All posts by Simon Loi

Day 5 in Bangladesh

Today, we started thebday by talking a shirt walk to the Chandpur Baptist Church for service.

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Here, Mike delivered his message to the congregation, interpreted by our host, Ross.

We took a short walk to the Chandpur Collectorate School for a tour of the school and also got a briefing on the history of how it was established.

The school was established on the premises of an old city jail.  Here, we can see the entrance to the old city jail.

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After lunch, we were given a briefing about the Total Community Development projects and what it was all about.  Following the presentation, we took either the Clmpressed Naural Gas (CNG) vehicle or those that were a little brave, took the motorbike’s ride to the village.
When we arrived at the village, we had to walk across the plank bridge to reach where we were to see the various activities.
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We visited various different types of activities in the village.  some of the activities included micro loan groups,where women would gather each week to discuss various things but at the same time, they would bring in their contribution of savings for the week.  They would also agree on approval of loan to a member of the group if they received a request for it.
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Other initiatives or projects includes recycling of waste.
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Building of toilets with GPS tracking facilities ia another project.
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One of the important projects that TCDC tried to encourage the villagers to adopt is the Improved Cooking System (ICS).  The ICS helps them to improve on the ventilation of their cooking system and save life.  The first picture shows their traditional cooking system and the second showed the ICS in use.
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Another project is the deep tube well.
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We had a fairly quiet evening after returning from the village.
 
 
 
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Day 4 in Bangladesh

The started with a breakfast in the mission school, prepared by the teachers.  We were treated to a special desert that was prepared by a gentleman just in the corridor of the school.

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Following the hearty breakfast, we went across the compound to where the John Hackle Memorial Boys Hostel was located and just mingle with the boys before the inauguration of the new building extension by our NZBMS General Director, Rachel Murray, who is also our trip team leader.

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We also understand that there was a group of girls from one of the other hostels brought to perform for the service.  It seemed one of the girls in the group has been sponsored by our own uncle Ron for a number of years and here we see Wendy presenting a special gift from uncle Ron.

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We were also hosted to a variety of performances by the students of the hostels and a sumptuous meal.

Immediately, following the meal, we took a 4 hours driver to Chandpur with one refreshment and comfort stop along the way.

When we arrived at Chandpur, we took a short rest and we were off again to the Chandur Boys’ Hostel where we met a team from The House of Joy Church, Beijing.  We participated in a meal together with the boys at the hostel.

Day 3 in Bangladesh

We started the day with a 3 hours r so train ride from Dhaka to Brahmanbaria.  The ride was an interesting one with all sorts of happenings along the journey.

We arrived at Brahmanbaria and were greeted by some members of the church and we took a walk through streets and throngs of people.  We were shown to our accommodation at the guesthouse where all the guys were to be staying at the top floor and all the ladies will be staying on the ground floor.

After some rest and refreshments, we were shown around the compound and given a little bit of the history about the place.

In the afternoon, we were shown the Christian Medical Centre where they help mothers and children up ti the age of 12.  This is is also a maternity clinic and as you can see that Priscilla is admiring and cuddling a 2 days old baby.

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We were also told that the medical clinic was started with very basic equipment such as the one picture here for their pathology laboratory.

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So, this is the medical centre that is becoming a very important part of the community.

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In the evening, we were invited to a dinner with members of the Brahmanbaria Baptist Church and we had a great meal before we were gathered to take a group pictures together.

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After dinner, we join the church in an advent service.

We were greeted with special Christmas carols in their own Bangla tradition and in return we sang a couple of songs.

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Day 2 in Dhaka

This morning, our travel was much better as there was less traffic and less people were out on the street.  One thing we learn these last two days of Dhaka’s traffic is that there is no logical rules when it comes to traffic.  The traffic lights can be green or red, the traffic will still continue to move on.  It seemed to us that the person that can managed the traffic is the policeman at the intersection, waving a baton, stick or even on one instance, we noticed that he was using a screwdriver to wave traffic on.

We also noticed that when your public transport is packed to the brim, you will need to be creative to even travel on the roof of the bus (as seen in the picture here).

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Today, our first stop was the Christian College of Theology Bangladesh (CCTB).  Along the way, we saw fresh fruits and vegetables being sold on the road side.

Street Markets

We were invited to morning tea with the staff and faculty.  After morning tea, we attended their morning devotion where our Assistant Pastor, Mike preached on Psalms 40.

After the devotion, we were invited to hand over the books that we have brought from Carey Baptist College to the Librarian.  Our Dr Mike Crudge was requested to do the honour.

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We were also invited to stay on and have lunch with the faculty and staff.

The principal of CCTB  also presented their college’s vision and needs to us.  We spent some time in prayer for the college before we left.

Following the college’s visit, we did a detour to a village where we were shared a vision of the village’s desire to be able to cross the river and be reconciled with a different people’s group on the other side.  Here was also where we had the opportunity to see their local snake charmer at works with some snakes.

We spent the latter part of the afternoon visiting Bangladesh Baptist Christian Fellowship (BBCF).  Their General Secretary presented their 2020 vision to us and requested prayers for the following items.

1.  Support for training of their next generation’s leadership through studying the M Div program in the Philippines.

2.  Encourage trained teachers, nurses or even doctors from New Zealand to work in Bangladesh or even provide training to the local communities and profession.

3.  Encourage New Zealand’s churches to adopt a village and be involved in the growth of a local village and community.

 

We arrived at Dhaka

Late last night, we arrived into Bangkok and stayed at ThongTa Resort.  Not a bad place for an overnight stop.

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This morning, bright and early, we had breakfast and took an early morning stroll just outside the resort to take in the morning air before we got on the plane.

We got ourselves check in to our flight and had a leisurely lunch and explore the airport as it seemed to stretch for miles.

The flight finally took off after about 30 minutes delay and we landed in Dhaka after about 2 hours travel.

We arrived at Dhaka and was greeted by our host, John.  John had arranged for 2 vans to take us to our first stop.  He told us that it was about 13 km from the airport and it would take us about 2 hours on the road.

As we got out of the airport car park, we were greeted by great crowds of people all over and the roads packed with vehicles.  The highway was supposed to be 3 lanes but the vehicles traveling on it was definitely not 3 by any accounting standard.  The road were jam packed and crawling all the way to our destination.

Here are samples of what we were going through.

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One of the van took the ‘official’ route and they arrived at the destination after being on the road for 2 hours and 5 minutes.

However, the other driver seemed to know the back roads well and took us on a scenic drive through back roads that we would have otherwise not had the opportunity to experience.  Here is a video clip of the back roads that we managed to catch a glimpse of.

Interesting route

When we arrived at our destination, John briefed us on the work and what they were doing.

We were hosted to an afternoon tea of local savouries and ‘çhai’.  We were shown around the various work areas and given a running commentaries of what work each areas were doing.  One of the items that this business was doing was the production of customised connectors for hydraulic hoses as seen here.

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Beside the production of these connectors, the business also rent and serviced generators.

After the tour of the business premises, we were hosted to a sumptuous dinner of curry chicken, dahl and vegetables.  We were also treated with dessert and mango lassi.

Our ride to our accommodation for the night took us another drive for about an hour.

Only 8 days to go

I am not sure about the rest but I am a bit apprehensive yet excited about the trip.

Apprehensive in that I do not know what lies ahead for us and at the same time excited to be learning more about what we can see and experience on our trip.

I am also excited to see the work and journey that Hopestill Pillow have threaded before and to visit the work that she has started when she was there.

I am also looking forward to see how God will lead me and LeeLee forward as we experienced the trip and what are His plans for us ahead.

Counting to the days we get on the flight.