Missions Moment – Thailand

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Terry Gibbs, Wycliffe Bible Translators

Thank you for your financial gifts and prayer support during April. Our Mainland South East Asia group had it’s yearly conference. Several computer guys from the Linguistic Institute (SIL programmers) helped out with technical things and we all kept busy. I set up the rotation schedule to have two different guys each morning and each afternoon. I worked both mornings and afternoon everyday. There was always someone that needed computer help. I also helped two students with formatting their Thesis (they are new Wycliffe members who are in the Graduate program at Payap). Thailand also had their Songkran New Years event. I took some pictures, and noted that the size of the crowd on the first day was about 30% of the size during past years.

The considerable reduction in the number of tourists was probable due to the government warning of a major water shortage in the country for a second year in a row. The third rice planting did not happen last fall, and the Spring and Summer plantings have not happened due to an almost complete lack of rain. Last year it only rained two times each month and this year it has rain a little one day and a little another day so far. Our temperatures are above 100 each day with no cloud cover so it feels hot. The humidity is below 20% so we feel like we are in a desert rather than our tropical monsoon weather when it rains hard each day for months on end.

I continue to meet people on Saturdays mornings. I talked to two Chinese girls who spoke some English. I gave them each a different Tract, and it turned out that neither one of them had any idea what Christianity was. I later spoke to a man and his wife. He was Japanese and knew very little English, and she was Chinese and spoke fairly good English. I easily found a Chinese track in my bag, but was unable able to recognize Japanese writing on any of the other Tracts I had with me. I finally located one, but I thought it was Chinese. When I showed it to him he said it was Japanese and easily understood it. It was written in vertical script and Right to Left; the old traditional way of writing Japanese (I didn’t know I had that Tract). On a different day I had an interesting talk with a man and his wife who were thinking of retiring in Chiang Mai due to the high cost of living in England. I later talked to three Chinese girls, I gave two of them a Chinese Track, but after reading the front cover they both handed the Tacks back to me and walked away.

Other interesting contacts were people from Mexico, Brazil and Spain, but a man from Iran probably tops the list; he had a heavy black tattoo on the lower part of one arm, and was not a Christian, but after accepting a Track in English, he prayed for me that I would be successful in my work.

It’s an interesting world out there.