Thursday, January 23, 2014

Learnings from Northern Thailand

These last two weeks in Northern Thailand have been amazing.  I was here for my second doctoral residency which focuses on Development.  Chiang Mai is a hot bed for development & relief organizations because of its proximity to the hill tribe people, as well as people from Burma, Cambodia and Laos.  

Over the course of the two weeks I have been able to visit 19 NGOs (non-governmental organizations), a bible college and have a conversation with buddhist monks at their university.  I have interacted with people from Laos, Cambodia, China, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Switzerland and America.  I have held babies and played with children who are orphans and have HIV.  I have helped high school students at a welfare school with their English.  I have seen the innocent eyes and smiles of young girls from the Northern hill tribes who are at risk for being trafficked.  All of this has had an impact on my learning and my life. 

I have met visionary leaders, empathetic leaders and families who have left their home country to serve in another.  I have had the privilege of building relationships within my mentors and cohort from America, Korea, Taiwan, Nigeria and France.  These men are pastors, missionaries, seminary professors, directors of organizations and theological educators.  I am privileged to consider issues of Global Christianity in the areas of Mission, Development and Global Leadership with such a fine group. 

The 3000 pages of reading I did prior to the residency and the 2 weeks of being on the ground has helped crystalize my learning and is shaping my focus for our future.  I am looking forward to my writing project that is due in June and the learning that will take place between now and then.  

There are many pictures I have taken.  I am including one that has had the most impact on me.  It was taken at the Keep Girls Safe home in Chiang Rai.  They help girls that have been trafficked. 

While I have enjoyed so much here, Chiang Mai is not my home.  I look forward to going home to be with Susie and the kids, as I continue to process all the learning I've experienced.  If you have any questions about some of the organizations I've visited or other questions regarding my learning, please let me know in the comments section.  

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