I had the amazing chance of going to the north of Thailand. The first leg of the trip was just up to a town did not know its name but it was on the ocean just south of Thailand. We stayed at a retreat for missionaries called the Juniper Tree. It was very relaxing and much needed for us all. I met missionaries from India, and Pakistan. There were many other countries represented but those were the ones I remembered the most. Unfortunately I really did not get to talk with many of them for very long, as we only stayed for a few days and I just did not have the chance.
Then we went to Bangkok for a church conference. We got to stay in a hotel that was alright but after the Juniper tree it just seemed a little on the dive side. The location however was the best because it was just a few steps from the church where the conference was. The worship leader was so cool, had so much joy. Though I did not know the words or songs it was easy to worship with. The conference was good as well. After the conference on the first night we were hungry. Walking around the immediate area we found that nothing was open. Nothing except one bar which none of us wanted to go to because it was a real shady bar. Plus it was next to the hotel and the church so on top of not wanting to be in the bar we were hoping that no one from the conference would see us there.
After a little debate on whether or not we should go in there hunger won out. It was James Jordan and I, for the girls were tired and wanted to go to bed. The bar did have food but it proved to be everything we had expected. It had bargirls and ladyboys loud karaoke music and just felt really oppressive in there. We ordered are food and waited and waited. The longer we waited the less I wanted to be in there. Finally the food arrived. The music was so loud that when we prayed for the food we had to pray really loud just to hear it. Just at the end of the prayer the song stopped and all you could hear was a really loud "IN JESUS' NAME." I am not one to super spiritualize everything but it really changed the atmosphere in there. When the music came back on the turned it down, it just felt different in there. As we were eating though the music came back up and things resumed as they were before we got there. I know that if only for a minute maybe more the name of Jesus changed the spiritual climate in that bar.
Friday, June 8, 2012
I went to Patong the other day. We go their a few times a week to worship on the street, and pray and walk around. Patong is the place in phuket that is notorious for prostitution and drugs and parties. We have been looking around for a place for a church plant and God had directed our way to a street in the red light district. This street is where all Ladyboys do their business. It was hard walking down that street. There were bars on both sides of the street. On one side of the street all the Ladyboy's come out to try to get your attention. In the bars across the street are a bunch of white men looking at the ones they want to rent for the night. Heavy, the air was thick. And as the Ladyboys would come out to meet us I was not able to look in their eyes. Not that I wanted to look down on them. I just did not want them to think I was there for what they thought I would be. I did not know how to look them in the eyes. How? When all they know is rich white men come and use them for their own gratification. The prostitutes both male and female are trying to do just one thing. Survive. Live as well as they can. I found it hard to look in the bar girls eyes as well. I pray next time I will be able to look them in the eyes because I know that Jesus would look them in the eyes.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
God is so Good. I mean really good. Patient, caring, loving, longsuffering, faithful, gracious. Every word I have to describe Him wouldn't be enough. He has fulfilled promises, prayers and supplications beyond measure, and that is just my testimony among who knows how many billion others. When I first got to Thailand my friends took me to a beach and I got to swim in the Indian Ocean. The beach looked like something I have seen in pictures in Hawaii. The ocean clear and blue. Water was warm like bathwater. I remember swimming in the Indian Ocean thinking, " Isn't this wild, not ten years ago I was homeless now I am in Thailand." He has fulfilled so many more prayers since I have been here I am staggered, absolutely staggered, by His Grace over my life. I Bless God. I did not know how blessed I am, maybe still do not fully yet. I just want to remain thankful for all He has done.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
We had the most amazing night tonight. We went out to the streets to meet some friends we had met the other night who live on the streets of Patong. Now a little info on Patong it is a notorious red light district where well.........lets just say that place is notorious. We went to take some food to people we had met on the street the other night. There were probably five of them living together on the street with two children A few of there names were Gun, Oo, Golf, and Dang, I don't know exactly how to say or spell there names as my Thai pretty much non existent. We had just only met them the other night and didn't know much about them, so we took some food and while it was a little awkward at first with nobody speaking we began asking them questions having Jordan and Lexi interpret. Asking things with an interpreter can be challenging as well because you have to keep all the concepts simple sentences short. We asked them how long they had been on the street where they were from you know stuff like that. We learned that they all wanted jobs but during the off season it was harder to find them. Then it dropped in my spirit to ask "if you could have one wish what would it be. " They all answered "a home" The father of one of the children then added, " It is fine if I live on the street I just want a place for my child." We then told them that we serve a God who listens and answers prayer and asked if they would let us pray for them, which we did. They are so sweet. Pray for them with us. Pray for provision and homes for them. Most importantly that they come to no Jesus. Tonight was such a huge blessing!
Thursday, May 17, 2012
James and Judy took me to meet the pastor of the church that they are under. Romyen Church in Thailand. He is just a wonderful brother in Jesus. A warm smile and a huge laugh that is just contagious. He pastors around twenty churches in the south of Thailand, including home fellowships. Just a real pleasure to be around. He had really won me over when I asked him what vision God given him for the churches around there. He replied he didn't really have a vision, he just really loved the people there. He went on to explain that not many pastors do not want to work in southern Thailand because of the danger of terrorism. It is a predominately Muslim area in the deep south. They have had a lot of terrorism attacks as well. He had asked me to share about worship with his worship team. Very humbling since this was the first time I had been even remotely in a place that I could be a danger because of my faith. I mean what do you say to a body who faces persecution about worship. I did my best anyway. The pastor recently led a family of Egyptian Muslims to Christ. Since then the family had to move to the north of Thailand because they were receiving death threats. So lets join in prayer for the Southern Romyen Church. For protection and provision and Christ to be received among the Muslims. I got to eat and worship and pray with this church just so sweet, so amazingly special.
Got off the plane, hot and muggy, different smells and sounds. A little disconcerted until I saw my friend James had made it to the airport. After a week I have learned a little. First, there are traffic laws but they are more just suggestions. Traveling around is a series of near misses and close calls. Second, the people are so amazing. Eating and hospitality is a big deal. People who make a fraction of what people make in the states will not stop serving great food. Third, Phuket is a dangerous place for someone trying to serve God. A modern day Sodom and Gamorrah. A city that rents or sells outright her children to rich foreigners for a hefty profit. Not everyone is like that in the city mind you. A lot of really nice people just trying to make a way. It still had my head spinning most of the week, but i really love it. Such an amazing time!
Friday, May 11, 2012
This flight could not have been much better. I met a new friend Naga, who was flying to malaysia for a funeral of a nephew who died of lukemia. She was very nice and really well traveled so she showed me what to do at all of the airports we stopped at. It was really cool just getting to know her. She told me all about her family and what it was like being educated in malaysia and coming to america and her family. Really well traveled, makes that flight every two years. Invaluable advice about the culture. Just seemed that God had her there to make the trip not only less confusing but way more bearable.
God is so Good.
God is so Good.