught up on laundry and spent some time refreshing for the 3rd mountain trip. Sunday was fast and we left as soon as Church was over to head to P’ Na’s village. We had a couple of visitors who studied at Payap University and it was nice to talk with them about their experience in Chiang Mai. We grabbed some pizza, ate, and headed out. Again, I took dramamine so I was asleep for most of the trip. We stopped at a beautiful waterfall then made it to P’ Na’s village without any issues. We had a devo with a few of the church members there. We had the chance to sing the Greatest Commands song and they enjoyed it as well as all of us. After a night of sleeping on the floor, we started early that morning with our 3rd english camp of the internship. By now we have a system and things flowed nicely. Renee (one of the intern’s sisters) and I had the color station. We taught them the story of the Flood. These kids were from 1st grade to 6th grade so each group came with different challenges but by the end we all had given all we had to these kids. It warms all of our hearts to see the joy they have when they see us. Even though we can’t talk to them without a translator, the unspoken words and actions still show how they sincerely loved seeing us. It was a very short trip but it was so fun to sing, play games, and teach them. The times spent pouring into each of these children’s lives will always have a special place in my heart. On all 3 mountain trips, each student that I met was so inspiring because the conditions that they live in are nothing compared to America or Chiang Mai but they still find joy in living the life that God has given them. They taught me that no matter what life we are given or where we are taken in life’s journey, there is always something good in every day and something to be thankful for. It is all about the attitude we have and the kids truly had positive attitudes. From these mountain trips, I hope to take home the serving heart that they had, the respect that they had for their elders, and joy they had in all circumstances. On the nights that I am at the zone and the boys are free, I teach English to GoKu and Messi. They are in high school and are the brother’s of the intern, Wijit. They live here at the zone so its easy to meet up and teach them a few words when we have time. That time has been special because I have gotten to know a side of them that I wouldn’t have if Wijit hadn’t asked me to spend time teaching them. I really feel that I have become a teacher but I am also learning so much from those I am teaching. Most of the interns in the past week have been dealing with stomach/digestive issues so please pray for everyone’s health as we finish up our internship. Since we are done with mountain trips, I will be able to post more frequently.

Please continue to pray for me and if you have any prayer requests please message me. I would be so honored to pray with and for you.

Blessings,

Meagan

07.01.16

Hello Friends! As you will know by the end of this, it has been a week of many emotions. It started off well getting to have Monday’s equipping with a few new friends. We listened to stories of men in the mission field. We also heard from a brother in Christ who lived in Japan. He was right in the middle of the earthquakes and tsunamis in 2011. His testimony touched everyone who listened. A Chinese sister in Christ has been a Christian for a few years now thanks to the ministry by Phil Ware. God really was the focus during that study. Eventually, her sister and her both became Christians. After that, a few of them left for the airport so we had the afternoon to plan for the upcoming mountain trip. It has been a week full of nights with several people drawing, coloring, writing, and planning materials for the mountain trip. That Monday evening a few of us went and ran. It was a nice refreshing run because the weather here is perfect for it. After our run, we walked over to everyone else who had chosen to play soccer. Of course, I was convinced to play soccer. I was completely scared the first encounters with me and someone who was experienced in the game but after awhile they boosted my confidence by saying “I was the best first timer they’ve seen.” They won’t admit it but I am 100% sure that I wasn’t. Wednesday we had equipping with a lesson on Solitude. I knew I liked to spend time alone but I always did it for different reasons. After the lesson, we went to the old city of Chiang Mai which is in the middle of Chiang Mai and surrounded by a moat. We went to a temple there which was built in the 1300’s! I loved the elephants that surrounded it. That night for English Class, Robert had Abby cook her famous Chicken and Dumplings! She needed my help so we prepared the food during the class time. Everyone loved the food and it was interesting to see a few of the Thai not eat the dumplings. There are significant differences between American food and Thai food. I know it’s obvious but after eating all of this Thai food, the chicken and dumplings didn’t have as much flavor as I once thought it did. I didn’t sleep much Wednesday night because I have been getting lots of sleep and I was also thinking about a lot of things. That morning was a blur. I taught on Confession. At any time I have to give a speech or lesson, people tell me I did a good but I can’t remember what I said. Through teaching it, I took away from the lesson the importance of telling a friend or mentor your struggles, temptations, and weaknesses. Sometimes they see things from a different perspective than you would have seen it on your own. They can help you to ask for forgiveness and make that necessary change. It is also important for you to know that Thursday was my first time to ever fast. I don’t have many positive things to say about it because for me, it has affected my body even today (Friday). I did take a few things from it and that was the dependance that I had on God during the times I was hungry. Although I wasn’t hungry for most of the day, the last 30 minutes were super hard. Also, I now¬†look at food as one of God’s blessings. We are so blessed to always have food. Lastly, I was able to focus on problems I didn’t want to address and so it was weighing my heart down but during the fast I was able to go to God with things that I had been putting off. It was a good day of recollection, prayer, and refocus. The fast was broken with all the interns eating the meal prepared by Robert’s wife, Jan, for cell group. That night we listened to 2 interns share their spiritual testimony. Friday morning we woke up early and headed to the mountain to visit a temple, go to a coffee shop, and visited a hill tribe village. I bought a few handmade things from them and the lady who sold them to me was so sweet. I was glad to give her the money for the things she made. The view from the coffee shop was beautiful. It’s nice to take a step back and enjoy God’s handiwork. Abby and I also got to shoot the cross-bow. I did not hit the papaya but I was just out of practice. ūüėČ I will leave you with this information, we had pizza tonight for dinner!!! It was a good end to a good day! Please continue to pray…

