Updates from November, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • ivanildotrindade 12:36 am on November 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , chicago, , o'hare   

    Missing Thailand, loving America 

    Back in the U.S., specifically, Chicago, O’Hare, as soon as I stepped out of the immigration/customs area, I missed the restrooms at the airports in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand. Frankly, some of the airports in Chicago are a shame. I thought for a moment I had landed in the wrong country.

    Don’t take me wrong, the U.S. is my adopted country and I appreciate so much the freedoms and opportunities I have here. I also see clearly how the U.S. is the leading country in so many areas, but what is up with those bathrooms welcoming people into this beautiful land that populates the dream of so many people the world over?

    I also have another bad story from O’Hare to add to my collection. In 2000, my entire family stood in line for five and a half hours trying to change a ticket on our way to Brazil. During that time, our daughter, Carolina, got the flu and we had to fight to get the airline to put us up in a hotel — 45 minutes away.

    This time we waited for 11 hours to get on a flight (we were on standby) because our original flight had been cancelled “due to weather.” The woman at the American Airline counter was not polite. She had originally put us on a 9:30 pm flight (this was before 8 am and we had just flown half way around the world). I told her that was totally unacceptable and she gave us the famous intimidating line, which works almost every time, “This is the best I can do for you and you have to step aside because there are a lot of other customers behind you.” That’s when you’re supposed to cave in and accept your fate.

    So she was somewhat surprised when I said, “I would like to speak to your supervisor.” Surprised? No, she was clearly annoyed and gave me the other famous look that means, “I will do that but it won’t do a thing…” The supervisor was totally calm and composed. He gave me the option of being put on stand by for the 5:30 pm flight. He said our luggage would be put on that flight regardless. He apologized for the inconvenience.

    Finally, I knew I was on American soil. The old American customer classy service was back. But the ironic thing is that both the employee and the supervisor were born outside the United States. Their heavy accent betrayed them.

    “Welcome to America!”

    By the way, as I write this, I see another example of what it means to live in America — a crowd is gathering on the campus of Penn State to protest the firing of Joe Paterno as head football coach. I am ashamed, given the horrendous nature of the alleged crimes, that the people were not there earlier, putting pressure on the school to fire this man. I don’t say that he is guilty of anything, but his close association with the man being accused of those horrible crimes should be enough to cause him to voluntarily go. I am so saddened by these events and have a lump on my throat, not for coach Paterno but for the victims. May God have mercy on them and their families.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 6:59 am on November 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: micro-enterprise, mulberry trees, thai silk,   

    One widow’s story 

    I am sitting at the hotel lobby in Chiang Mai, still without my computer, but able to get online. Yay! I am thinking about one particular story that has touched my heart during this trip.

    A few years ago I encouraged our church to get involved in a grassroots project to help destitute widows find a means of support. We first put some seed money for a couple of workers to get the project going. Then we helped them plant over 6,000 Mulberry trees. Why? You ask.

    Glad you asked! The cocoons that produce silk feed on mulberry tree leaves. The Queen of Thailand’s foundation provides thousands of cocoons, the widows “nurse” them (they sleep two days, then are fed, then sleep another two days until they achieve “adulthood”). They then spin the cocoons using a hand-operated spinner, very much like it was done in biblical times. They also learned to dye the silk threads and as a result of their hard work they are now producing the threads that are the raw materials for the beautiful silk of Thailand.

    When they first started it, they had a makeshift building to house the worms. But the building was not walled up high enough and it got cold. The worms were dying too soon. So we provided them with a building. But then another problem arose — flies. They needed to screen the new building. Again, we came to the rescue.

    The total invest was about $14,000. But it has allowed widows who were homeless and stuck with more children and no means of support to have a way to stay afloat. They have also become the cooks and surrogate mothers to all of our children at our home for orphans. In fact, some of them have their own children in the home. It is a win-win situation for all.

    One widow in particular, the oldest one in the house, through several years of hard work, has saved enough money to build a small house for her father back in her village. She couldn’t be happier. She said she had never seen a one thousand Baht bill before, and now she has seen it many times. She is most enthusiastic about her new life and loves the children in our home.

    I would say that this is the kind of investment that makes God’s heart glad. Wouldn’t you?

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     

     
  • ivanildotrindade 9:56 am on November 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    still in wiang pa pao 

    hey everyone, we just spent the whole day with the kids from grace place, thailand. took them swimming and then worship service with them tonight. they r incredible and we r blessed to share the same space with them. they lift us closer to Jesus every time. still without my computer. using only computer at the lobby in the hotel. will try to post some pics when i get back to chiang mai tomorrow.

