Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Leprosy & The Beach

Day 4- Jan 2, 2009

This was our last full day in LaGi with the Sisters and the kids. It was by far the most fun day we had. We started the day by picking up the Sisters and 2 of the kids. Twins My (Me) and Dat. They were all dressed up, My is a beautiful little girl, who I think is almost 3. we went of to a remote mountain village that is government sponsored for an ethnic minority group. We provided provisions for 96 families and again the people were very grateful and it was a joy to bring them a blessing.

The Vietnamese people are a very sturdy and strong group. They also surprised us with their strength. The other thing I noted was their sense of community, it seems they looked out for each other, I guess as a matter of survival.

We also toured a few homes in the area, which were the homes of some men who have Leprosy. These men live in huts outside the family home. It was very difficult, because at first it was very awkward. The men thought we were there to make a spectacle of him, but the Sister explained, that we wanted to pray for him and talk to him about Jesus. This turned the situation around, as he explained that he knew Jesus and wanted to Bible to read. So we presented him with the Good Word and prayed over him. It was very surreal seeing him and imagining what it would be like to be afflicted with such a horrible condition. But God is good and this man was filled with joy from the encounter.

After our work, we had lunch and went to the community (Orphanage). There we loaded up 20 of the kids and headed to the beach. The sisters were able to round up 7 mopeds and we got to jump on them and ride the 10 miles to the beach. It was crazy, 14 adults an 5 kids on 7 mopeds....now that is Vietnamese style!! See in Vietnam the main mode of transportation is a moped..though these are more like a cross between a moped and motorcycle. The Vietnamese will carry an entire family on 1 moped, so 2 adults and 2-3 children will be on 1 moped!!! The craziest part is that only the adults are required to wear helmets!!!!!

I drove with Kim Cook, my dad had Jennifer Wurster, Frank had Lauren Burden, Aaron drove Bill and Nhoung, and so on. We were quite a site rolling through town and attracted alot of strange looks and laughs from the locals. We also were blessed that no one was injured, even though there were many wrong turns and of course we drove in Vietnam where there are no real driving laws.

At the beach we had a great time, the older girls were timid at first, but soon trusted us and went out into the surf with us. It was a little chili, and as you can see the kids do not have swim suits. The waves were pretty big with a massive undertow, we tried to body surf and got slammed into the bottom so many times, I ended up with sand burns all over!

We also engaged a few locals in beach/surf soccer. It was very funny, a bunch over big out of shape very white Americans against very lean locals! They however thought we would be easy targets and underestimated us. All of us have or currently play soccer, so we surprised them a bit. It was a fun time and they were all great sports, after the short game we shook hands and embraced, it was amazing. We were in Vietnam, on a beach, playing soccer in the winter!
The Sisters even got in on the beach day, as you can see below with Frank. They wore shirts that First Melissa gave them on the last trip.

It was a great time and we bonded with the children even more during that time. Please go to www.lostorphans.org and see how you can help support these kids!

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