Where’s Waldo—I Mean Thailand?

We are sitting at the bus station in Bangkok waiting for our bus to Ubon which leaves at 9:45 PM. We will arrive in Ubon at around 6:30 AM tomorrow (Thursday) morning. That will mean we have been traveling for almost four full days! What an adventure the Thailand team has had so far. We know that the Lord is going to do exciting things this summer as the devil is fighting every step of the way! Let’s go back to Saturday where we had time to pack up our food and personal bags, then had a great Commissioning service. We appreciate all the great food that the parents provided, even those who could not come contributed! It was a great way to get nourishment before staying up until about 1:00 AM to help take down the lighting and stage in the Big Top. We worked with the Ecuador team and got things down pretty quickly! After heading to the dorms and having showers, we got up and did final packing. With the bus loaded, we left after lunch on Sunday (30th), to head to the Orlando airport. We checked in and went through security pretty quickly. At the gate we sat, and we sat, and we sat some more! Storms started rolling in and our fight to LAX was delayed, then delayed, then delayed some more! Finally it was cancelled. Up until 3:30 AM, Anthony and Shawna worked with the travel agency to see what could be done to get out, while the team made themselves comfortable on the floor of the airport. Flights continued to show no availability through LAX for days, so they tried another way and were finally able to get flights from Orlando to Charlotte (splitting the team in two), then to Washington Dulles, Hong Kong and finally to Bangkok. We thought we were in the clear! When we got to Dulles, we found out that there was an incorrect rebooking of five team members and they had not seats to Hong Kong or Bangkok. Once again we prayed as a team that the Lord would work things out. As they were closing the gate, the permission came through for the final five team members to have seats on the plane. We are thankful for the guys at the gate who tried so hard to work things out for us, as if they were their own kids! A 16 hour flight took us to Hong Kong. A lot of us slept during that time and we had great meals on the flight. We continued on to the 2.5 hour flight to Bangkok after a 2 hour layover in Hong Kong. We arrived just as numerous other planes were arriving so there were hundreds of people in immigration. We were able to go through smoothly without even being asked one question. We got to Baggage Claim 15 and found that there were only 13 bags coming in. We had checked in 38 bags! So after a while we were escorted to the baggage office to make a report for 25 missing bags. We were told one would arrive this afternoon, one would arrive tomorrow, 17 are still sitting in Orlando and six they were not able to trace yet! So one of the things we pack in our carryons for such an occasion, is an extra change of clothes! This is good because we have been wearing the same thing for almost four days! We were met by our missionary, went out to eat and are getting ready to go on the bus. We are going to arrive tomorrow, settle in to our location at the orphanage and see what we can do to help them until we get our clothes, work tools, puppets, cooking equipment and other items. We have a lot of clothes and things we brought for the missionary and the orphanage so we are hoping things arrive soon. So as you can see, Satan is trying to discourage the Thailand team! We as leaders are SO thankful for the team the Lord has put together. They have had such great attitudes and have gone with the flow. What great young people you have raised parents.
We will try to send you an update in a few days as we are not sure the WiFi situation in Ubon. Here are a few pictures of arrival at Bangkok airport and waiting at the bus station. 
Thanks for your continued prayers. We are exhausted but doing well.

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