This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24 ESV). Praise the Lord we surely did! Worship and praise at the Akha Baptist Church is over the top. The space if absolutely beautiful the people so gentle and genuine. Voices are lifted high and hearts are touched by the Holy Spirit. Praising God here transcends all language barriers filling us with awe, tears and wonder the presence of God powerfully was made know.
Akha tribes from Burma and Laos came and shared the passion and commitment to their people all over Asia. The sacrifices they make are beyond what we can imagine. They have been imprisoned. They have been severely persecuted. They have been in bondage, tied up in chains. We can’t begin to understand what they have sacrificed.
Pastor Chris Brooks spoke on Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” as Pastor Akha John translated acknowledging them for the sacrifices they have and will make that every Akha person receives Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Men from Burma and Laos pulled out their phones to follow the reading of this scripture. In this hour we stood in one faith, one purpose one hope for the one true God and salvation for all mankind.
There is much housing being built around the church. Thai people are moving in to be close the giant Buddha statue built above the Akha Baptist Church. As people move in they are drawn to the church rather than the Buddha. We serve an awesome God!
The children from the orphanage joined us for a buffet feast after service. These kids are awesome! We worked on communication and learning their names. Some of us met for the first time and other members reconnecting with the children they have come to know. Pictures were taken with big beaming smiles.
It was a gorgeous day for a long boat ride to the elephant village. The river was active with people fishing, some playing in the water. The river banks were filled with new construction of homes and larger buildings, cranes busy excavating the river banks. Water buffalo, brahman cows and horses also shared the shore. It was a pleasant ride providing nap time for a few of the youngsters.
You’ve seen it on posters; elephants wading through the river. Wow, what a experience! Seated in baskets rocking side to side with every step, the elephant driver guided his elephant through the river up a steep trail and right down the road back to the Elephant Village! By the grace of our team the Akha children had the joy of feeding the elephants a ton of delicious bananas.
It was a glorious day with more to come! Continue to pray for us as we continue in our time in Chiang Rai.