Heartbroken

Saw this video on CNN.com.

It breaks my heart. It’s a sobering reality check on what can be a part of life in Asia.

Check it out here.

Pray for those who have no advocates. Pray for the broken. The overlooked. The abused.

Pray for those little ones that Jesus loves.

Be heartbroken for them.

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Driving in Thailand

A friend posted a few tips on driving in Thailand on a facebook note – it was so funny (and so true) that I had to share! Enjoy – and next time you are in your car, imagine driving in another culture (and on the other side of the road and the car, no less!).

# 1. The Mercedes Benz always has right of way.

#2. The more wheels you have, the more right of way you have. (Except when Rule #1 applies.)

#3. Anything with two wheels or less does not count as a vehicle and should be disregarded completely. Even if it’s a 1800 cc Harley Davidson the size of the average Thai house.

#4. If you need to turn off, then turn off. If that means a right-angled swerve across three lanes on two wheels so you don’t miss your turn, please go ahead. We’ll just fit in with your plan. No need to indicate your intention.

#5. If in the process of executing that turn, you cause three motorcyclists and a tuk tuk to end up in the ditch, add 5 points.

#6. Indicators should only be used in the following fashion. If someone is behind you and wanting to overtake, put on your right indicator. This means either a/ it is clear and safe to overtake now or b/ don’t overtake now a bus is coming over the blind rise at a speed approaching 130km/h. It will soon become apparent which meaning was intended.

#7. Do have as many Buddhist amulets on the dashboard as possible. If you’re involved in a fatal accident, never mind — there’s always another life, and another …

#8. Traffic jams can be frustrating, so, as soon as you get any open space at all, get your vehicle to its highest possible top speed. As a guideline the rpm counter should be kept in the red zone in event of any open road.

#9. When joining a busy main road from a small side soi, proceed directly into the intersection without stopping – or even pausing – for other traffic. This selfishly indulgent act of stopping and checking will only cause confusion for those behind you, with the possible result of them rear-ending you.

#10. When on a motorcycle, do not wear a helmet, and ride as fast as the bike will possibly go while using cars, buses, elephants, and chickens as slalom course markers. Irrespective of traffic conditions, possible dangers lurking around the corner, and pedestrians foolishly crossing the road at a marked pedestrian crossing, maintain this speed (once again, the red zone on your rpm gauge is a reliable indicator). After all, in the event of some other idiot doing the wrong thing, you want to be killed outright, not maimed.

#11. On the subject of pedestrian crossings, these are known to farangs as ‘zebra crossings’. There are no zebras in Thailand. Ignore. Proceed as usual.

#12. Do not wear a seat-belt. This will delay you when you stop at 7-11 to buy more beer for the drive, resulting in late arrival for the party. This is not acceptable to your thirsty friends.

#13. In the event you become completely, utterly, motherlessly drunk when drinking with your friends do not — repeat: DO NOT! — leave your vehicle there and attempt to walk home. In your drunken state you might be tempted to actually use a pedestrian crossing on foot, without observing the golden rule of crossing any road in Thailand: look Right, look Left, look Up then look Down before you cross. The buggers will get you from anywhere!

#14. Red lights. This is merely an optical illusion – all traffic lights in Thailand consist of three different shades of green. What you think is red is actually just dark green. Proceed as usual.

Hope this helps while driving in Thailand please remember there are no rules just open spaces that need to be filled.

Back to 1,000 Friends

So I’ve either had way too much to blog about, or not enough lately. The problem has been that I’ve either had way too many words jumbled about in my head, or none.

Either one is problematic for blogging.

I owe more than one blog post. In the past month, I was part of a traditional Buddhist wedding. I’ve gone to 1,000 friends village several times. My friend Esther has gotten a job that means she can’t go on Tuesday nights. I’ve revisited my strategy for telling the kids about Jesus.

All that could have probably been detailed in a long series of blog posts. Instead, I kept some silence.

Sorry guys.

But now, I’ll break that.

So last week, all of our Thai national partners weren’t able to go out to the villages. They were either sick, or unavailable. So we made the tough call not to go. It was sad, but it was what we had to do.

Last night, when we went back to the villages, the kids greeted us.

“Where were you last week? We waited for you! We sat and waited for a long time, but you never came. We wondered if we had missed you.”

My heart broke. We have people who are open to us coming and teaching them, and studying together, and we weren’t faithful. I let the fact that my language isn’t the best keep me from going. It would have been hilarious had I gone by myself (cause the kids would have been like whattheheckisthecrazyladysaying), but it would have been so fun. We let other things that weren’t that amazing keep us from the work that God brought us here to do. Wait, no, let me put it this way.

I let other things (ie, insecurities, doubts, etc) keep me from doing what God called me to do.

Needless to say, I don’t think that will happen again.

Back to last night.

Esther got a job last week working for a travel agent, I think. She works all day, until 5pm. That wouldn’t be a big deal except for the fact that we have to leave at 4 – it takes us two hours to get out to the villages and studying. Another one of my Thai friends came with me. Her name is Mint, and she helped with translation and telling the story.

Mint is holding out on us. She’s super sweet, and shy. Very quiet. But she is amazing. She translated my story with ease and grace, and was great with the kids.

So we had about 10 kids last night to hear the story. We told them about Noah and the Ark, and how God gave the promise never to flood the earth again. After we told the story the first time, we acted it out.

One of the kids played Noah, one was the Ark. As usual, one volunteered to be God.

We acted it out, giggling the entire time. It was so fun, and each of them told us about seeing a rainbow before – God’s promise in the sky.

As we left, they told us that we have to come every Tuesday night. “We miss you when you don’t come,” they said. “You are welcome to come meet here anytime you want.” Esther’s aunt has offered her house to us at anytime.

So I piped right up. “What if we come on Saturday July 11, and spend a long time with you? I have plans already for most Saturdays, but I can come that day.”

They grinned. “Yes, please come!”

So now, I’ll be planning an event for that day – not sure yet how long that will be, but I am pretty stoked about it.

Mint and I debriefed in the car about it. She was incredulous. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” she said. “They are so open to the gospel! They want to hear the stories. They listen to you, and obey what you say. It’s amazing!”

So we’ve talked about the vision that we have for this place – we’re all super excited about what God is doing at 1000 friends village.

Don’t forget – you guys are just as much a part of the work at 1,000 friends village as I am. You’re the invisible warriors, fighting epic battles on your knees on behalf of these lovely people.

Here’s some ways you can fight (pray):

  1. Pray that we’ll have national partners to go with us. While it sounds like an excuse, if just the foreigners go and teach, the kids are confused cause our Thai isn’t that good. It’s getting better. School is about to start, and since many of our partners are college students, their schedules are about to get busy.
  2. Pray that we continue to meet over the next month. I’m going to be travelling through three other countries in the next month, and the studies need to continue. Pray that others will be able to fill the place where I normally go.
  3. Pray for the people – that their hearts will be more open to God every day.