Mission Possible Successfully Accomplished
March 26 – April 6, 2009
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Reflections School Of Dance - Directors: Len & Debbie Wiens
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THAILAND DANCE MISSION TRIP REPORT - JOURNAL
It’s a very long way from Seattle, Washington to Bangkok, Thailand. I appreciated the travel time as a transition out of Reflections School of Dance and into what God had for us on the other side of the world. The trip to Bang Saen, Chonburi was safe and fairly uneventful. I thank the Lord that both Len and I have lots of travel experience which helps things go smoother.
Saturday, Day 1: This was our first introduction to the beautiful girls and boys of the orphanage. The girls were already practicing a dance when we walked in the door. There was Bing Bing immediately. She was recognizable from the video and although she is little, she is one of the best dancers. I shared my dance right away that night and Len spoke using a translator. We enjoyed our first night with these happy, beautiful people.
Before leaving the church the boys from the orphanage handed me what looked like a long reed from a bundle they were eating. You unwrap it and find a long brown substance that resembles a slug. Ying was quick to help me, explaining that it was sweet, sticky rice and you eat it.
Sunday, Day 2: We slept very well as we were both tired from travel and time change. It was easy to wake up early (as it was every day of the trip) as this was our first full night of sleep, the sun was shining and we were full of expectation. My first thought upon awaking was, “We are in Thailand”.
After enjoying a very nice Thai massage, we walked down for our first look at the hottest, most crowded beach ever. What a contrast from the icy, frigid waters of the Northwest. The ocean water was almost “hot”. Len especially was reminded that he needs to be careful in the heat.
We enjoyed the evening service where I shared my dance again. Afterward, all the kids lingered and they did freestyle break dancing.
Monday, Day 3: Each day breakfast was served at the hotel and then we headed out. On this day we made our own way by Song Tou (jeep) to the closest mall and another place somewhat like a Wal-Mart where we were able to find snacks for the room and a few gifts to take back. We were delighted to even find Dunkin Donuts.
Monday evening was our first visit to the orphanage and my first time introducing some dance to the little girls. The boys went ahead and joined in. The music was a kid’s praise song in Thai so I did not know the lyrics, but it worked really well. It was hot, sweaty and crowded in the space we had to work.
Tuesday, Day 4: The kick off for the TLC Dance Camp! The camp was every day from 9:00-12:00 with about 50 students including children from the orphanage for HIV positive kids. Len showed a video clip, and then I would get them moving with warm-ups. The first day I taught basic gymnastics and we started the dance “Get Your Praise On”. In the afternoon I had the privilege of teaching the 7 leadership students, plus Bank, Guay and Ying, about dance for worship and warfare. It was so wonderful to work with students who were so respectful and hungry to learn.
Wednesday, Day 5: Dance camp theme with mime experimentation and continuing the dance. Len had trouble with his ears being plugged since the flight when we left Seattle, so finally this Wednesday afternoon we went searching for a drugstore and some medicine for his ears. He ended up visiting the University Hospital which in the end did not make him feel better but made for a good story in the experience.
In the evening I went on my own back to the orphanage to work with the little girls, and dance and sweat lots.
Thursday, Day 6: It was a very long and intense day. The dance camp went well in the morning and I introduced some concepts in partnering. Keep in mind that there are usually over 50 students in not a large space when I did these classes, so there was plenty of energy floating around! Thank the Lord for some air conditioning at the Life Center.
For the afternoon session with the leadership team, we ran over time but it was a wonderful afternoon with Carmen and Ying also in attendance. Len did some teaching and then we prayed for them. It was very sweet and powerful at the same time.
The evening was very intense as we went to the city of Pattaya. We prayed for the extremely sad situation of human trafficing there. This cause is a passion of ours and if you're interested in more info please email us.
Friday, Day 7: Today was the culmination of dance camp. We all did our dances for each other which were very fun. Then Karen had all the kids gather around us and pray over us. Each child hugged us and in English said, “God bless you. I love you”. Len broke down and cried with joy.
In the evening we took the Sanchez family plus Ying (translator etc), Bank and Guay (2 main break dance leaders) out for dinner at the beautiful Tide restaurant. Outside by the pool, we were able to pray over them too which was wonderful.
