so. just got back from thailand. something was tripping me out… aside from this fetching hat i’m wearing on the photo to the right, with my friend holly bieber. (though, let’s all agree cindy lou-who would love to get her hands on this one)… but now for the big lesson.
in thailand, your nationality is almost synonymous with your religion. the language, the customs, the architecture…everything relates back to Buddha. when the thai helpers taught us the traditional greetings, they bowed their heads as they said “sabadi-kaaaaa” (totally phonetic, i have no idea how to spell this), they folded their hands. we asked the significance, they said BUDDHA. same with many of their cultural norms.
for our week, we had 5 thai helpers with us: Fa, Wah, Nim, Ae, and Pang (not “Bang”, she told us). all 5 of these college students were also buddhists. we had opportunities all week to share the truth and light with them through the things we shared with the kids in shine camp.
sidebar: one of the other ladies with us was in tears as she explained that she had spent years sharing with other thai people and for us to have that much access to them was incredible… we saw that these 5 were the evangelistic portion of our trip. the rest was providing retreat for families in the midst of the WORK.
Back to the lesson i learned – the nationality of these thai people is so tied up with their religion that it is one and the same. essentially, if you are thai, you are buddhist. i thought how sad and how distant is our separation of our nationality with our christianity. our greetings do not incorporate our faith. our words are not God-focused. our daily life patterns are not automatically directed by our relationship with God… how sad that these thai people would be so devoted to their false God that it infiltrates everything they do… more so than we are devoted to our true God. may our God infiltrate everything we do.
second sidebar:by the end of the week, all 5 women were raising their hands in praise, singing along to the veggies and other songs, opening bibles, etc. none of them made decisions, but all of them were exposed to the truth. one of them has a brother who is a believer, maybe he will be used in their call to Christ. pray for wa, fah, ae, nim and pang (not bang).
then pray for your family… that your way of life would be so aligned with your relationship wtih Christ, that they would be one thing…