Saturday, February 13, 2016

Trip to Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand (January 2016)...

Kristin and I had an opportunity to travel to Thailand in January 2016. The purpose of the trip was primarily to minister to missionaries and Christian BAM practitioners.

During our week-long visit to Bangkok, I met with several BAM practitioners, existing and new entrepreneurs. I spent extensive amount of time with Peter Lee who runs a business incubation center and a couple of other businesses to minister to missional businesses. Also, there is a community, called Thai Miracle Community, which includes people like, Peter Lee himself, Rev. Jong Hoon Hong, Jiwon Lee, Sehong Oh, May Lee, Jiyeon Min, Jungmin Park and a few other transitional people.

We stayed at a studio apartment near the TMC center and a Udomsuk metro station or BTC as called in Bangkok. Kristin enjoyed massages and shopping at traditional markets in the surrounding area. We were able to get by with iTranslator on our iPhones at the market and restaurants.
With the Bangkok city night view in the background
With Jiyeon Min and Jungmin Park
A view of Bangkok night from the top 
I met up with the UN ILO's representative in Asia, based in Bangkok, to explore the ways to collaborate in providing entrepreneurship training. His name was Charles. It was encouraging to find out that ILO is making its training materials available as an open source. SfK Ministries will use these materials for training missional business entrepreneurs for basic management skills. Obviously we will have to add our own materials related to spiritual formation, spiritual maturity, and biblical basics to management and leadership.

Based on observations that missional business entrepreneurs lack basic business management skills, I agreed to provide a 6-week training for them, up to 12 business entrepreneurs, primarily in April, 2016.

While we were in Bangkok, we made a trip to visit Suphattraland, a fruit farm, where you could taste a variety of tropical fruits including Durian, known as the king of all fruits. I first experienced delicious taste of this smelly fruit. Also, it was great joy to eat spicy Songtham with fresh lettuce leaves. On the way back, we ate seafood dinner by the shore. Prawns and sea bass were quite tasty. Reverend Hong and brother Jungmin Park took us there.


In one evening, we visited Aseatique, a modernized market place by the river. Two Thai young ladies joined us for dinner at MK, a famous restaurant chain for hot pot foods. They are working as interns for the TMC.

Also, we participated in celebrating the commissioning of brother Sehong Oh as a business missionary within TMC. It was a joyous moment to celebrate and encourage the brother to be diligent and faithful to the calling.

We made a short trip to Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand. This city is quite unique. It is the second largest city in Thailand with its population of approximately 500,000 people. Thailand is a Bhudist nation, but Chiang Mai has a very high number of Christian mission organizations. They are equivalent to Colorado Springs and Orlando in the U.S. as the cities that have a number of Christian mission organizations. The primary reasons cited were the city's proximity to China, India and other Asian countries for easy access and outreach, low cost of living and relatively peaceful nation for other religions.

Along with a few other BAM Academy faculty members, I gave a presentation about BAM and SfK Ministries to hundreds of people, including a large number of BAM practitioners our would-be practitioners. Many people came to tell me that they want to be part of SfK Ministries. Praise the Lord!
After a seminar at Chiang Mai Presbyterian Church

Dinner with Christian CEOs
With other panel members
After the Christian CEO Forum
Me giving presentation about BAM and SfK Ministries
It was a blessing to formally admit Peter Lee into SfK family and to hear strong interest from Caleb Ji who is based in Chiang Mai to collaborate with SfK Ministries. I will have to find out how we may collaborate in the future.
Peter (left) and Caleb (right)
It was great joy to eat seafood and receive foot massage. Also we had a round of golf with fellow Kingdom ministers. It rained the whole day so we were soaked, but the company was joyous. We also tasted Thai hot springs and saw eggs were cooked in the hot springs water.

While we were in Bangkok, my father's health deteriorated substantially because his gal bladder got torn and had to be operated immediately. Thankfully, he woke up from anesthesia and showed signs of recovery. So we proceeded to travel to Chiang Mai. But while we were in Chiang Mai, my father got choked with a piece of food that he ate and passed this life to be with the Lord. We had to make an unexpected trip to Korea to attend the funeral service. All went well and we were grateful that he lived on earth for 92 years and has now been relieved from the physical constraints.

The travel was short, but pretty intense. Nonetheless, we came back with a lot of fruits and grateful heart. - Jeffrey

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