Ponderings

Well, I'm back now. The last 2.5 weeks seemed to last a long time, lots happened. I am now back where the air is clean, the sky is blue, not hazy, the water is clean, my family is here, I sleep in my bed, I don't have to select a meal from interestingly translated menus, and rice isn't the staple food! And I don't have to pack any time soon. The streets are less crowded too. But the food costs more. And I shouldn't greet people by say 'Sa wai di krup'!

So what were the highlights of the trip?

Well, Alan and mine overlapped, but here are mine.

* Fixing 3 out of 4 computers for International Teams in Bangkok, when they hadn't had anything working for 5 months.

* Visiting a conference of 120-140 workers in a very large country. It was sobering to realise that all had given up a lot for this work, and many of them had young families. Being used by God to fix a dozen laptops in 2 hours while not feeling well was also good.

* Meeting an answer to prayer. An Aussie at another conference investigating moving to Chiang Mai to teach programming as part of a Computer Science course at the Unis there. Students need to learn how to be engineers, rather than working by rote. The Thai educational system doesn't do this well.

* Helping FEBC in Bangkok. There is no trustworth Christian IT support in the city. Some help is available from Chiang Mai, but they really need someone there. Visitors like us can only do so much. We also had an opportunity to work closer with Thais, rather than westerners or Filipinos. We also allowed one of them to sleep better at night by providing a means to backup the server.

Did we achieve what we set out to do?

I think so. The response from some conferences was less than expected. We may be able to improve that by encouraging better communication to conference attendees, and by communicating a lightly different service: "PC Checkups". This doesn't presume that something is obviously wrong.

Also I think next time we will focus more on Chiang Mai. Pattaya is not a nice place, and it takes time to travel there. There are lots of people in Chiang Mai at the time and it is a very strategic location. So we just need to better communicate to the conference organisers. We also want to work closer with the Itapon guys there, and they need to free up their time to be able to do so.

Next time we may have more teams there, covering the 4 week period of conferences. It would be good to get some teams from partners. We can also use people to do things like chaeffeur round people and machines, meet them at the airport etc.

However we would also want to have a team visit Bangkok and help groups there.

Something that struck us

Everyone we helped was so grateful! Not just thankful, grateful. For at least one person we fixed a problem that was severly hampering their work. For another we eased their worries about backups. For many others, thanks to a donation of memory, we were able improve the performance of their machines. For a whole team, we gave them their computers back, created a network and gave them back internet access.

So we did help people sigificantly in their Gospel ministry. That was a significant aim meet.

Thank You

Some of you supported us financially. Some of you have prayed. Thankyou for supporting us in this way.

You can continue to support us as we ponder and process the trip that we experienced. You can ask us how we are going, and listen to the stories. You can understand that sometimes we are trying to communicate things in words that you really have to experience. You can ask us in 6 months what impact the trip has had on us!

Thankyou, and God bless.