Blessings,

Meagan

06.30.16

I want to take a moment to write, be real with y’all, and ask you all to say a special prayer for me. These past few days have been rough for me but it has taught me so much about myself and what I want in life. I’ve asked myself, “How do I want to be remembered?” “Who is watching me and looking up to me?” “What is my purpose here?” I thought my whole goal coming here was to change people as weird as that may be or sound. I thought I was supposed to do the changing but turns out that it was me who was changed.¬†¬†This week that has changed that view point. At the end of the day, I thought I wanted to feel that I made a difference but that has also changed. This week, I have been shown that no matter how much you want to make a difference and how hard you worked to make that difference in someone’s life, the difference won’t happen until their heart is changed by the Lord. We can only do so much, it has to be the Lord who changes their heart and it also comes from them realizing the change therefore following through with it by living a Christ-centered life. My new goal here is to plant the seed. I need to let God water it, nurture it, and make it grow into someone beautiful.¬†My prayer is that God will use me to help strengthen the relationship that is/was made and be there for whatever else God needs me to do. Sometimes we don’t know exactly what that will be but I pray that He will give me the ability to help them when the time comes. Being here has changed my perspective and I feel that with each tribulation that comes my way, I can overcome it when I give it to God and let Him help me.

 

Sending love,

Meagan

 

06.26.16

I will call this week (June 19 to 26) a week of refreshing. Its been calm here with very few stresses. I partly blame that on the fact that Robert hasn’t been here this week due to a seminar in the mountains. We’ve been busy with our routine and events on the schedule but other than that, it’s been a week to gather strength back up to prepare for 2 upcoming mountain trips that will be back to back. We’ve really focused this week on spending time with each other.

The past few days we have spent time with a few of our Thai friends who aren’t interns. The weekends are when they don’t work. Saturday they picked up the girls and took us all to a thrift shop. Then to the grocery store to get items to cook for potluck today. This potluck Sunday was unlike any other because for the first time, mom wasn’t with me to cook so I had to think of something. After many ideas, I decided I would make oreo balls! It went over well and all were eaten quickly…thankfully! The food was great and the fellowship was even better!

The equipping time this past week was led by the interns. Jason (an intern from Austin) led the daily studies on Luke. 4 others had taught on the day they were scheduled to discuss the spiritual discipline they chose. Discussion during the interns has caused an in depth study of the scriptures. I have been blessed by the 15 other interns and they each bring something different to the discussion. Prayer, Fasting, Study, and Simplicity were the spiritual disciplines for the week.

