In nations like Thailand, overt ministry attempts are often met with heavy resistance and tend to prove ineffectual. But that doesn’t mean we give up trying to reach these precious people. In many closed nations, the means for salvation lies in simple, genuine friendship. Crusades and evangelistic concerts may draw a crowd due to the spectacle, but often fail to result in lasting change in someone’s life. Both Jacki and I feel much more comfortable engaging someone personally and welcoming them into our lives. Here’s a few pictures of what this will look like for us in Thailand.
One day on a hike in Chiang Rai, Thailand, my family decided to try and find some rumored waterfalls nearby. When we arrived, we were greeted with cheerful laughing and splashing water. We looked and saw a number of teenagers and kids jumping off of rocks into the water. Not planning on swimming, I decided not to let that stop me from getting into their world. So I took the leap.
Taking a few shots of the spectacle from afar, I decided to get into the moment and turned the camera on my fellow daredevils.
No, I didn’t just throw this one in here to flaunt my girlish figure. We had noticed these guys when we arrived. It was a group of 8 guys and girls. The guys had elaborate tattoos and they were drinking off to the side. I decided to approach them and show them some of the photos I had taken and we got to talking through very broken English.
Pretty soon they had invited me up onto their side of the rocks, where we talked a little bit and laughed a lot at our difficulty in communicating (I’m gonna learn Thai, dangit!).
As we talked, I pieced together parts of their stories and more of them joined into the conversation, helping each other out when one didn’t know a certain English word. They explained the stories behind their tattoos, where they were from, and what they currently were doing in Chiang Rai. I’ll be looking for them again when we return to the country.