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Amazing Trip: Chiang Mai, Thailand

We really enjoyed Chiang Mai, Thailand. We were there for the better part of seven days (Sat 8 Oct to Fri 14 Oct). In the North, Chiang Mai has a substantial Christian community in this otherwise predominantly Buddhist country, especially around Payap University, which is a Christian school owned by the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT). There is still a very strong missionary presence in Thailand, and the PC(USA) has several Mission Co-workers in this area. A few of the Americans we met are second-generation, and many came as volunteers for a year or two and ended up staying for 20 years or more. We were so impressed with all the Americans who speak fluent Thai!

Thailand was different from the countries we visited in Southern Africa. First of all, Christianity is a minority religion, though legal and without historically facing political persecution. In Africa, we found that it is primarily Africans who are evangelizing and growing the church, while mission worker types are supplementing that work with special skills and leadership. One of the biggest requests from African churches and organizations is for funds. From what we learned, it seems in Thailand, the Thais, for whatever reason, are still reliant on foreign leadership. Mission workers in Chiang Mai are working hard to ensure partnership and sustainability. But the changeover to a new model of mission looks different here. However, it does seem that the CCT is much more sustainable when it comes to income-generation and funding its own programs.

Click here for loads of photos and stories of Chiang Mai...

Posted October 27, 2011
Amazing trip: Temples Galore in Bangkok

Our second day in Bangkok (Fri 7 Oct),we set out to see the old city, Ko Ratanakosin. We took a boat taxi on the Mae Nam Chao Phraya (river). The river used to be one of the main thoroughfares in the city, and these water taxis are still used by local commuters. There are also still a number of canals in the city (it used to be called the Venice of Asia).

Molly & Ryan on the water taxi.

Wat Arun

see the HUGE reclining Buddha and more!

Posted October 14, 2011
Amazing Trip: Eating our way through Bangkok

After 15 hours of flying and several more hours in the airport, we arrived in Bangkok, Thailand in the rain. We stayed with friends and fellow alumns from San Francisco Theological Seminary, Kaz & Naomi Nakoaka, who are serving a Japanese church in Bangkok. There's a night market down the street from their apartment, so we were able to start off with a bang--spicy green papaya salad and some sort of sweet and spicy pork with sticky rice.

First rainy dinner with Kaz & Naomi. Thais are well known for their food and their love of eating, and we soon became enamored of the street fare.

Molly sipping a coconut in front of a Buddhist shrine, in front of a shopping area
(btw, I chopped off my hair before leaving for South East Asia)

click here to see more about Bangkok...

Posted October 12, 2011
Amazing Trip: Cape Town in Pictures (mostly)

Table Mountain, Cape Town
Molly & Ryan on Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town

View from top of Table Mountain

loooooooads more photos from the Cape...

Posted October 7, 2011
Amazing Trip: Lesotho Evangelical Church, Morija

Morija LEC is a prominent landmark in this town in the mountains

On Sunday morning we woke up early and drove to the town of Morija, also in the mountains. We worshiped at an "outpost" whose building was first built by the Paris Mission Society. Pastors in Lesotho may have 6 or 8 outposts (congregations) which make up one parish all together and one session (though each outpost has a church council. Even though this is a very historical congregation and building in Morija, it is still considered just another outpost in the parish (rather than the "mother church" which produced the other outposts).

We were pleased to see a woman in the pulpit, and came to find out that she is the evangelist in charge of the outpost.  Often if there is no trained pastor, there may be a trained evangelist who leads the local outpost.

click here to read and see more about our time in Morija...

Posted October 5, 2011
Molly & Ryan Dowell Baum

Author: Molly & Ryan Dowell Baum
Created: July 26, 2010

"We are the scatterlings of Africa/On a journey to the stars/Far below, we leave forever/Dreams of what we were ..." -Johnny Clegg

Where are we?
The Dowell Baum Team is at home in Kitwe.
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