It’s been so great!

The past few weeks have been great! We’ve done several projects from teaching English, teaching health, and working on infrastructure projects.

One special project was the installing of a water pump, tank, and well to provide fresh water to 30 families in a mountain village. The villagers provided a list of equipment and everything else needed. HELP International provided the more expensive equipment such as water tank and water pump, but the villagers provided the labor and expertise in jungle construction. They impressively constructed a platform to place the tank on, and dug a large well to access ground water. Thai construction is extremely simple and straight forward, but effective.

One thing I’ve learned from teaching kids every week, is one, how different they all are, and how innocently loving and bonding they can be. They don’t speak our native language, are from an entirely different country, but they all share one simple thing that connects us: love. They’re able to feel our interest, concern, and love for them and it builds a bond that transcends boundaries. It’s really quite impressive. We’ve been able to see the impact we’ve had in their lives even from just a short visit every week for a limited number of weeks. I feel like giving the children an outlet and an example that they can remember can help shape their lives. Kids come from all kinds of different backgrounds, but they all have similar needs.

We’ve been working with another village to help better their economic situation. A lot of mountain villages of goods or skills that are very unique from mountain to mountain. On such village makes traditional shirts and bags that are unique to their culture. Because these villages are so small, they often only engage in trade with each other. This makes it difficult for the villagers to be able to go out trade with the outside world. We’ve been helping them design and improve their products and find the means to sell their products to a larger customer base by establishing a small business. We’ve let them come up with the plan themselves and give them suggestions, but we leave the sustainability up to them and hope that they will be able to improve and grow in the future.

We’ve had all sorts of adventures and experiences here. It’s been a great opportunity to make a difference and see new things. We only have one more week left, but I’m grateful for all that we’ve been able to do.

We’ve hiked a canyon, ridden a roller coaster in the jungle, climbed to the highest point of Thailand, tried new foods, made new friends, fit 20 people in the back of a truck, swung on a four man Ferris wheel swing, gotten super carsick, raced wooden race cars down a mountain, and have probably avoided more medical issues than I can count.

This past week I had the chance to say good bye to all the friends and members in Chiang Mai. It’s been great to get to see them all again. It’s definitely different n longer being a missionary, but it’s a new chapter in life and like a great new start too. I know that whatever is ahead is even better and where God wants me to go. So often when we’re doubting the path we are on or where we need to go, we can often find our answer through the Gospel, scripture study, prayer, being in-tune with the Spirit, and often in ways and places we don’t expect. Today at church, there were some powerful speakers, testimonies, and lessons. It amazes me that even though it was all in a different language that I would not consider myself super fluent in, I was still able to understand enough to receive my own revelation as well. Last week we weren’t able to attend church because we were not in a province with a church, and I never realized how much of a difference it makes and how much we miss out from not attending. It was probably the first Sunday I’ve missed in over two years and I could really tell a difference between the weeks. Today I felt the Holy Spirit at church. I received revelation. I was uplifted. I was motivated and strengthened. The lessons were mostly on eternal families and it made me reflect on my own life and the people in it. I’m thankful for the many blessings that He has given me and look forward to what He has in store.

Have a great week!!!

Derrikk Sun

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