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Thailand Team 2008
January 18, 2008 – February 1, 2008

Background
In 1996 Calvary Church desired to adopt a lost people group (a group of people who had never heard the gospel). Through GAP Ministries we were put in touch with Pastor Kiatisak Siripanadorn. He is a native Thai pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Bangkok, Thailand. Pastor David Livermore, then our missions pastor, visited Pastor Kiatisak and went to see the villages of the Akha and Lahu tribes in northern Thailand. This area is about 650 miles north of Bangkok.

The Akha and Lahu are two of many tribes who migrated from southern China over the past 100 years. Because they are not Thai they are often seen as second class citizens in Thailand. They worship animals and spirits and do not follow the Buddhist religion of most Thais. They live high in the hills because they believe evil spirits dwell in the valleys.

These people are subsistence farmers and live in villages with bamboo houses and grass thatch roofs. Some villages do not have electricity and many do not have a clean water supply. Pastor Kiatisak asked Pastor Livermore to send a medical team. He said the village people would not come to see an evangelist, but would come to see an American doctor. The people also had little access to medical or dental care.

In 1998 Calvary sent the first medical team to work with Pastor Kiatisak. It was an amazing experience for all who went. Teams followed in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007. In January of 2006 we sent a teaching team to teach the evangelists and help them increase their knowledge of the Word. In 2008 we are planning to send a medical team again. Several village churches have been planted over the years because of the work of these teams. Many Akha and Lahu people have accepted the Lord and many Calvary people have had a brief exposure to the mission field.

Mission

The mission of these trips is two fold.

1) We want to attract villagers to come and hear the evangelistic service held before each clinic. We also hope to provide some relief of suffering and sickness because of the medical care we bring.

2) We want to expose as many Calvary members to the mission field as possible. You do not need any medical experience to go on this trip.


2008 Trip

We are beginning the planning and recruitment process a little late this year so we need to rapidly build a team. We plan to take 18 people on this trip. The dates of the trip are Friday, January 18, 2008 – Friday, February 1, 2008. Five of the team members will be medical personnel and the rest do not need any medical training. The non-medical people will help in the clinic, pharmacy and work with the children’s ministry.

The team members must be in good health, have a willingness to work as a team, be flexible, be willing to raise their own support and be willing to commit to attending the pre-trip meetings and post trip debrief session.

The trip is tiring, and requires some physical labor. The team will stay in a hotel or guest house in a city at night and then travel each day to a different village. The accommodations are clean and equivalent to a 2-3 star hotel in the states. It takes approximately 24 hours of travel time to get to Thailand. We will be flying from Grand Rapids to Detroit and then to Tokyo. The flight from Detroit to Tokyo is approximately 14 hours. We then fly an additional 7 hours to Bangkok.

We will hold 9-10 clinics in the 12 days that we are in country. There will be time in the evenings for some relaxation. You will be exhausted, but excited at seeing what God is doing in this incredible mission field. You will meet people who are extremely poor by our standards, but consider themselves richly blessed to be serving the Lord. You will see the gospel presented to some who have never heard and meet those who have been persecuted by other tribe members for not worshiping the spirits. You will meet evangelists who travel from village to village by foot or motor bike to preach the gospel. You will see people with little access to medical care, who have been in pain for years and are so grateful for the medicine we give them. You will see and fall in love with some of the most precious children you have ever seen. You will be blessed to hear the tribal believers singing and worshiping the one true God.
Cost

At this point we have set the price at $2250 per person. Each individual is responsible for raising the necessary funds. Fundraising projects are possible. The schedule for payment is as follows:

Application fee $400 Due Sept. 12, 2007
(non-refundable unless trip canceled or person not chosen for the team)

First payment ($500) total $900 Due Oct.. 12, 2007

Second payment ($500) total $1400 Due Nov. 9, 2007

Third payment ($600) total $2000 Due Dec. 7, 2007

Final payment ($250) total $2250 Due Jan. 11, 2007

The payments are tax deductible and cannot be returned even if the person has to drop out of the trip. This cost includes all food, lodging, travel and medical supplies.

Application Process
Applications are available in the lobby by the missions display. All persons interested must fill out an application and submit it to the church office with a non-refundable application fee of $400. Applications without a deposit cannot be considered. The deadline for application is Sept.12, 2007. The application fee will be returned to those not selected to go on the trip. In the past all applicants have been able to go, but we cannot guarantee that. After the deadline, all applicants will be notified within 3-4 days.

Planning and Preparation

The following dates are mandatory meetings for all participants:

Oct. 1 -- 5-8 pm Team member and family potluck and intro meeting
November 5 -- 6-8 pm Meeting and medication packaging
January 7 -- 6-8 pm Final meeting and medication packaging

Questions
Contact Dr. Jerry Evans at jaevans@myexcel.com or (616)837-0314.

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