The road to Chiang Rai - is under construction!
We booked our seats for the three-hour ride from Chiang Mai,Thailand to Chiang Rai, Thailand. The VIP Green Bus was clean with comfy seats. Due to the winding mountain road, using the small bathroom at the back of the bus was an adventure reserved for the truly desperate.
Heavy rain and detours slowed us down even though construction crews were shut down for Thailand's Memorial Day in honor of the Passing of His Majesty the Late King.
When we finally arrived safely at Chiang Rai bus terminal #1, we were met by Beau (บิว) (pronounced as in Beau-ti-ful), her husband Joseph and their 1 1/2-year-old daughter Zo-E! (emphasis on the long 'E'). Our good friend Mike Kerychuk had introduced us through Facebook and suggested we meet them during our time in Thailand.
What an amazing 48 hours we spent with them. Both Beau and Joseph are Thai citizens of the Akha tribe. Despite the language barrier our hearts were knit together as they shared their heart for the Akha people who live in the mountainous regions of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Northeast India and the Yunnan province of China.
They reach out to the Akha people in several ways – pastoring a village church, outreaches to remote villages and children’s homes; running a dormitory for 12 students so they can attend the government school that is far from their village home. Students are provided with room and board, tutoring, music lessons and Bible classes.
Our first stop was the Golden Triangle Park, the point in northern Thailand where the Ruak and Mekong rivers converge and you can look across into Laos and Myanmar. The governments of the Golden Triangle (Thailand, Burma and Laos) continue to work to replace opium fields with coffee farms.
As a bonus adventure, they took us to Beau's home village of Doi Chang, a popular tourist destination famous for coffee. Beau's extended family are coffee growers. We toured Doi Chang Coffee Farm, sampled various roasts, and stayed at the adjoining guest rooms while enjoying the cool mountain air and gorgeous scenery.
Beau’s family warmly welcomed us into their home and served us a traditional Akha meal of locally grown organic vegetables, fried fish, rice, a tomato dipping sauce much like fresh salsa, sticky rice with peanuts, fresh fruit (longan and rambutan) and tea. It was delicious and abundant.
What a joy it was to meet these dedicated servants of Jesus and partner with them as they bring His light and love to their people. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 NIV.
The Journey Continues ~ Pat