We are currently in Bangkok, staying at Global English School. Over the past twenty five years, several people connected to Mount Carmel have taught at this English language school located in a "suburb" of Bangkok. Some continue to teach here. While in Bangkok, we are visiting several different ministries. Yesterday focused on a ministry that works primarily among the Thai Hill tribe people and in refugee camps along the Burmese border. We spent time with Michael learning about some of the needs they try to address. We were also part of a Bible study he leads with Thai people in his church, where are students took the lead on talking about a verse or two that are significant to them.
Today (Friday) we will visit Night Light, an outreach to people in one of Bangkok's many Red Light districts. Human sex trafficking is a significant part of Thailand's economy, and is very common. Ministries such as Night Light work to help those who are wanting to get out of the industry, and try to provide an introduction to Jesus in the process. Today we also hope to finally get to some of the more iconic Bangkok places, such as the Grand Palace.
We are in Bangkok until Sunday, when we will fly to the northeast region of Thailand called Isaan. We will be there until next Saturday.
Today's reflection written by Liza:
On Tuesday morning, we travelled to a new development in Korat to go on a prayer walk with an American couple who have been in Thailand twenty years. They are living in a new middle-class development, building relationships with the professionals who are moving into this community. We spent time walking, praying for them and the community, and learning from them as they shared from their experiences. I walked with a group led by Wendy. She talked about how using John 3:16 does not work in Thailand. The love it talks about seems to conflict in some ways with the Thai Buddhist mindset that values a lack of desire. To love something, as in God loving the world, is to have desire for it... The highest level of consciousness for the Buddhist is to desire nothing.
As Christians LOVE is our highest goal. God loves the world; Jesus regularly showed his love towards others. There are many more examples of love in the Bible and love is what drives Christians to do good in the world... It saddens me that they do not to realize there is a God who gives his love freely. I pray that they are able to understand what love is and that the love of Jesus Christ has the highest value. I pray that people can move beyond weighing their good and bad actions; and accept the love and forgiveness that leads to freedom.