Hey Everyone!

Check out this update from Sarah Danaher! And look ahead for a new updated wall paper to keep reminding you to pray for this project!

Today, pray that Sarah and Hannah would be able to establish good and strong relationships with the Thai girls. That they would connect despite cultural, language, and lifestyle barriers. That the love of God would be felt and shown through this project!

___

Feb 9
February 9, 2009
Chiang Rai, Thailand

Thanks for the prayers. I'm feeling much better. The horrible cold and fever that bombarded me the day before I left home has almost completely subsided. I still have a lingering cough that I can't seem to shake, but other than that, both Hannah & I are healthy and well.

Life here is great. It's so beautiful. The girls get up early (6:30am is sleeping in for them), and we are doing our best to acclimate our bodies to their schedule. We have a 12-hour time difference from home, so it's a bit of a challenge, but we're doing our best. You will be pleased to know that I am currently off coffee. =) They have some sort of single-serving coffee mix of sorts that I drink each morning, but it doesn't count as coffee, since the ingredients read "50% sugar, 45% milk substitute, 5% coffee." No joke. The days are slow and easy, but every night at 8:30 Hannah and I look at each other and wonder if we can even stay awake until 9. We're turning into old ladies.

Our first few days were consumed with getting to know the girls and adjusting to the lifestyle of House of Grace. Saturdays are cleaning days, so we spent our first morning photographing girls through clouds of dust, and walking around surrounded by at least ten smiling faces who regularly wanted to hold hands and give hugs. I stopped part way through the first morning and thought, "Nothing could feel more natural." Travel and photography feel like they're in my blood. Yesterday Jutiporn (the campus director) asked if we're dealing with culture shock, to which we both happily responded with a decided "no." We love this place, and we love these people.

The girls have such a sense of joy, and such a sweet spirit. There are 105 here, living together 24/7. They all share rooms. All of them. And yet they still enjoy being together. You seldom see any girl off by herself. Some of the older girls are "house/room mothers" for the younger grades, but they don't complain at having younger ones to care for when they want to spend time with their older friends, or when they have to work on homework and study projects. It's amazing. And very convicting. When I take a step back and look at my life and my attitudes, I am convicted. They have come from such hard backgrounds, and they have such joy. I want to see and love like they do. I came hoping to reflect the light of Christ to these precious girls, but instead I find Christ reflected back to me.

Schedule for time in Chiang Rai

Monday, February 9
Girl's birthday party

Tuesday, February 10
Go to Market with cook

Wednesday, February 11
Go with little girls to Mackorn School (ages 4-10)

Thursday, February 12
Free day
Possibly go to Chiang Mai, 3 hours away with A-Pae, one of the leaders

Friday, February 13
Shopping at night bazaar

Saturday, February 14
Day trip to Doichang village

Sunday, February 15
Join Wedding celebration at Pamee village

Monday, February 16
Free day

Tuesday, February 17
Go with older girls to Donchai School

Wednesday, February 18 -- Thursday, February 19
Village overnight

Friday, February 20
Time w/ girls

Saturday, February 21
Time w/ girls. Start packing

Sunday, February 22
Goodbyes and depart

Monday, February 23
In Bangkok (will head to airport around 10pm)

Tuesday, February 24
Fly out 1am. Arrive in Atlanta at 9:30am
(Sarah fly to Atlanta at 2:30pm)


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