The drive to the mountain village was beautiful, with intense greenery and rolling hills. After experiencing the colours, noise and extremes of the city, I liked seeing rural Thailand, too. Many kids are taken care of by grandparents, since their parents have gone to Bangkok to work, and they struggle with restlessness and addiction. Farming is difficult and not very profitable, especially for the elderly.
When visiting a village like this it is easy to define the believers by what they are not. They are not many. They are not well educated. They are not in a growth location. But taking a closer look, stepping into people’s spaces, listening into conversations, we could see all that they are. I was struck by the faithfulness of a grandmother who loved God and read her Bible, despite no support from her family. Together with the small church body, there were smiles and praise songs. There were real, sincere prayers for family and neighbours. In a perhaps grim situation, we can still be encouraged by the patience and investment of the missionaries and the existence of the believers in a non-supporting and even opposing community. As we pray for rural Thailand, we ask that God will be revealed to the farmers in this agricultural setting. May the Creator be recognized through His creation. Although this growth of believers is slow, may it be steady.