Saturday, July 23, 2016

Terrific Thailand

Last week, we attended an excellent conference for non-profit workers from across the Asia Pacific region.
Standing at the taxiway in Bandung:
yes, they drive right by passengers.
Even the airport in Singapore encourages people to mind their manners.
Table inset at Changi Airport
Floating flowers
It was our first trip to Thailand (beyond stops in the airport, going elsewhere).

Thailand is beautiful, colorful, and welcoming, top to bottom.
Glimpse of beauty, walking by a boutique hotel
(fabric walls, faux flower chandeliers)
Even the street signs are pretty
Orchids. Everywhere. Every kind imaginable
Thais buy a spirit house (altars) for every corner, in parking lots, and in front of businesses and homes, hoping to appease good spirits, who - Buddhists hope - will see the food offered and scare away bad spirits. Here are a few of the hundreds we saw:

Even poolside is religious

Airport decor

Creative transport 
If you build it, we'll sit on it
3-wheeled taxis
 Electrifying solutions
Tangles of wires overhead
2 guys on a steel ladder.
Roadside statues
Stormy skies above the hotel
Tropical carpets underfoot
Statues outside an art gallery 
Royal navy ship docking on the coast
Night market seafood (5 huge breaded prawns@$1.50)
Time with international coworkers is the most precious gift of all. These workers love people and seek God's peace for the nations.
Thais venerate their noble family
with a plethora of photo signs and altars
We listen, discuss, eat, and pray about loving people and serving well. We ask God for favor and protection on the gatherings, orphanages, schools, universities, and other forms of compassion care.
A table at the seaside
We learn and evaluate. And too soon we disperse to our homes throughout Asia Pacific.
Whew: the "pimped" ceiling and walls in our airport van
Colorful seats on Thai Air
Thank you to the many friends who invest in the Asia Pacific region. You are our partners, our encouragers, and we treasure you.

Read more:
*We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds. 

You say, “I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge with equity. When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm. To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns. Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak so defiantly.’”

No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: he brings one down, he exalts another. In the hand of the Lord is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.

As for me, I will declare this forever; I will sing praise to the God of Jacob, who says, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up. Psalm 75

*Lord, your decrees are my delight, they are my counselors. Psalm 119:24

*Do not fear the reproach of others, and do not be dismayed when they revile you. Isaiah 51:7

*Jesus’ parents found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Luke 2:46

Moravian Prayer: Lord over all, help us to remember that we are all sinners, saved only by your merciful grace. Help us to resolve in our own individual hearts a sincere desire and need to come before you in prayer.
Most gracious and loving Father, Jesus was found in the temple listening and asking questions; let us, O Lord, also be found daily seeking your rich words of wisdom and truth as proclaimed in Scripture. Amen.

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