Robert has had several friends who are teachers and preachers in other parts of the world come to the Zone and we have met them, heard from their experiences in their countries, and have witnessed the Christian lives they live.

We had a special guest, Phil Ware, that preached today. He was an interim preacher for my college home church in Abilene (Hillcrest Church of Christ). Tomorrow (Monday) we will hear more of his personal/spiritual testimony.

Each week I try and find something in the week that I can take away and use when I go back to America. This past week I can say that because of the quality time that I have tried to spend with the interns, the friendships have gotten deeper among a few of the interns and I. It is the discussions over personal life as well as our spiritual life. Staying up and hanging out in the intern lounging area singing together, cooking with each other, and laughing into the night (I always go to bed before 12 because I need my sleep). The night before we had a day off a particular intern and I talked until 3 in the morning. We enjoyed that time to tell stories of our day, life, family, and spiritual life. I have learned how important quality time is and how it can be used as a way to easily talk about the Bible.

This week has had it’s own struggles but its so comforting to be¬†with Christians who are so uplifting and helpful to remind me of the power of prayer.¬†We¬†all have our own struggles, discomforts, and temptations. It’s the most unexpected things that draw you closer to each other and we can always help each other by reminding ourselves to trust God in all circumstances.

Please continue to pray as this upcoming week will be filled with service and we will also be in preparation for our mountain trips.

God is Good!

Less than 6 weeks left!!

Sending love,

Meagan

Take a minute to read Psalm 139.

06.18.16

It feels like it has been longer than a week since I’ve posted! We have had a full week! I will clarify to those who are still curious what our job is. As interns we are the magnet and bridge to those who are outside of Christ. To be a magnet means to become friends with those who are outside of Christ. Build relationships with them in the two months that we are here. That includes talking to those wherever we are. We hope our influence, character, and attitude will help them see the way we live as Christ-followers. To be a bridge means to bring our friendships one step further and get them interested in the Church by inviting them to our activities. It also means that we introduce them to the people who will be here after we leave in hopes of a new friendship built and maybe someday soon new Christians in the Church here at Payap Christian Zone. Also, it is our job to grow in our faith. Our activities are not only for others but also for us. I can reassure you that this is an experience of a lifetime and I couldn’t ask for a better internship this summer.

06.11.16. Saturday. We went early Saturday morning to the Gethsemane Children’s Home to teach english, sing church songs, and play with the children there. It was rainy all day so we came back to the zone and just spent some time visiting and bonding with eachother.

06.12.16. Sunday. Church happened like it does every Sunday. It is so neat to sing in Thai and the songs are the same tune as in english so it is easy to follow. After class we had a reception for Robert Reagan’s daughter, Erika. In May, married Tyler Scott and Sunday was the first opportunity they had to have the reception here in Thailand. They were married in Austin, Texas. They both graduated college at ACU in May.¬†By the way, at the reception, I had cheesecake!!! Anyway, when that was over I did laundry and packed for the mountain trip.

06.13.16. Monday. It was an exciting day for us all as we woke up early and headed to the bus station. Only six of us rode in the bus while the rest of the interns were in the truck. With all the luggage and 14 interns, it was wise to get bus tickets. The trip was a 6 hour drive to the school we were going to. It was a long drive. The roads were small, turns were sharp, and few people got car sick. I wasn’t able to sleep much because of the speed and sharp turns but thankfully the time passed quickly. We arrived in Mae Hong Son and Robert picked us up from the bus station. He took us to meet the others at the restaurant. We grabbed some rice and chicken and headed about a hour out of town to the place where we were staying. The Karenni people were so welcoming, helpful, and very glad to see us. They welcomed us with a song that was written especially for us. After a tour of the place we stayed and a few games to help us remember everyone’s name, it was time to call it a night. The girl’s dormitory was nothing like I’ve ever seen in person before. The dorm was a hut completely made of bamboo. I was so afraid I was going to fall through. It did not feel secure. Dao, one of the Thai interns, warned us that the shower was not going to be like what we expected…it was a room with a barrel of water and a bucket. That was it!! I was so hot and sweaty all I wanted was a nice cool shower to end my day. I wasn’t going to complain so I just got my stuff and tried it out. It was fine considering there was no air conditioning and everyone had to do the same thing as me so we all smelt the same. It was definitely not the most sanitary places I have been before. So I finished my “shower” and went to the room. There were several levels but the four American Interns, Katie, Abby, Mckenzie, and I all stayed in one room. It was a special 3 days with those girls. We had sleeping bags and slept on the floor. By 8:30, we were all asleep! I mean what else is there to do when there isn’t all the latest technology devices. It was SO LOUD with the toad noises, chicken sounds, and the neighbors blaring music. Thankfully, we were all so tired that the first night we could force ourselves to sleep regardless of the extremely loud noises.

