it’s right after lunch on friday afternoon. We’ve just eaten a pizza lunch with everyone from the conference. It was soooo good. I’m pretty tired of rice. I may have already mentioned that. I did have some cashew chicken yesterday that blew my mind.
Ben and I have tried to get off the beaten path a little. Yesterday afternoon we decided to take a little walk down the beach to get back to this place we saw on the way in called Jomtien Beach. It was a good idea, but bad excecution. We ended up in someone’s backyard trying to get to the beach with this shortcut that we took. There needs to be an apologetic hand signal for “stupid American”. We finally got to the beach and started walking. We walked about 2 miles and then we came to this part where we had to walk through about ankle deep water so our sandy shoes became wet and sandy shoes. But we championed on! We found a little inland road that hugged the beach. It was perfect, so we started walking there. We were passing some really crazy stuff. There would be these million dollar condos and then a shanty. There were stray dogs everywhere and there were all passed out. We’ve got a few pictures of that. (we found out later that if it had been morning we probably would have gotten attacked by the dogs!)
we finally came to a canal that wouldn’t let us pass. We could Jomtien Beach just about another mile or so up the beach but this was a definite swimming situation, so we, not being preped for that headed back inland to get around. That is when we came across what has to be the most disgusting part of the entire country. If you can imagine houses made from huge piles of garbage that’s where we were. Our pace quickened a little and we just waved more with less eye contact. We finally about another 2 miles later make it to the main road where I quickly flagged down probably the same taxi that I didn’t want to pay back at our hotel. He took us the 5 miles or so that it would have taken us to actually walk the rest of the way. It was a doomed journey from the start.
Once we got there we just kind of chilled out for a while and did some people watching (which did unfortunately include more eurospeedos) We talked with some of the local people and then got some food. Jomtien Beach is a really lively little cool part of Pattaya. It’s where most of the resorts end up, so there literally people from all over the world. The beach was just packed with people.
We got done hanging out and started walking back down the street and saw a little side road that had a scooter that said “Rent One Day 200 Bat” So of course I’m thinking, “man I haven’t almost died yet on this trip” so we rented the scooter and with no formal training in Thai traffic laws hit the road. We do have one shot of Ben and I on the bike. Anywhere in America we’d have been beaten up for riding two dudes on a scooter but here it’s a minimum of two and we’ve seen a family of four multiple times on one bike, so we fit right in. With a lot of prayer and my expertise in motorcycle awesomeness we made it back safely.
Ben came up with a new term for what language it is that we’ve developed here. It’s called Thainglish. It’s pretty much just english but louder with lots of flamboyant hand signals. It has really worked well for us.
This morning’s time of worship with the leaders was really really incredible. We had breakfast with a man named Bryan who lives in Pakistan. I can’t really say where but he just got news last night late that a Christian friend of his had been murdered. He didn’t really get much information other than that. We had a great breakfast just talking about the church and Pakistan. He asked if we could spend time in the service just praying for the persecuted church. We sang Psalm 121 and then just stopped and while played and spent probably about 10 minutes just weeping and praying for the persecuted church and the church in America. I have been really burdened for America through being here. It’s funny. You’d think that being in a foreign country would break your heart for the world, and it does, but God has really been moving on me about home and our faith. The worship concluded with singing Shout Unto God and more prayer. It was so powerful God was moving freely and powerfully. God is so humbling in his power.
Please pray that as we finish this portion of our journey we will have safety and even more clarity from God for our own lives. Also pray for the people that are here serving in these countries.
Ben and I have spent a ton of time with the students of these families. It’s been incredible to see their hearts and their needs too. It really feels like home to just chill with students.
We love all of you guys and appreciate your intercession.