Saturday, Day 8: This was probably the hottest day yet. Len and I took the jeep down to the closest beach and hung out for about an hour. Then at TLC, Bank was hosting a (Western region / National?) break dancing competition outside under their big tent. He asked me to help judge. That was great fun to be sitting up at the table with these 4 other break dancers. It pretty much went all day which was fun and exhausting. Len got some great photos and video clips.
Sunday, Day 9, Last day in Thailand: Palm Sunday. I danced and Len spoke at a newer church plant out in the country. What a sweet time. This church was birthed a few months back (as an HIV+ outreach) when 60 people in the village all became Christians in one day.
After church and a long drive back to the hotel, it was time to pack up our bags and sadly check out. We visited the Sunday evening service at TLC and did a spontaneous flag dance for Palm Sunday.
Back at the church during break dancing, we were showered with gifts and love as they graciously sent us off to the airport with for a very long trip home.
Another highlight for us was with some of the funds donated to us we were able to pay for all the expenses for the entire Dance Camp (50 students), treat the staff to a nice dinner and give a gift to the orphanage. We also have some bracelets that the orphanage kids have handmade that we can sell or give to those that would like one.
Written by: Len Wiens - Random thoughts...
This was a very awesome, powerful, exciting mission trip. It’s going to take a while for us to process it all. It is hard to express everything that happened and put what we experienced into words. Thailand has a population of about 66 million with about 95% Buddhist and 1-5% Christian.
Debbie did a lot of dance teaching. She taught the dance camp Tues-Fri 9:00-12:00 with about 50 students including children from the orphanage for HIV positive kids. Debbie helped the B-boys’ break dance ministry team during the week. On Saturday, a highlight for her was to be a judge at a National Break Dance competition that lasted 7 hours. Debbie also taught a dance to the girls at the orphanage. Bank and Guay were the Break Dance leaders that Debbie worked with.
Len’s main church ministry was preaching Saturday night at Ang Sila church and then Sunday morning at Chaechensaow. Thursday afternoon he taught Discipleship Training students. We enjoyed meeting with and praying for the students, Christian leaders, and the missionaries. Ricky and Karen Sanchez are the missionaries there that we worked with. They are awesome people. Our main translator was Ying, and she was wonderful. Please pray for these as well as the 2 Break Dance Youth Leaders – Bank & Guay. We got to see a lot of the work and fruit of ministry of MBMSI Thailand Team 2000. They said they would love to have us come back and bring a team to do more ministry.
The hotel we stayed in was excellent. The day before we left Thailand we got to go to the beach for a little while. Bang Saen is a beautiful city about an hour south of Bangkok on the beach. It is a University town with about 100,000 people. Bangkok has a population of about 15 million. Many of those people go down to the beach at Bang Saen.
We were kept very busy doing something every day. Most of the time we were there it was 90-100 degrees, with high humidity. We loved jumping in our hotel pool when we had a chance. We enjoyed riding the Song Tou, which is like a pickup truck. It is one of their main modes of transportation. We liked eating Thai food, as well as Western food. We also enjoyed going to the open air markets. Len had fun taking lots of pictures and video clips and has posted them on Facebook and our web site. Len even ate some fried frog.
Travel time was very long and exhausting. It took about 24 hours, plus a 10 hour layover on the way back in Seoul. Len had problems with plugged ears from the flight for about half the trip, but they eventually got better, though it wasn’t the trip to the pharmacy or the ER that ended up helping him feel better.
Another highlight for us was to be able to communicate via Skype with Madison and Zoe. Our kids really enjoyed that.
We would highly recommend this as a dance
missions trip to anyone!!!
The Sanchez Family & Team 2000 are awesome people and have an awesome mission!
Encouraging and going on short-term mission trips is a strong value of ours. The people in Thailand really want us to come back so we’ll have to pray about that in the future. We also want to be open to go to other nations. Would you pray about coming and/or partnering with us? Donations for future trips can be given to us and made out to "Elijah Commission". Thanks for your prayers and support to make this trip possible!
If you would like to read an even more detailed report with other things we did there please email us.