06.14.16. Tuesday. Have no fear, we did not sleep in those 3 days we were there. With the gecko making is original noise in the room, roosters crow at sunrise, and Karenni girls waking up early to cook for us, there was no way we slept in past 6 am. The Karenni’s were so sweet and cooked for us each day! For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we had rice, vegetables, and some sort of meat. I mainly just ate rice…I am pretty sure Mckenzie and I lost weight while we were there. It was so different from the food that Thai or American people ate. I can’t even describe the spices or tastes to you..I was just unique. That morning started off fast. We broke off into 4 different groups with 3 interns per group. There were a total of about 75 students. We played english games and learned names again. Before we ate, Wijit, one of the interns, shared his life story as well as his spiritual testimony with us all because he came from that kind of lifestyle and ended up having the opportunity to study at Payap University in Chiang Mai which he soon found the church and became a Christian. That afternoon we shared our testimonies. We decided to make the groups even smaller with each intern having 4 or 5 students to converse with. My group was special and will always be a memory to treasure. Their enthusiasm to talk in english, learn about some of our traditions, and listen to my spiritual testimony was inspiring. I loved just having a conversation with them because of their kindness towards me. It was a blessing to share with them. By the time it was all over, Robert, his daughter Erika, and her husband Tyler came. We did a few group activities, then at 4 pm the students who didn’t stay overnight went home. The rest of us ate dinner at 6 then watched the Karen’s practice some of their traditional dances. We jumped in and did a few american dances. It was fun and an enjoyable time was had by all.

06.15.16. Wednesday. OH MY GOODESS. By this time, I have had enough of the croaking from the frogs and the roosters crowing. It just put me in a bad mood first thing every morning. After my rice breakfast we all gathered as a group to discuss the day’s plan. All morning we worked on memorizing 10 sentences to be able to have a continuous conversation with other english speaking people. They learned really fast. These students are around the ages from 18-21. They are from different refugee villages in Thailand. That afternoon they had a presentation for us. They had prepared another song to sing to us, a few of them showed us one of their traditional Karenni dances, gave us shirts that say “I love Karenni, spoke a message of thanks, and then surprised us with asking us to show them an english dance. We were definitely put on the spot but we were willing to do it for them because of the kindness they showed us every day. After that, we went to the river and then just relaxed.

06.16.16. Thursday. We had a couple of encounters with a gecko in our room….It fell from the ceiling onto our beds…It was massive and makes a unique noise that is recognizable. One thing you should know is that the scary thing about them is that if they bite you, you literally have to kill it. It is the only way that the gecko will release whatever it has bitten. Regardless of that, we were up early and left the camp at 7:30 am. I was looking forward to showering so much that the 6 hour drive back went by very slow. I didn’t sleep at all but it was nice to visit with one of the interns and get to know more about them. We got to Chiang Mai at 3 pm. It was awesome to take a nice long shower. It was enough time to take a small nap and then we had cell group which is like a Thursday night church service. It consists of singing, praying, and a couple of people sharing their spiritual testimony. Before church, one of the ladies from the church cooks dinner for everyone so we get to enjoy fellowship before and after.

