We took a short flight in and were greeted at the airport by Suvit and Dok. Kind people. Southern Thailand has a charm that Bangkok lacks! They took us to get our rental car. I hadn't done my research to find out that the Brits brought the auto to Thailand, so I was a bit suprised to see that I was going to be driving on the "wrong" side of the road, sitting on the "wrong" side of the car. Oh, one more thing: The jeep was stick-shift. All worked out fine though.
We hit the ground running. After a quick lunch with Suvit and Dok, we headed to a sea gypsy village on the north part of the island. To the Western eye, it looks like one of the poorest places in the world, with 5-10 people living in a common shack made of palm fronds and sheet metal and sticks.
The local church we have been working with did a sort of Bible school for the kids in the village, so we helped out with that. We met some other Americans here who were over to help with the tsunami aftermath.
In the village, we met a woman who was caring for a baby. She was asking for money, so we grabbed Pastor Suchit to help us translate and talk with them. He told us a great deal about these sea gypsies or Thai-Mai or New-Thai as they are called. We found out that this baby's father took off months ago and the mother just died in an accident. The baby needed formula and other help. We promised them that we would return the next day with some formula and money.
As needs were asked about in this area, a few men told us that this boat needs repairs. Fishing is their industry, so without a boat, they have no money. And though the tsunami didn't sweep away their homes, it killed one of their boats. So we told them we would help find a technician to get the boat back to working condition. It will take about 50,000 baht which is about $1250. If you want to help with this or any other needs in the sea gypsy village, please let us know. There is much work to be done here.
After a while, we left the village to go see a small home church and eat some snacks. Holly and I later took Pastor Suchit and his wife out for dinner and talked about churches in different parts of the world. There is something happening here in the Thai church that is very refreshing. I am completely disarmed. God is doing something very good here. We crashed so tired this night.