The day had felt rather long. The thick of hot season was taking its toll on everyone. All the children (and adults, for that matter) were suffering from heat rash and some were so bad that we'd at first wondered if it was actually an allergic reaction to something. The itchy, painful rashes were likely partly responsible for the slightly shorter fuses we were witnessing and it was a feat to keep the peace among the children.
I'd arrived early that morning at The Mission Post to get the church opened and the children's division classrooms aired out a bit. Being on the third floor in oppressive heat with no AC made keeping small people's attention near to impossible. By the time they began climbing the steps for the class before the church service, it seemed I'd barely made a dent in emptying the rooms of the heat.
Knowing we had to make the best of it, Robbie helped get the fans positioned as efficiently as possible and then went downstairs to lead the teen/adult class. The kids were good, honestly. They stayed engaged and when we tossed the wadded paper ball from person to person, they had no trouble thinking of things to be thankful for when it landed in their hands. And there were no shortage of petitions as we knelt in a circle for intercessory prayer, popcorn-style.
We struggled through the lesson a bit because I was having trouble coming up with the needed vocabulary to roughly translate everything I was teaching into Thai. I speak Thai a little like a 3 year old, only probably not nearly so well. But the children do their best to follow and it seemed the Spirit was getting the key elements of the class across to them.
Once we moved into the craft room and they all knelt around the floor tables, I handed them a paper similar to cardstock and they drew and cut out a large heart. On it they wrote the memory verse and then spent the rest of the time decorating it with glitter.
It bears mentioning that any teacher who thinks glitter is a good idea when single-handedly managing a group of children ranging in age from 4 to 10 is not likely in her right mind. Twenty minutes later we headed down to the church sparkling in a myraid of glittery colors, to say nothing of the mess we'd left behind.
The service was a typical one where a certain 7 year old boy and a 4 year old girl struggled with cheerfulness. The songs were sung off key, in dualing languages but the singing still seems to be everyone's favorite part. Teacher Ocean was at his home visiting his family so the sermon was done in only English, which never holds the attention of our Thai children as well. But overall, they were well-behaved and the service went without incident.
We headed downstairs for potluck and, to the delight of all, there was a pan of delicious Som Tum (spicy papaya salad) on the table. Delight turned to something akin to pain quickly, though, as they realized their mouths couldn't take the heat. It was so sad to see plates with that yummy treat scraped into the trash but to their credit, they tried until their eyes watered. :)
After a quick tidying of the dining area, we turned off all the fans and headed for home. Parking is at a premium around town on weekend mornings, largely because people line up to be seen at one of the clinics scattered about. We ended up having to park a good distance from the Post and then carried all our stuff the whole way in. In cooler weather it wouldn't even have been a thing. In the relentless blast of April heat, however, it was a bit of a task. But we made it there and back without too much trouble.
A few hours later, we gathered the children and piled into the van once more. In an effort to keep them occupied and as cool as possible, we decided to go for a drive. With the windows open and the air whipping though the vehicle, we spent a pleasant hour or so driving to Thung Thalay Luang which is a heart-shaped island the kids all love. We got there and found it closed to vehicles which was just as well. It really wasn't walking or exploring weather so we happily turned around and made the trip home just in time to begin the shower process which leads to meal time which precedes family worship followed by bed.
There is little sweeter than climbing, exhausted from a day well-spent, into bed and settling into a soft pillow. The morning always comes too soon but the nighttime is a welcome reprieve from the demands of raising adults who still look and sound very much like a 10 and under crowd. :)
God is good and we are grateful!