Our 2009 Other Sheep Asia Trip

Meeting and Ministering with
Joyce Hanks,
former wife of Rev. Dr. Thomas Hanks, founder of  
Other Sheep.  

Thailand.  July 19-20, and August 28-29, 2009.  
The Wat (temple) in the village where
Joyce teaches in the vicinity of Khlong
Khlung, Thailand.
Who is Joyce Hanks?

Steve and Jose, having learned that Joyce Hanks was in Thailand teaching English for two years with
the Peace Corps, had hopes of being able to meet her.  Joyce is the former wife of
Rev. Dr. Thomas
Hanks, founder of Other Sheep in 1992.  Joyce and Tom have two children, a son and a daughter.  
Their son, Stan Hanks, is openly gay and lives with his partner in France.  Stan is Other Sheep
Coordinator for Europe and Australia.  Joyce has always been very supportive of the vision and mission
of Other Sheep.

Our July 19-20, 2009, visit with Joyce Hanks

While in Chiang Mai, we rented a car and made our way to visit Joyce, a trip about half-way to Bangkok.  
She was an exceptional host and was delightful to be with.  Our stay was very brief - one night only and
arriving late in the day.  We had a lovely diner at her favorite local restaurant and on the following day,
Monday, we visited her school briefly and met some of her colleagues and students.

Our August 28-29, 2009, ministry with Joyce Hanks in Mae Sot

We had a second occasion to be with Joyce which came as a complete surprise.  During our last week
in Southeast  Asia - while in Bangkok -
an opportunity to meet with Myanmar Christians, both gay and
straight, in Mae Sot on the boarder of Myanmar, presented itself.  We rented a car in Bangkok and took
our last 36 hours in Thailand to make our way to Mae Sot, then to return to Bangkok in time for our flight
home to the USA.

Joyce's home was just minutes of the main highway.  On a Friday afternoon, as we drove north from
Bangkok, we phoned Joyce and invited her to join us on our trip to Mae Sot.  She was more than glad
for this opportunity and within an hour or two she was continuing our trip with us.  We had a great time
talking and laughing together -- boy, did we laugh!

On the following morning,
as we met with five Myanmar Christians, Joyce shared her insights on LGBT
concerns from around her story -- both
a wife (former) of a gay man, and a mother of a gay son, as well
as her over all experiences with the topic.  One could see the school teacher in her as she spoke to her
audience.  She is indeed an excellent speaker.  
Joyce Hanks
July 19, 2009.  Thailand
Joyce Hanks, Monday
morning at school,
July 20, 2009.

See Joyce Hanks' Blog
The river that passes in front of Joyce's home
Our first day with Joyce Hanks.
Photo at left, left to right:
Steve, Joyce and Jose
Joyce Hanks, at left, at the
Mae Sot group study on the
Bible and homosexuality.  
, teaching.  Below left,
talking with a participant.  
Below upper right, at Myanmar
Below lower right,
with the Mae Sot group
(excepting one individual).
Steve Parelli, at left, with
rent-a-car, August 29,
2009, at the Bangkok
International Airport, after
arriving from Mae Sot.  
The Bangkok-Mae
Sot-Bangkok trip took
place from Friday
afternoon to Saturday
evening, August 28-29 -
about a 36 hour period.
made it!
CLICK HERE  for a Video Clip of Joyce
Hanks about her experiences talking with
Thais on the topic of homosexuality
This web page was created September 12-13, 2009, in the Bronx, NY.  
This web page was published September 15, 2009.

Visits to this site since September 2009.
Take the 2009 Southeast Asia tour: NEXT
The view not too far south from where
Joyce lives, along Highway #1, August 29, 2009
July 20 - After seeing Joyce briefly at her school early Monday morning
before classes began, Steve and Jose began a four day vacation -- their
first real days off since June 26!
August 29 - After dropping
Joyce off at her home  -- Steve
and Jose made a mad dash to
the Bangkok Airport, hours
The 36 hour Bangkok - Mae Sot - Bangkok Run
July 20, 2009.  "We sat down to a local breakfast of food we hoped we could trust.  This was the
beginning of four full days of sightseeing in Thailand.  We had a rent-a-car.  I was thrilled!  This
was just like our summers
'before Other Sheep' when we could take a whole month at the very
least and travel without any other thoughts than us and what-to-see-and-do next.  Now we had
four days -- and wow -- did we make the most of it.  We saw the ruins of central Thailand, rode an
elephant and relaxed evenings (except we did check our emails  -- to keep on top of our work!).  
This morning at breakfast I told Jose I felt like 'the good ol' times' when summers were ours to
just travel and sightsee without a care in the world.  This was, along with our some-what-off week
at our resort in Malaysia, our fun-time for just us.  I relish these times together.  I said, 'Take a
picture now.  This is the moment I want to remember - the beginning of us and our four days of
sightseeing together.'  And did we explore the ruins - driving our jeep back into the thick of "lost"
ruins on dirt roads!  --
Wow - Feeling
like ol' times
again!  "I relish
these times
Jose Ortiz                                           Steve Parelli
Back in the USA -- but not exactly.  See
how DOMA legally separates Jose
and me upon entering the United
States although married.  (Airports are
under Federal regulation.  Gay
marriage doesn't exist under DOMA, a
Federal legality.)   
See our blog and
what happened.
Our 2009
Southeast Asia Trip
--Table of Contents--

Photo Album of Sites


Written Report

June 28 - July 10, 2009

Chiang Mai, Thailand
July 11 - 29, 2009

Bangkok & Mae Sot
August 23-30

August 1 - 7, 2009
August 9 - 13, 2009

August 7 - 9, 2009
August 13 - 23, 2009

August 30, 2009