Friday, February 25, 2011

100 Days in Thailand :: Day 38 - Worship at Weelapongs

Today we headed back up to Mae Sariang (about a 4 hour drive through the mountains) to spend time with Pastor Banya and Rapee (our Thai contacts). We were looking forward to hanging out and relaxing together, just the 4 of us!

But first, we wanted to visit with Rapee's brother, Weelapong and his wife Nattapong. These two run a ministry for teenagers up north. The issues these kids face are a lot like the ones teens face in America - with alcohol abuse being one of the biggest concerns. Weelapong is passionate about teaching these kids about Christ, and he specifically feels called to disciple teenage boys. We think it's a perfect ministry for him, because he is always so full of joy and ENERGY!

They have two sons of their own - Eric (10) and Nattawood (7). He and his wife also have 3 other teenage boys living with them, and they are hoping to take in several more. They want to disciple these kids and give them a stable home life - a place where they are loved and supported like they've never been. They are also working hard to make their home a place where the kids want to come and hang out. They have a ping pong table now, and they are planning to make a sports field out back for the kids to use.

While we were there they had a bunch of teenagers over for dinner and a worship service. Several people shared a message (including Rusty) with the kids. Most of the time the girls were engaged, while the boys goofed off, texted, and took pictures of themselves in sunglasses. (typical youth group, right?) But when Rusty shared his testimony with the boys, some of them actually listened! It was neat to see him connect with them.

We ended the night with worship. It was beautiful to hear the girls lifting there voices to God in their native language. I took a little video with my camera (not our good camera) and it's dark, but you can see most of the girls singing along with Weelapong. I especially loved watching the one in the left corner - she just seemed so passionate and connected with God when she sang!

Please pray for Weelapong and Nattapong, their children, and their ministry.  Pray that God will provide the money they need to take in more boys, and that He will open the hearts of these kids to know Him more!

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