Missions Moment – Thailand

Posted in: Missions

Terry Gibbs, Wycliffe Bible Translators

Thank you for you kindness and generosity this past year, and your faithful prayers which has help me so much.

All 4 Thesis students here at Payap were able to complete their work before the deadline, so that was a relief. One of these students is from the far north in India, right next to the country of Bhutan. Since I knew that he was planning to get married when he returns to home in a few days, I asked him how things were going for getting everything ready. He said fine, “My family is organizing most things and I frequently talk to them via Skype”. I asked him how many people would be attending his wedding. He said “My father estimates 900 people, but I think only 600 people will show up.” So I’m thinking that’s going to require a lot of Daal and Naan to feed them. What’s happening is that India is a populous place and everybody knows a lot of people. So for a marriage gift everyone gives a small amount of money, which becomes enough for the newly wed couple to begin life together. On a few close friends will bring a present. The main meal is at lunch and the evening meal is just snacks.

We were still having 90° days here in October, but now the highs are down a little to 85° by mid-day and the humidity is lower. The morning lows have fallen to 68°, so we’re wearing jackets. This is the high season for tourists, and the street are full of people and buses, but it seem like there are fewer people this year. There are many Chinese visitors now-a-days, but they mostly like to travel in buses and not walk around that much.


Thai Buddhism

“Traditional Thai Buddhism recognizes the King as having divine status. The concept of trai bhum, or Buddhism cosmology, supports the idea of a universe and the existence of heaven and hell. The so-called universe concept comprises the centre, which is Mount Sumeru, surrounded by Mount Sattaboripan, the ocean and four continents where people live. The highest place serves as heaven where deities stay. It is believed the King is Narayana, who comes to earth for the sake of the world’s peace. When he dies, he returns to Mount Sumeru, the centre of the universe. The royal cremation is traditionally fashioned around this belief. The pyre is made in gold, called the Phra Meru Mas, which resembles Mount Sumeru. Technicians model the universe concept around the pyre, its landscaping, architecture and all elements at the cremation place.”


Field Report

For some hill tribe children, getting to school during the rainy season can be a challenge.

And sometimes they need to do some work before they arrive at school.


Around Town

I talked to a man from Germany for a few minutes, but he did not want to accept the Tract. Then I talked to two French girls, and they also did not want to accept a Tract.

I met a man and woman who were from Poland. I remarked to them, that this was the first time I had met someone from Poland. We talked for a few minutes, I gave them some ideas of where to go sightseeing. I offered them a Tract which they accepted and expressed an interest in reading it.

I met 2 guys who were from the UK. We just stood there talking for a while about Thailand and where they were headed next (off to the beach). One of the guys accepted the Tract and expressed an interest in reading.

I met a Chinese girl and offered her a Tract which she accepted. A short time later I met another Chinese girl and she also accepted a tract. But during the day, I offered a Tract to several Chinese people but they declined to accept it once they read the cover text “Steps to peace with God” (written in Chinese).

I met a guy who was from Belgium. He said he was in Chiang Mai for 2 weeks, then he went to the town of Pai for a week, and now he was back in Chiang Mai for a day, and was leaving tomorrow morning for Laos. I offered him a Tract and he said he was interested in reading it. So a “just-in-time” meeting.

At 10 in the morning, I was walking down a narrow street, past a small open-air restaurant. A man was sitting there alone on a stool, and staring out into the street – looking lost. I walked past him, but then I turned around and walked back and laid a Tract on the table in front of him, and said “Here is something for you to read.”, then I walked away.

I talked to a man and his wife who were from Hong Kong. We talked for a bit, I gave them a map and tract, which they both thanked me for.

I talked to 3 young men from Norway. One of them spoke better English, so we talked a bit, I gave each one of them a different English Tract.

I talked to a man and his wife who were from France. We talked for a bit I gave them a map and a Tract which they showed interest in reading.

I was in a restaurant and overheard 2 men talking about religion. I went to the men’s room and on the way back to my table, I intentionally walked towards them and said that I would be interested in joining their discussion about who God is. One of the men turned towards me and said I should leave using a very impolite word.