The city of Bangkok in the country of Thailand has a reputation in America and probably other places as a place of rampant prostitution. Although prostitution is illegal here, authorities mostly turn the other way. One of the red light districts in Bangkok is called Nana. The center of that district is Nana Place – the entrance to which is pictured below.
As I was preparing for the trip to Thailand, I wondered if I was really the person that God wanted to send on this trip. That might still be up for debate, but I prayed that God might allow me to use my musical gifts to glorify Him somehow as we travelled the country. When I went to Jamaica on mission twice a few years ago, I always knew I was going to teach and play music and I had my bass guitar with me. Here most people would not speak my language and I would not be bringing an instrument.
After breakfast, a devotion (our team is going through the book of Ephesians during our trip), and a primer on some Thai language and cultural do’s and don’t’s, we set off for the Mahanakhon, Bangkok’s tallest building. At the top of the building, there is an observation deck where you can look out over the whole city. There is even a glass platform you can step out onto and literally look down at some of the buildings.
Okay – I’m going to be honest with you. Getting to Thailand was brutal. I left the house at 4:30am on Monday morning, rode 5 hours, took one 14 hour flight, and one 4 and a half hour flight. Upon arriving after midnight Thailand time on Wednesday morning in Bangkok airport, I had been traveling for over 31 hours. I’m not looking forward to the journey home.
As soon as I confirmed that God was sending me to Thailand, I started trying to read as much as I could about the Buddhist faith. (It is unfortunately my nature to believe that gathering as much information as possible is the way to solve any problem.) I started trying to envision what conversations I might have with a Buddhist about Jesus and the Christian faith. I wondered how I might engage them where they are and what aspects of Christianity might resonate best with some of their beliefs. As I did this, God laid three truths on my heart that I wanted to share with you as we continue to pray about his upcoming trip: