Today we went to one of the largest temples in Chiang Mai. It was literall on top of a mountain….and we had to walk up a couple hundred steps to get there.
It was almost like a theme park. They were selling shirts, food, and all kinds of temple merchandise. It was such an ornate structure filled with all kinds of idols, gold statues, and candles burning incense. Behind all the gold there was a darkness there. We saw hundreds of people walk up the mountain to walk around a statue, burn incense, and offer merit to the monks. There is such a heaviness and darkness here that has a hold of these people. They work so hard, but have so little hope. Their lives are centered around karma and merit, but they are so scared.
This afternoon we took some time to interview some of the Thai Christians and missionaries about what God is doing in their life and how Ban Kanoon (the ministry center here) is having an impact on the community. It was so great to hear stories of God extending his goodness and grace to these people in Thailand. I have been so inspired by these people; they have made such a large impact on my life in these few short days. I have seen such honest and beautiful community.
I am tired of watching the church in America fight over silly things. Being over here has given me perspective on what really matters. The Christians here actually love their community and put others before themselves. We could learn so much from their simple faith.
I am having a great time here in Thailand. One of the coolest things we do is ride their taxi services around the city. It is a truck with bench seats in the back, and they will take you somewhere for less than a dollar. They even let you stand on the back of the truck and hold on to the ladders; it was so fun to ride around the city at night on the back of the taxi.