Thursday, June 30, 2005

Thailand - A Land Of Contrasts

Thailand was a land of many contrasts. The picture below parallels the open sewers of Bangkok with a Karen mountainside tribal garden.

In Bangkok some of the team were nauseated by the smells and even some of the sights. Teeming populations live along these sewers, drying their laundry in the methane filled air. Children swim with crocodiles in the same streams and rivers underneath their homes. In the Karen mountain village hard work and simple living accompany the tranquil setting on the attached photo.

Even though each of these sets of folks live in very different environments they are still bound to the same prison of animal sacrifice, spirit worship and Buddhism. Some work the entire year to pay for the animals required in fear, with no assurance that their efforts are recognized.

The vision team was able to see these prisons, but they could also clearly see the the sanitary, almost invisible prison that we as Americans have allowed ourselves to construct. As the teens lived in the homes of Karen village Christians they could see that what is important is their life in Christ and teaching others how to be free from their prisons. Material things of life have no value.

A completely different set of priorities.

Even two weeks later the teens are still making sense of it all. Somehow Nintendo is less important now.

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