06.17.16. Friday. Friday morning was probably one of my most emotional days since I’ve been here. It was a factor of a bunch of things but we had intern equipping for 3 hours. I will admit I was drained from the trip but it was so good to read Luke 7 and discuss it. Then we read the chapter about the spiritual discipline, meditation. Robert did a great job of preparing everyone’s minds and gave us 30 minutes of down time to spend with the Lord and read the bible, pray, or sing before we began. Then we all came together and Robert led us through an imaginative encounter and walk with Jesus. He asked us, “How would we act,” “What would we say,” “What would we ask?” By the time it was time to share our thoughts on the whole equipping time, several were in tears. I think in those moments, it brings us closer to each other and we become not only interns but family.

06.18.16. Saturday. It was rest day for us and I took advantage of that! Dao took Mckenzie, Abby, Katie, and I to get a massage. It was a Thai massage and one that if you ever get the opportunity, do it!! Especially after sleeping on the floor while in the mountains. I came back so refreshed and tired, I slept. I helped get things together for our trip tomorrow at the Gethsemane Children’s home. Then all 24 of us went to eat at this amazing restaurant. Amazing is an understatement. It was designed so well!!! Katie and I each got a plate then split it so I got to eat fish and chips and a mexican salad! It’s been awhile since I’ve had any food like what I would eat in America. I was completely in love with the place, the food, and wah wah’s (another girl intern) white chocolate drink!! It was a great way to end the week!

Keep on Praying!

Sincerely,

A happy intern ūüėČ

06.10.16

I am so blessed!!! Praise God for all that I am experiencing here in Chiang Mai! This week has been filled with so many new things. My Thai is also getting better! I also need to say that I have an amazing roommate and am so happy God has allowed us to meet! She is the sweetest and I can’t wait to see how our friendship will grow over these next 2 months. We spent most of the night last night memorizing scripture together! God is good.

06.06.16. Monday- It was our day off so we got to hang out at the zone and relax. We didn’t do much that day. We went to the Big C and picked up another intern. I cannot forget to mention that we ate at McDonald’s and for some of us, our body didn’t like the food….

06.07.16. Tuesday- Super exciting day because finally all the interns arrived and our team was officially together. We had equipping and then got to meet them all. They last 4 who came in are from Austin. It was a relaxing day and we all bonded by watching the guys play soccer and then some of us went and ran around Payap University. It was a beautiful evening. I will also add that my weakness is every time I see a smoothie shop, I have to stop and buy a pineapple juice. It is such a refreshing drink!!

