Philip and Lori Bassham | Church Planting Missionary to Thailand
Days 1-8 of Thailand [Report]
Roughly halfway through our trip here I feel like my head, heart, and body are about to explode. We have been going non-stop through sickness, jetlag, and obstacles.
I’ll give you a brief overview of what the days have entailed up to this point and hopefully be able to give more about what we have learned in later posts.
Flew in — We sat on the tarmac for 4.5 hours in LAX before our flight was cancelled, so we got in a little later than expected and didn’t get a nights rest to start out with, but oh well…
Hotel — Our first order of business was getting from the airport to our hotel and getting settled in. We almost got recruited by a shady “taxi driver” but we didn’t go along.
Dr. Sehmish — Our first missionary appointment. Met him at a McDonalds with one of his disciples for a few hours and I really appreciated his attitude toward the country, the people, and the ministry.
Philip Pope — He translated the Bible over a 20yr period of time and has started 6-7 churches here. He and his wife were extremely helpful. Told us about visas, schools, shopping, living, and set us on course to making some exciting contacts to learn about radio.
Grocery shopping — Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but Lori had made a list of what is in our kitchen at home to see what she could and could not find here.
Lat Phrao Baptist Church – This was our first Thai church that we have ever been in and one of the churches that Bro. Pope started 20+ years ago. Very exciting times.
Changed hotels — The first one was all booked for that night, so we moved camp…
Tickets to Chaing Mai — We had some appointments in the north of the country and planned on taking a train up there, but met quite the forceful travel advisor that convinced us to fly – and we are VERY glad we listened!
The tallest point in Thailand — Rachael was sick by now, but the rest of us went to the 84th floor of a building in Bangkok to get a birds eye view of the city. OVERWHELMING. I will try to get some pictures up of this later…
Found english-speaking taxi driver!!! — It was an awesome experience to get in a taxi, ask a question in english and be able to understand a response. The Lord sent us Pepe, the awesomest taxi driver in Bangkok.
DAY 4 – Sunday
New Vision Baptist Church – One of the larger churches in Thailand. Went to see why everyone is there.
Baptist Student Center – That afternoon we talked with some people from the Baptist Student Center that teaches a heap of people english and sees a lot of them saved and added to churches!
Don’t-remember-the-name Baptist Church — Visited a new church that is only 6 months old and running over 30 ppl already.
Language School Meeting — We made an appointment to find out more about one of the best schools in the country.
Ned and Wanda — Met with an older couple that is here teaching in a seminary in Bangkok for a few hours and tried to catch some of their passion for serving the Lord.
Radio Station — Met a chinese pastor of a church in Bangkok that put up an antenna many years ago and has been broadcasting 1-2 km out from his church to the thousands upon thousands that live around his church. Trying to figure out how to do that!
Flew to Chaing Mai — City in the north where all the missionaries seem to end up. We went to find out why and talk with some of them.
Rick Horn — Picked us up right after we got there and we drove down to his place about 45 min south of the city to a huge compound he has built down there for the church, school, orphanage, and college. Tried to learn from his 25 years of experience.
Tom Gaudet — Very involved in translating, publishing, and providing materials to mission fields all over the world. Very encouraged to see his operation.
Harman and Brian — Saw 2 friends of mine for dinner (at the largest buffet ever). Two guys that have just arrived to learn about the moving experience.
DAY 7 – My favorite day so far
Stats guy #1 — Met with the guy who is in charge of finding and tracking christian activity in all of southeast Asia. Extremely helpful and informative time with him.
Stats guy #2 — This guy was born and raised as a missionary kid in Thailand in the 50’s and 60’s and is extremely well connected and informed about everything related to church planting that is going on in Thailand. A firehose of information for hours on end. I was worn out after this, but thrilled.
Pastor Sithone — A national pastor north of Chaing Mai that we visited for Wednesday evening services.
Back to Bangkok — Early to the airport for the quick ride back.
Hotel — We are getting good at this.
Worn Out — All I want to do is sleep.
Planning over lunch — Brainstorming meeting to figure out where we want to go from here from all of our choices. Decided to skip some options and take an easy day tomorrow to rest a little. We are BEAT.
Searching for Real Estate agents — We aren’t smart enough to find houses among the 5 million that are here.
Writing what has been happening — To let you know what a survey trip is all about. It is unbelievable to see the opportunities and need here for laborers. I’m not saying that so that you will send me, I am already coming, I am saying that because we need THOUSANDS MORE here to carry this load. Pick any corner of any street and start a church and I promise, you will not be taking anyones territory but the Devil’s.