5 January 2012

Thailand - Third Wave 2012 [Day 3: Small Groups & Opening Dinner]

The view from my floor - I'm on floor 10, and the highest is floor 11!
On our third day in Thailand, Tuesday January 3, we had a reasonably relaxing and slow day.
After breakfast, we had regional meetings. We began all together (still the Asia-Pacific people) in the meeting room, by singing a hilarious song that had some funny actions… I want to write the words down and maybe even record the song, so that I can show you when I get home! So much fun!
We were given 2 questions that we would discuss in small groups, and we all went with people from our own region – so I was with the other Aussies, as well as the Kiwis. We spent 30 minutes finding Scriptures and discussing the topic / questions, and then everyone met together again. We had one person from each group go up the front and share with everyone what their group had learning. I wrote pages and pages of notes!
Then we got another 2 questions, and we did the same thing – discussed with our group for 30 minutes, and then met again. Only this time, individuals could share as they felt led. Again, I wrote pages of notes!!
For the rest of the day, we had free time!
After lunch, I uploaded some photos and tried to finish blogging.
The internet really is temperamental! I am trying to write my blog posts in Word and file my photos, so that when the internet is working, I can easily copy and paste the post, and insert the pictures. I am doing my best!
Mid-afternoon, Tamara and I went for a walk with all of the Pilipinos. They are so great! Our plan was to go to the market, but apparently it is a 40-minute bus ride away! I am determined to find one that is closer. We have to go to some markets before we leave!
We ended up eating at McDonald’s, believe it or not! And the Philipino pastor shouted everyone a cheeseburger meal, because it was Aster’s birthday.
Here’s some information for you: in the Philippines, meals sizes are smaller than Australian sizes – we all got a regular, but for them that would be a large. I’m amazed that the meal sizes in America are even bigger!
Since we were with the Philipino group, we got to sit with them for over an hour while they discussed how Third Wave would impact them and their ministries back home. It was cool to hear their perspectives and situations.
We went back to the hotel at about 5:30pm, and I quickly got showered and dressed for the Opening Dinner for Third Wave.
We lined up to enter the dining hall, and were greeted by lovely, beautiful Thai people!

The entrance

We all received a flower - traditional Thai flower

And some cool clay stuff was swiped on our cheeks.
"Sa-wa-dee-ka". This is "hello" in Thai
The room looked wonderful. A flower in the centre of each table; chair covers on the chairs. And so many people are here now! It’s so amazing!

Dinner was buffet.
While we were eating dessert, we were entertained by these beautiful Thai children!

Traditional Thai dance

Dance / actions to One Way [Hillsong]

Beautiful dance to Who Am I? [Casting Crowns]

I was sitting next to Belinda during dinner, and found out that she would be going home at midnight. Our leaders also shared that with everyone, and took time to thank Belinda for her inspiration. She was the one that originally (4 years ago) suggested to host the 2012 Third Wave in Thailand!
Then Verne Ward prayed, and all of us Australians and the New Zealanders as well, gathered around Belinda and prayed for her. It was a really special moment.
After we prayed, I became really teary and emotional, and just stood there crying in pain for Belinda. Tamara and I just stood with each other and shared the tears of the moment. I wanted to be strong for Belinda, so when I calmed down a little more, I was able to give Belinda a hug and say goodbye before her trip.
Then I got my computer and came here to the 2nd floor, and posted my last blog post, and talked with my friend Dito, from Indonesia. It was great to learn more about each other’s cultures and each other.
That was probably the most relaxing day I’ve had since being here – and it’s going to get more busy!!
But God is good, and provides all of my needs.
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