Alaska Team 2007 travel blog

Our day began early, as we awoke around 5:30am to the sound of roosters crowing, and children reciting lessons in the nearby school. Several of us awoke wondering where we were, and had to give our memory a few minutes to remind us. We dressed and descended the ladder to enjoy breakfast at 7:30am. We were quite surprised to be served toasted bread (each slice toasted by hand) spread with home-made peanut butter! It was a delicious treat!

After our meal, we made short trip to a nearby clinic to have Hosanna checked-out for her sour throat. We were given a tour of the clinic while we waited for Hosanna to be examined. It contained an operating room, a couple of exam rooms, and rooms for the patients. Most of the patients shared a room of about 15 or so individuals. The most impressive thing about the clinic was the physician himself. He was the only doctor, and worked seven days a week, was on-call 24-hours a day, for 365 days a year. He saw the great need for this community to have a clinic, and had the heart to work hard to make it happen. He spoke very clear Engligh, and after a thorough exam of Hosanna's throat, he prescribed rest, liquids, and Tylenol (which we happened to have in our medical kit).

We then returned to Paw Lu Lu's house, and learned of our next adventure. We were told that two of our team would be allowed the opportunity a short visit a nearby refugee camp, while the rest of us would be taken to a nearby Bible school for a visit. Terry and Brandon were selected to travel to the camp, while Jocelyn, Hosanna, and Rick prepared to travel to the Bible school.

At the camp, Terry and Brandon learned information about the camp and its inhabitants, and met many people. They were nearly mobbed as they distributed balloons and smile stickers to children, but were able to get the crowd under control. At the Bible school, Jocelyn, Hosanna, and Rick shared with the students and teachers about Alaska, and learned what life is like for a village student.

After the team reunited, we were given a tour of the houses surrounding Paw Lu Lu's and Nandoe's home. We also learned more about this incredible couple who have been married now for thirty years! The nearby community consists of a Childrens' Home, an Elderly Home, and a Safe House. All of these ministries were begun by Paw Lu Lu and Nandoe as God brought people to them with special needs. As they explain it, God touches Paw Lu Lu's heart with the ministry need, and also gives the necessary talent to Nandoe to create the buildings needed. We learned that Paw Lu Lu was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for her work in these ministry homes, and after our tour, we thoroughly understood why.

The Childrens' Home began first as Paw Lu Lu observed children with no parents in the village who needed a place to stay and an education. The Childrens' Home currently houses about 28 students of various ages. They are fed, clothed, and attended to by Paw Lu Lu with a couple of assistants, and Paw Lu Lu teaches them Bible studies (in four languages) herself each morning at 5:00am before their breakfast at 7:30am. They then attend a nearby Thai school for additional education.

The Elderly Home began as Paw Lu Lu observed the need for care of (or was brought) several elderly individuals. The home is just next to her own, and her daughter-in-law takes care of the cooking for the currently fifteen or so elders.

The Safe House is just down the street, and is a guarded complex for women who have fled abuse situations as well as for individuals who are mentally handicapped. Paw Lu Lu shared with us that she has even had to retrieve some of the mental patients who have wandered out from the complex. She explained that once she had to convince an escapee to sit with her on the motobike to return to the complex. No passerbys would assist her, as the patient appeared somewhat wild and dangerous. Since that incident, Paw Lu Lu was blessed with the generous donation of a truck (which makes it much easier to retrieve wandering mental patients or to shuttle individuals to and from the clinic for treatment.

Some of ladies in the Safehouse complex are able to weave and sew, and make beautiful Karen handicraft items. We enjoyed shopping in their little store, and purchased some of these items to support their ministry.

After our tour, we enjoyed a shower, dinner of yummy fried chicken, and the evening worship service in our guest house. Rick once again shared a sermon, and Hosanna treated the group to a ballet dance. They were quite surprised and thrilled. Then it was off to bed for a rest before our big adventure tomorrow!

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