     
  • ivanildotrindade 6:51 am on November 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    netbook in emergency room… 

    hello everybody. we are in Wiang Pa Pao, heading to Grace Place right now, but unfortunately my netbook is caput… i will not be able to post as often. sad, sad, sad… but everything is well. thanks 4 your prayers!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 10:35 am on November 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    A packed day in Chiang Mai 

    Today was by far the busiest day of our trip so far. The day started for me when I took the G.R.O.W. kids to school. The morning weather was beautiful and being in the car with the children was priceless. They were singing the whole way to church and never stopped smiling and playing around with me and each other.

    I also spent about one hour and a half sitting on the dental chair, trying to get a tooth fixed which my dentist here had worked on back in February. I was technically out of warranty but since the tooth broke only three weeks after I got it done, the dentist didn’t chage me anything. Thank God for e-mail — I had sent him one with a picture of the broken tooth.

    In the afternoon, we met with Avis Rideout, a lady who founded a ministry called “Agape Home,” which houses and cares for 89 children wha have AIDS and their parents. Avis is an energetic lady who has a vision as big as the world for these suffering little ones.

     I was there in 2009 and wanted to make sure that Naza met with this lady and her staff. More about that later.

    We had to change hotels just for tonight and are now in the center of town.

    I have so much more to tell but must leave now since my eyes canot remain open.

    Ivanildo Trindade

     

     
  • ivanildotrindade 6:02 am on November 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , hope-giver, paradise, reacue work in thailand, rescue from sexual abuse   

    Two hours in paradise 

    In the history of humanity there can’t be an action that approximates us mere mortals more to Almighty God than that of taking a life that was discarded and rejected and giving it hope for now and eternity.

    Now hope is a perilous commodity. You can’t give if you don’t got it and you can’t get it if it’s not given to you. Hope means to rise above one’s predictable outcome. That necessitates a hope-giver, something outside of ourselves and much bigger than our predicament. Hope does not happen by osmosis. But when hopes takes, it spreads like wild fires.

    I was in the zone of the Creator last night when I sat down with a group of 8 children in the G.R.O.W. home, a ministry I started with the help of some friends less than three years ago in Chiang Mai. What my wife and I got to witness was glorious, it was as if we were temporarily lifted from the earthly realms and transported to the land where dreams can leave your head and become real.

    The children in the G.R.O.W. home have been rescued from a life that had only one thing for certain – abuse, day in and day out. Different types of abuses, all rooted in poverty, moral decline, selfishness and sexual exploits. The basest of depravity seems to have made a dwelling in this part of the world, but that house is being destroyed brick by brick. 

    For about an hour they sang, they spoke warm words of welcome, they laughed, they danced, and to top it all off, they surprised me with an early ice cream Birthday cake. I looked around and saw the faces of angels but as I kept looking I was reminded that just a little while ago they were innocent victims in the devil’s workshop.

    No more nightmares. No more long nights of worries. No more running away only to be caught again by the hands of evildoers. No more tears running down scared little faces and hitting the spots where the open sores refused to heal. They were not in heaven, but it was close.

    I felt energized, as close to how God feels as I will ever feel; ready to take on the worst offender, and thankful for the joy to be around these children, even for a brief couple of hours.

    And my hope-giver, in case you’ve missed it, is the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. 

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 1:35 pm on November 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Chiang May 

    By the time I get to write blog posts, I am usually pretty beat by the activities of the day. Today was no different. We started at 7:00 in Phnom Penh with breakfast at our hotel, then headed to the airport to catch a flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    I am so glad I’ve traveled here so many times because by now I have a pretty good idea of what I am supposed to do. In Thailand, because I carry a Brazilian passport, I have to go first to the Health Control Desk and fill out a piece of paper that basically says that I don’t have certain kinds of diseases. Detail, I am the one who testifies to that… I always thought my medical degreee would come in handy at times… :).

    Having been given a clean bill of health by the government employee who signed our papers, we proceeded to the Thai Air gate to do another immigration check and march to our gate — we only had one hour. In the end everything went as smooth as silk, we made our connection in Bangkok and arrived in Chiang Mai at 2 pm local time.

    Needless to say, we had a blast with the G.R.O.W children today. I will post more tomorrow: my eyes are fighting sleep again. Sleep wins!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Bob & Linda 10:57 am on November 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      WOW!!!! Well said my friend. Praise God for G.R.O.W. Lets keep it going and growing.

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