06.08.16. Wednesday- It was a full day and I mean completely full day. We started early that morning and headed to the mountains for equipping, lunch, and waterfall bonding! It was the first full day so this day was known as “Intern Bonding Day.” A woman from the Church went out there with us to share a lesson on being gentle and courageous. It was powerful. She is currently a teacher at Grace International School but in August will become a Christian Counselor. Robert’s wife, Jan, brought us 5 star Chicken, sticky rice, and corn on the cob! The food was so great…possibly my favorite meal yet. The corn tasted just like the sweet corn that we used to grow in the garden back home! Okay so now to the fun part of the trip, we all had to jump off of the rocks about 10 foot into the water! I was like 2nd or 3rd ¬†to jump in.. The whole way to the mountain (about a 45 minute drive) I was preparing myself to be confident and just jump because after all it was just water and I’ve never jumped into water in Thailand before. Well when it was my turn to jump I suddenly forgot all of my self motivator talks and grew weak at the knees…I couldn’t believe I was starting to chicken out… I knew that if I was going to do it, I had to do it soon. So I jumped. It was totally awesome! The small jump only prepared me to lose all fears about jumping from 40 or 50 feet. I will also add that Katie overcame a huge fear and totally jumped off the rock like a pro even though she was terrified. I was so proud of her because I know how scary it is to go against what your mind tells you. Anyway, now it was time for me to head to conquer big things. As I walked around the rocks, I began to smile because I knew that I could do it. (I thank my parents for this because they have taught me to try everything once and prepare myself to have the right mindset.) I had finally made it to the point where it was time to jump.. I hesitated a few seconds to determine if I should hold my nose or not because on the last jump I got water in my nose. I can’t exactly remember what I decided or what I looked like (I wanted to make sure I looked good for the video) I just jumped. I felt so long yet so short. As I came up out of the water my ears began to hurt and the pain wasn’t going away… I calmed myself down and was concerned but not enough to make it a big deal and I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone or take away their fun so I swam over to Katie. I began to explain to her about my ears, especially my right one. She looked at it from afar because we were separated by rocks and asked the wrong question….She asked, “Is your ear bleeding?” Great. Just great. I was totally freaking out at this point but I held myself together well and asked if she was sure. Branson made his way over and thankfully we had a second opinion. They determined that my ear wasn’t bleeding and it could’ve been just because of the pressure. Praise the Lord! The remainder of the trip, my ears hurt but I still fought through because I wasn’t going to miss out on this experience. We took a few pictures then left and headed to another waterfall! McKenzie and I started back down another part of the mountain. We got to a stream that we had to cross. I need to add that it was raining and all the rocks were now wet. Anyway, keeping that in mind, I offered to hold McKenzie’s purse because Wijit had fallen in while crossing on the rocks. So she started across and next thing I know, I was straddling 2 rocks and my feet were in the water. My knees were holding all my weight as I became wedged… I couldn’t do much because we were all laughing that I was literally standing and somehow fell… So we got to the next waterfall after that episode and small delay. It was a natural water slide! I was super excited to try this out! As I sat down I was immediately reminded of the trips to Hurricane Harbor with my family..I miss my family. Actually, I wish they were here to experience this with me. Okay so back to the slide. We all went down, it was short, sweet, curvy, fast, and straight up and down. 2 seconds and I was being launched into the river! Climbing out was a challenge but with everyone’s help, I made it. Looking like a starfish and a dead fish at the same time… But who is going to remember that. We came back in time for the english class we have every Wednesday. I helped Abby make Chicken and Dumplings! Everyone loved it and later we found out that some of the Thai people weren’t really sure how to eat the dumplings but some assured us that it was perfectly okay. After a long day, I slept well that night!

06.09.16. Thursday- It was a stress free day. We had equipping time with everyone. We started the spiritual discipline book. The purpose of this internship is to be a magnet and bridge. We are here to build friendships with those who are outside of Christ and help them to connect with the church here in hopes of one day making an important decision to become a Christian. “Everyone wants to change humanity but no one wants to change themselves.” The lesson was powerful. “God will change us from the inside-out.” We also read Luke 5 and discussed it. After that I went with those who didn’t have phones to the mall. Mckenzie, Katie, and I had pizza and DQ ice cream. Of course I got chocolate oreo. I must admit, it is another weakness that I have here in Thailand… When we got back it was time for supper (I might’ve also squeezed in a short nap that day ;)) Anyway, it was time for supper cooked by one of the ladies in the church. We then had cell group. Katie and McKenzie shared their testimony’s and I really enjoyed listening to them both share their life with us. It’s special when Christians can share their journey, hardships, and high points in their spiritual life with one another.

06.10.16. Friday- I will just go ahead and say that I took a long nap this afternoon. This morning we got up and had a guest speaker talk to us about our love language. Love is a verb. We also read another page in the spiritual discipline book. This evening we went to Big C and the market. I always get chicken or pork on a stick with sticky rice. I also got DQ chocolate oreo ice cream! That is all we’ve done today and I am ready to shower and go to bed!

Sending love from your favorite Payap Christian Zone Intern,

Meagan

06.06.16

My how time flies by! It’s already been a week since I left home and this is my first post! Oops… I hope to get better but I also want to embrace every opportunity which means that I will stay busy! First of all I want to say thank you again to everyone who has supported me. It has been one of the biggest blessings in my life to know so many friends and family care and are willing to help out. This journey I am on is forcing me to step out of my comfort zone and become vulnerable. The people here are so encouraging and friendly. It has been so easy to make friends! The food here has been new yet tasty and I have done my best to try everything once. I also have to add that the paying 1,000 baht seems like I’m spending a ton of money but in reality it is only about 28 US dollars!!

