By McKenzie Kent
After spending 10 days in Chiang Mai we got a nice contrast from the city life to the country life when we got to the refugee camp between the Thailand and Burma border. We spent the whole day traveling on the 23rd in these really nice vans. The vans had very cushioned seats and neon lights. You could definitely say we were riding in style.
We drove from 10 am till 6 pm. When we showed up to the camp they immediately greeted us and invited us to come eat the dinner they had already prepared for us. It was an extremely humbling experience to come into this community, which lacks the privileges and materials that we as Americans are so used to having, and having them be so excited to see us and setting out an abundance of food for us to eat. It put some of us to tears. During our dinner we heard music playing down stairs and we all decided they must be doing Zumba and we had to join them. Come to find out they were actually dancing to the music and we were able to join them. They taught us the dances they were practicing, so we in return taught them a dance called the church clap. If you don’t know it, then look it up and learn it for when we come home. After that, we were drained, because they kicked our butts at dancing, so we went to bed in our magical-princess-mosquito-nets.
Today (the 24th) we woke up to the roosters’ crow…literally…all 20 of them. Most of us started our day with a refreshing bucket shower. If you don’t know what that is either, then look that one up too. Our day was full of different church services. Some services they asked us to direct, and some they just asked us to sing a few songs in. They blessed us with a lunch, even though they only eat breakfast and dinner. It was really cool to see how God was teaching us through us teaching them. Makayla and I got the privilege to walk through their gardens after dinner and got to talk to some of the people working in the gardens. While we were walking through the gardens and the river we got to see some little fireworks go off further up the mountain.
It was beautiful. It’s so crazy being here because you often forget you are in a refugee camp because of how friendly, hospitable, happy, and content everyone is here. It has really helped put into perspective that “there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised, and uncircumcised, Barbarian, Scythian, slave, free, but Christ is all and in all” –Colossians 3:11. In other words, there is not American and Karen, Buddhist and Muslim, rich and poor, Christian, Atheist, Burmese, white, black, but Christ is ALL and in ALL. Our God is a God of ALL nations. ALL! He continues to teach me that. Thank you so much for your prayers and for your excitement for us. We are praying for you people at home too! We love and miss you guys. See you in t-13 days!