I am on the plane now headed back to Phnom Penh after a week in Chiang Rai Thailand. Kaeli and I went to Chiang Rai for a puppet seminar for local Thai churches. We learned everything from character development, realistic movement techniques, and the best part, the actual puppet making.
I like to think that I am creative, I don't know how true that is, but I like to think when it comes to children's ministry stuff I can get creative. When it comes to sewing skills I will admit my lack of talent.
This past Christmas Jesse and I decided to make gifts for each other. Partly to save money and partly because we were leaving Christmas day for Mexico and didn't need much in the way of possessions. Jesse made me a great little journal. He glues a map and even sewed the binding. I thought it would be cool to make him a home made laptop case. So I picked out the fabric planned the design and began to create. Now how hard could a sewing machine be…right? I went upstairs plugged it in and then I was lost. How in the world do I get the right color string onto the machine. I waited till my mother got home and she helped me. Then I tried again. How hard should it be to sew a box with an opening for a computer? Well it was hard, at least for me. My mom helped me get started, then she did the the lines, put the ribbing on the outside, and attached the buckle, and well then it was done. I watched her do every step. I didn't leave her in the room by herself at least. I just sat there and watched. I was no help what so ever. It turned out great. Jesse loved it, but then he found out my mom really made his Christmas present. Oops!! From that experience I knew sewing was not my gift. I always think I can accomplish it and then I begin to realize how big of a task it is.
On the second to last day of the seminar we got to make our own puppets. These Thai people busted out their sewing machines and went to town. I just sat in amazement and watched. I thought, hey, they are so good at it why not ask them to sew it. So some nice Thai lady sewed our puppet in like five minuets. I watched and was there the entire time. (I think this teaches me that I am never going to learn if I don't do it. But why take away someones love for sewing. Right?)
The fun part came after sewing. We got to decorate and design the puppet. Now this part I love. It was a blast to create Mervin, a Jamaican dog puppet that lives in Cambodia.
The best part about this day was watching the people get so into their puppets. They were putting so much passion into what they were doing. I know they are going to take their puppets to their different churches and different provinces and do great things with them. It was cool seeing Thai people discover a passion for puppets and a deeper passion for a ministry tool that they can use in their home towns to minister to their kids.
I pray that God takes the knowledge these people received and does great things with it through them.
The people of Thailand were so generous and friendly. The food was beyond amazing. And I cannot wait to go back to visit Pastor O and his congregation again. Chiang Rai will be missed.