Thursday, May 19, 2016

Trip to Thailand (March and April 2016)...

Seven graduates from SfK MBA Training Bangkok 2016
Soon after Kristin and I traveled to Bangkok and Chiang Mai in January, we traveled back to Thailand. This time, the travel period is rather long, almost six weeks for me. The primary purpose was to train missional business entrepreneurs in Bangkok through SfK Missional Business Academy that started on March 26 and ended on April 30.

This MBA Training program covered approximately 90 hours and provided education and training on BAM theories, biblical framework, entrepreneurial process, generating business ideas, starting your business, improving your business and a lot of other related topics. All participants had to work as a team to prepare a business plan as if they are seeking an investment or a loan from outside investment sources.

April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand or in general Indochina. The daytime temperatures were hovering over 100 degrees and with humidity it was scorching. But, the training program was overall successful and the outcome was satisfactory. Most of the participants were eager to learn and participating in the training with passion.

After all, they all managed to defend their team business plans and graduated successfully. They are the first batch of SfK MBA Training.

Kristin stayed in Bangkok for three weeks.

During our stay in Bangkok, we made two short trips: one to Chiang Mai, Thailand and the other to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The trip to Chiang Mai was arranged after we arrived in Bangkok to provide a two-day seminar for Korean missionaries who are genuinely interested in BAM. It was worthwhile to make a short trip because out of this short training it is likely to produce another full-length SfK MBA training for a group in Chiang Mai next year. Moreover, we may come up with a program that will train Christians from neighboring countries to be sent out to other nations as BAM practicing missionaries. It would be wonderful to see that happen! I am looking forward to the opportunity.

Sarang Cafe, run by Gary Moon and his wife

We also made a short trip to Siem Reap in April to visit Angkor Wat, one of UN heritage sites and one on my bucket list. It was not planned initially but I realized that my visa to Thailand was only for 30 days and I had to get a visa for longer than 30 days. As a way of renewing my visa, Kristin and I made a visa run to Siem Reap and took advantage of this visa run to cross one item on my bucket list. The temperature was over 106 degrees during the daytime and it was like we were walking in the sauna. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our time to visit this wonderful place, although our mouths had a bit bitter taste because of the people who are still trapped in darkness of human religion in their ignorance of the Way to life. Stones and rocks are all over the places. Even Spung trees grew over Ta Prom temple and the scene was magnificent. This temple was called also Jungle Temple or Tombs Raiders Temple because the movie was filmed here. I am going to watch this movie again. (More to come separately on a different blog post about Angkor Wat trip.)

Kristin and I celebrated our 33th wedding anniversary by having dinner and watching cultural show at Siem Niramit. It was the gift from TMC, Thai Miracle Community, a community of Koreans living in Bangkok to minister to Thai people. The food was good and the show was fantastic.

Men turned to women dancers
A grand finale
While we were in Bangkok, despite the heat and busy schedule, we managed to visit Wat Pho, Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. Wat Pho is the temple where approximately 37-meter tall golden Buddha is lying down on his side. Wat Phra Kaew is the most sacred temple in Thailand because it houses Emerald Buddha who is believed to be the protector of Thailand. It was reported that the Thai king himself is changing the cloth to this small Buddha three times a year, representing each season in March, July and November. Wat Phra Kaew is located within the compound of the Thai Royal Grand Palace. It was a hangout day with Peter Hyeonguk Lee, CEO of Skybay Thailand as well as Director of SfK Thailand. After this hangout, I flew out of Bangkok to go to Korea.

Lying Buddha
Buddha at the Main Temple in Wat Pho
Emerald Buddha in three different seasonal clothes
Grand Palace

The Museum for Emerald Buddha

On one Sunday, I delivered a sermon at a Thai church where mostly young adults worshiped and fellowshiped. I was hoping to challenge them with godly principles for responsible life.

We attended Evangelical Church of Bangkok in Asok. The church was a great worship place with wonderful celebration in praise for God, Senior Pastor David King delivered sermons that were inspirational and powerful. A small scale Korea town was located nearby.

Thailand will be our next destination to live mainly to expand the SfK Ministries in Asia.

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