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In early 2006 I started praying about returning to the Thai/Burma border to visit the Karen refugees in the camps that have been set up for them in Thailand. It is still not safe for them to return to their home villages in Burma (or Myanmar, as it has been re-named by the ruling military junta). Two ladies in my church, Nan & Chris, expressed interest in going with me, so we started praying about whether they should go.

I always put out a fleece and ask the Lord to show me when HE wants me to go and who should go with me, if anyone. I prayed that if it were God's will for me to go in March 2007, that IAG would receive $5,000.00 in donations specifically designated for me to take with me. I asked for $3,000.00 to give out to the children and $2,000.00 for transportation and lodging. Within 3 weeks after I started praying, we had received almost $5,000.00 in individual donations. We then received 2 checks from a Karen man living in California. One was for $5,000.00 to support 24 orphans and vulnerable children being cared for by the Karen Women's Organization in Mae La Refugee Camp. The other check was for $10,000.00 to use as we needed! This was just the confirmation I needed and the 3 of us bought our tickets to leave on March 15th. I am always blown away by how quickly and decisively the Lord answers my prayers. Volunteers pay for their own tickets and lodging while on the mission. Chris and Nan had held a fund raiser at church before we left and they received over $300.00, which we used to help defray their hotel expenses in Thailand. God is good!

A psychiatrist, Dr. Tim, and social worker in his office, Carol, decided to meet us in Bangkok and join up with us to visit Mae La Refugee Camp. Tim had gone in with me several years ago and has wanted to return. He is very interested in treating schitzophrenia. (Tim & Carol are pictured in the photo on the left.)

My friend Mary, from Alabama, flew to Hawaii. She would fly with us to Thailand to join her husband on vacation there.

Since we had to leave so early, Nan, Mary, and I rented a room at a hotel next to airport the night before we left. We were up at 3:45 AM to catch 4:30 shuttle. We met Chris at the airport and were all checked in by 5:15. Once on the plane, we had very comfortable bulkhead seats and really enjoyed having room to stretch out.