Day 1. I’m not quite sure if I want to call day 1 my plane trip or my first day in Thailand so it will cover both experiences. Katie and I left Dallas at 6:40 pm and we arrived in Doha the next day…I would not suggest a 14 hour flight to anyone but fortunately I was next to 2 kids so I had more space to relax and watch the titanic! After a short layover in Doha, we were on our way to Bangkok! Bangkok airport required a lot of walking but after security, we were officially in Thailand. We boarded the plane and in 45 minutes, we were in Chiang Mai! Robert, Abby, and Branson picked us up and we headed to meet a few other missionaries for lunch. We came to the zone, unloaded our stuff, and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Day 2. Wednesday! (Coming to Thailand we got to skip monday because of the time change) It was our first night and first thing Katie found in her room was a lizard! We all slept well then that afternoon we had an english lesson for those who were interested in learning english. It was a fun lesson filled with conversation and reading. That night we went to eat Pad Thai and it was raining so hard but the food was worth us getting wet as we walked to the restaurant.

Day 3. Thursday! ¬†9 am Robert had us meet up and we had our first “equipping time” aka intern bible study and prep time. We spent about 3 hours reading Luke, discussing about chapters 1 and 2, and working on a schedule for the remainder of the week. Since I had already shared my testimony at Hillcrest Church of Christ in the spring, I volunteered to share mine that night. Before it was time to share we helped another intern, Dao, cook for cell group which is what we call Thursday night sing and “share your story” night. It was challenging to share my story only because I had never had a translator so after I would say a sentence, Robert would say it in Thai and by the time he finished, I forgot what I said! So after it was all done we met a few people in the church and mama zone was super sweet to let Katie and I try some new snack (I will refer to it as fish food because it smelt and tasted just like it).

Day 4. Friday! It was a full day! We met a few girls from Cambodia and one who is an intern stayed behind with us. All of us headed out to the waterfall that morning at 9 am. It was a hour drive but after a few wrong turns we arrived to the restaurant alittle after a hour. I had the most amazing pineapple smoothie! The waterfall was so tall. It wasn’t like anything I had ever seen before! It was breath-taking and so beautiful to see God’s creation. We swam, took photos, and had fun there. When we finished, we took the nature trail back up to it and a cave. Of course, we took more photos then headed back down the mountain to the truck. On the way back, we sat in the back of the truck and played many games that included laughing and bonding with one another. That night we went to the night bazaar! I loved getting to see all of the hand-made Thai trinkets, Thai food, and all the shops that required bargaining. I was successful at bargaining and bought a few things for a small price.

Day 5. Saturday. Katie and Abby were super sweet and got up early that morning to make pancakes for the Cambodian girls and everyone else. They were delicious! Since I didn’t get up with them, I am going to make brownies for them sometime. We all loaded up in the back of the truck excited to play more games as we traveled and went to the Gethsemane Children’s Home. I was a teacher and the age group I had was from 10 to 12. They were so sweet and knew their english surprisingly well. The boys played an outside game with them after they finished and about lunch time, we came back. A few ladies from church came to the zone and we all went to a coffee shop that afternoon and enjoyed a day of fellowship. That night we went to another walking street but we just got food there.

Day 6. Sunday. That morning was an exciting morning! First time at a Thai Church! The Church is on the third floor so I didn’t even have to walk outside or put my shoes on to go! (In Thailand, we do not wear our shoes inside a building). It was an awesome experience. One of the interns, Wijit, preached that morning. For class, we read Luke 1 and for those who didn’t know english, we helped them to understand the passage. We went to the mall for lunch and I will be honest, I didn’t much like the food I got, but it’s okay! At least I tried it!! We watched Ninja Turtles in Thai with no english subtitles so you can only imagine what I did during it… I took a nice long nap! The seats were so comfortable and I felt like a VIP. Something interesting about the movie theater there is that we had assigned seating! So we ended up at the very front. The movie was so loud! Like it almost took away my hearing. Overall, it was a cool experience. We also decided to go to the Sunday night walking street and it rained on us while we were there. I bought a few things and got another pineapple smoothie for dinner!

It has been an awesome week and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the summer looks like! Continue to pray God will work through us!

Sending love,

Meagan