Thursday, July 16, 2009

Last Night in Patong

Yesterday was a good day for the team. We did our 'normal' routine of devotionals with the ladies at the center, breakfast, prayer walking, and a two hour time for rest, a wonderful break from routine. We wanted to be sure to get enough rest before our last night of ministry in Patong.

Prayer walking and our ministry at night was especially neat as we were able to incorporate a new team who has come to work at the center into our ministry groups. This group is from Cali and is staying about another week and a half after we leave. We took this time to pass on the things we had learned, introduce them to girls we have met so that they can continue buiding those relationships, and encourage each other. They are a wonderful team and it has been a blessing to work with them.

Our team went into the evening with a variety of emotions. This mission trip has been extremely challenging and definitely taken us all out of our comfort zones. So while there is relief that we can leave such a difficult, dark place, we also feel saddend to leave while some relationships are just starting, we feel sad that we cannot do more or stay longer, and we feel our hearts broken for the lonely men and women we have found in Patong. Last night, I think we all went in with an attitude of urgency. We knew it was our last night to make connections, to invite women to SHE, and to revisit the friends we had made. Several groups had were able to invite several women to come to SHE. Some of these women they had built relationships with during previous trips out and some of them we were meeting for the first time. It is always very encouraging to find these women and give them a choice. Other teams had more difficult nights.

Every night in Patong is different. Some nights other groups are able to talk to more women. Other nights it seems like people want nothing to do with us. Even though we feel more successful when we have those really good conversations, we pray and believe that our prayers are just as important as the conversations we are having.

I want to thank all of you who have been reading our blog and praying for us! I truly believe that we would not have had the same success if you had not been praying for us. It is so encouraging to hear that you are praying for us and to read your comments on our blog. Please keep praying for us! We still have a few days in Bangkok left.

Here are some things you can continue to pray for:
Our team as we continue to process our experiences and emotions. Sometimes it is very easy to despair in such a difficult place. Pray that the Lord would walk us through this time and help us to look at things from His perspective.

Traveling mercies!

Rest-even though we have been able to grab naps here and there our team is exhausted physically and emotionally.

The ladies of Patong we have met-pray that these women would have the courage to leave the bars and come to she.

The men of Patong- Bar owners, tourists, husbands and fathers who bring there families to the bars. A lot of the men we saw were very lonely and need to know the God who loves them just as much as the women we have met.

The ministry of SHE- The workers at SHE are amazing! They give so much to do this work and they do it all year round. Pray for endurance and strength in the face of trials, temptations, and weariness. Pray for continued resources for the ministry to run. Pray for times of rest and fun! Both are essential when working in this environment.

Thank you all again!

Sam Prior

P.S.- Hello family! I love you and can't wait to see you!


  1. You're married, that's crazy!

    Have you played any Mahjong in Pahtong?

    Did you employ any dipthongs in Pahtong?
    (Did you know the Thai language has three of them?)

    Did you listen to any rap songs? Play any Chinese gongs? Use metal tongs? Were you a part of any throngs? Kill King Kong? Did you find any jade congs? Did you play ping pong? Ving vong? Did you hear any Bing Bong (brothers)? Wear any long johns? (approximate rhyme, bear with us.) in Pahtong?

    Rhyming! BANG!

    But seriously, we will be praying for safe travels. We are sorry you must leave, for a place such as Pahtong needs you badly. We would like you back in Kansas, however, and are very much looking forward to your return.

    And a travel tip for the airplane: We have found that placing yourself between one African American male weighing 227 lbs. and a 67 year old woman who has more cats than grandchildren proves to be the best sleeping environment. Dominace, elderly perfection. Ambiance, decor. You'll sleep like a baby bottom.

    Signing out, your part-time lovers/part-time time travelers (in crime),
    Jesse Braswell Roberts
    Whitney Anne Eriksen
    Kelsey Marie Eriksen

    Hope you learned some good Thai jokes. I know a guy that pays for 'em. The big bucks. And in pelts and shiny stones.

  2. Team Thailand (I have grown to love each one of you),

    As you prepare to leave you will never know the impact your mission has made on those whose hearts and prayers have followed you there. Let us never forget the needs you have seen and have been a part of over the last few weeks. These indelible images should prompt us to be in prayer continually for the lost of this world. May God continue to be with each of you and bring you all safely home.

    Love, Pappa and Momma Swi

  3. Hey, Sam! It's great to hear from you! And hello to the rest of the team, too!

    You all have done great work and had experiences those of us at home find hard to imagine, but have no doubt that you have left your mark there. You have planted wonderful seeds and your lives are changed forever because of the work you have done. We're so proud of you.

    We continue to pray for you and look forward to your safe arrival home.

    With love and great admiration,
    Mom and Dad Prior