Bus to Sukothai
Tuesday January 24.
Today we were a bit slow getting around. We had gone to bed late and Jon and I had too much to do online this morning.
Finally had worship around 8:30. Jon shared a few verses from Hebrews 6:13-15, and we talked about what we can learn from them. Then we shared how we saw God working especially yesterday. One thing was that we saw how God took our opportunity to meet with Greg Whitsett that day and gave us the opportunity to meet this missionary instead. We see how God is working, giving Mary Ann and Lilyann the words to say and increasing comfortableness with being on camera.
We finally went for breakfast at 9:30, enjoying our last breakfast at Ricky's for a while, possibly the rest of the trip.
Then we checked out and headed to the Mor Chit bus station to find a bus to Sukothai, which is partway up the Central Valley, and there are no Adventists there, or for many hours in every direction from there.
We had to take three taxis, so Chris, James, Sarah, and Luke went in one, followed by Jon and Mary Ann in the next one, because we took the luggage out in the wrong order. Last was Lilyann and I. We didn't have a working phone at the time either, so we were all trusting we would meet at the bus station.
Our taxi driver was funny, or thought he was, talking about how he used meter for Thailand, but no meter for farongs. (I thought I explained what a farong was, but I can't find it, so sorry if this is repeating. For the linguistically interested, you don't pronounce the r in this word as an r, it is a bit rolled, so ends up sounding more like an l. A farong is a foreigner. The first foreigners in Thailand were French, which sounds a bit like farong, doesn't it? The word farong is Thai for guava, which is similar flesh color to many foreigners' skin, isn't it? Once, years ago, our family started singing, "I'm a guava, you're a guava, we are guava's all, when we get together, we give the guava call!" Haha.) Then, he said a row of slum houses on the other side of the klong (canal) we were passing was Mor Chit. I just said "Bus Station." He laughed. As I said, he thought he was funny.
They were all delivered upstairs for some reason, while Lilyann and I were dropped off downstairs. Turned out we needed to be downstairs to buy our tickets to Sukothai. We were on the elevator going upstairs with Jon, when a Thai man got in with us and asked where we wanted to go. When we told him Sukothai, he said downstairs, in front, was where we needed to buy those tickets. So we went back down, Jon went and bought the tickets, and then he went up and got the rest of them.
The bus was scheduled to leave at 2, so we had to wait an hour and a half in the waiting area. We were quite the sight to behold, surrounded by the luggage. Thais would walk by gawking and laughing at the farongs with all their luggage.
At 1:40 we headed out to our bus, loaded the luggage in, and got on board. We got on the road at 2, and, after driving a while, stopped at a bus station. I watched out the door while the driver blew into a tube a lady in uniform was holding. She was an official of some kind, obviously, and had a whole group of trainees with her. The driver handed her his ID or license, and, after they made some notes, he got back in and off we went. He must have passed the breathalizer test.
As we drove, we would look at the map to find out where we were, then we would pray for that place by name if possible. When we stopped long enough, we would get off the bus, do a quick toilet break, and then pray for that place. Several times we didn't stop but we prayed together on the bus. They were shooting sometimes and not other times. It was a neat time of claiming promises and pleading for souls. I assure you, these kids can pray!
It got dark, and we were on the road until 9:45 or 10. I would summarize the day as follows: Lots of driving. Praying. Praying. Praying. Lots more stops. Not enough steps. Snack meals except breakfast.
When we arrived, we were swarmed by tuk tuk drivers wanting to take us somewhere. "Where you go?" It took us a few minutes to collect our baggage and then Jon talked to them. They kept asking "old city, new city?" Jon said old city at first, but it is farther away and more expensive guest houses. So we went to the new city, to a guest house of bungalows called 4T Guest House. We were glad to stop and head for bed!