After a grueling bus-ride of 30 hours , I finally reached home. Painful in the butt and a heavy back pain, but sooooo happy to be back in my place here in Cambodia. Three weeks away from home was a bit long but we lived to tell the tale of an adventure far from over.
I met up with the team of Ywam IPHC Kona in Chaing Mai/Thailand. From there we traveled with Joe Dee, our local Karen friend, who is working in the mountains with his dad, Grandpa Dee who is already way over 70 years old, to further the Kingdom of God under the Karen people. They have 2 dormitories in different villages to let children from various villages to stay, during the week in order to go to school. Most of the villages have no Christians and this way they reach the families of these precious ones. Joe also has another secret weapon to reach people and that is to teach them how to plant coffee. Let I just make one thing clear:”This is the best coffee in Asia.” “If you are a real coffee drinker we are pleased to service you with our quality coffee, which we have carefully selected from our nurseries to roasting. Should you search for quality coffee you’ll not regret for trying our coffee.” I can testify to this as I am a coffee addict and drink a lot of this God given juice…… Metal Drum Coffee rocks.
We visited real tongue knotting places like Omkoi, Maw Kler Kee, Moko Kee, Tee Kaw Kloo, Daw Choko, Kanet Chuta, Kanet Chukee…...... This is a real 4x4 driver’s paradise as you need a good truck to get around here in the mountains. Sitting on the top of “Joe’s beast”, I definitely had the best view of all. The mountains are so beautiful and stretch as far as the eye could see.
This is dry season now and we thanked God for that. Rainy season is a no-drive zone up here and we got reports of trucks that went down the cliffs as the roads are so bad. One school principal told us that nobody can reach there in rainy season and if one of the children is ill, they need to walk 1 full day to reach a clinic. Then the help is also very basic.
The Karen people are originally from Burma and we get a lot of stories from our translators of all the bad things that happen just across the border. They are a beautiful tribal group that just wants to have peace and live in harmony with the mountains. They work really hard on their farms and the women weaves the most beautiful pieces of material, money can buy. Off course the food is really spicy. They call chilly here:”Karen candy.” We burned all the worms and bacteria in our systems till hell and back and right now I do not have any bug left inside my body. I can recommend this stuff when you have any problems with stress as this is really a stress killer, no room left for anything…………
Medical is the perfect way of getting into the villages. Joe uses this to befriend the people first and then try to build a Coffee Hostel to provide a home for the children. The team did all the medical stuff while I try to do some dental stuff. Not much to do for me and I had to think of some work for myself. Everywhere we went to different villages; there were a lot of Bananas that need some trimming and a lot of stairs that needed miracles to be repaired. With a good hoe in my hands, I became a master stair builder. We also could plant a lot of new bananas at the Hostel as I got some small ones while I was trimming them.
Almost every day we visited different villages or schools. These places were cared for so well. Everywhere we came there were electricity and water at every home. Toilets were also in abundance. I was in such a state of shock to see what a government can do if they really care for the people. Getting cellphone reception can be a bit tricky. You need to stand on a stand that only people below 70kg dare do, what we will do for cell reception. In the village they normally have one place for doing phone business and you see everyone there in the mornings.
God is working in the mountains in Northern Thailand. Joe and his team of “Coffee Workers” are proclaiming God’s love to the people they love so much. Working in such remote places is no easy task and we ask your prayers for this ministry. There is still a lot of resistance towards Christianity and persecution towards the local believers is rampant. If you are serious about helping people and you find yourself in Chaing Mai or Omkoi, make sure to contact Joe and visit this little project, you will be blessed out of this world. Anyone that loves coffee that much, must be a good man. Joe, you are the best……
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With every cup of Metal Drum Coffee, you are helping us to preserve the forest and helping disadvantaged children in Northern Thailand to receive education.