In a matter of hours we will begin the journey back home. This trip has been everything we hoped it would be and more. We were able to meet with the leadership of each of the Chin organizations we will work beside in our efforts to improve the life of the Chin refugees in Malaysia. We were able to identify the two sites where we will hold medical clinics and were able to see the more than half of the schools where we will do teacher training. We have been able to identify the kind of translators we will need for the team to be successful. We now have a clear idea of exact the kinds of things the team will need to do to be of the most help to the Chin community. Two of the issues that became much more clear in our discussions are the need for pastoral care and the need for media resource development so that the Chin story might become better known. We have already written one person we hope will join the team to help create some of the needed media resources and the and help develop a corresponding media strategy. It is clear that multiple short term teams are needed to help address the long term needs of the Chin refugee community. We will be reaching out to other congregations to invite them to join with this in this effort.
Logistically, we were able to secure the host hotel where mission teams will base. The hotel is comfortable but by no means excessive. In addition, Beth comes home with plans in place on how the team will handle ground transportation, has identified ideal restaurants where the team will eat, and has some target sites for the team to experience life and culture in Malaysia. Now that the core logistics are in place, we are ready to project what we believe to be an accurate working budget.
We are pleased with what we could put in place in this rather quick excursion. We are now anxious to get back to share what we have learned in fuller detail with those who might have an ear to hear and a heart to become involved. Thank you for your prayer support over the duration of this trip. We believe that your prayers made it possible for all the pieces to come together so quickly. Do not forget us now. Pray for safe travel home. Pray for the stories we share to strike the heart of our congregation and others. Pray for the Chin refugee community living in and around Kuala Lumpur. Their needs are profound and their challenges numerous. Pray for those who have allowed to migrate to the US and other host countries - pray that their transition to their new home and culture is a good one.
Thanks again for joining us on this journey. We will see you soon.
Grace and Peace, Tom and Beth