Thank-you all for your prayers & please continue to pray for Thailand. Life has been very peaceful here in Chiang Mai. There is nothing to fear. At the intersections you will see army personel with their machine guns resting on their shoulder & military vehicles with soldiers in them driving by occasionally. But, seriously life goes on with no worries.
We are all enjoying the cooler weather (only highs of 35-37 Celsius) during the day (lows of 24-28 Celsius) during the night.
Many of you know that I ride my bicycle to Thai language school each day. Everyday on my way home I stop to talk with all of the community security guards & the local Thai villagers as I slowly make my way home. This week as I was coming home I made my usual stop to one of the guard gates to chat in Thai for a few minutes. One of my friends; a guard when I asked hi how he was said that he was not doing well at all that day. It took me for surprise because I had been talking with him for almost a year. He had never said he was not doing well ever. Culturally had many Thai people that you are always suppose to say you are doing ok even if you are not.
I said that I was doing ok. My head was tired from my Thai study, but otherwise doing great. I asked him what was wrong. He told me he was just old. I laughed & told him that he had a full head of black hair. I told him I am old because I now have a full head of grey hair & asked what was really wrong. He told me that his arm was sore, the bones & I think he said his muscles too. I said that it was not good, talked for a couple more minutes then left.
As I was biking away this clear loud voice in my head said "Matt, go back, lay hands on him & pray for him." I said to the voice "no way. That would be crazy" & kept biking away. The voice 2 more times said "Matt turn your bike around & go back to lay your hands on your friend & pray for him." I said "God, I can't do that because I don't evening know how to pray in Thai yet. I will look like a fool."
I finally gave in to the voice (the Holy Spirit) & went back to my friend. I asked him what was wrong again. He said to me the same thing as before. I then showed him the cross on my necklace & said to him in Thai "can I please do this?" He said in Thai "yes please." I laid my hand on his shoulder & prayed to Jesus asking him to heal my friends shoulder & that he would eventually know who Jesus is. When I finished said I had to go home. But, really was scared.
Also pray for me that when I speak, God will give me words so that
I can tell the secret of the Good News without fear.
Ephesians 6:19 NCV
The next day had a horrible Thai language lesson. I couldn't remember words I said 5 minutes previous. I was really discouraged. As I was cycling home on my bike had an argument with another voice in my head that said "Matt, your class horrible, so don't go to see your Thai friend. Go home a different way." I agreed with the voice in my head, but as I got closer to my friends post changed my mind & went to see him. As I came near could see this Thai man standing in the street with white teeth glowing. It was my friend. I asked him how he was & his reply was wonderful. He said that his arm felt great, that my prayer worked.
There is a saying that gives me encouragement "slow & steady wins the race." Long distance athletes understand this, but I believe that this applies to relationships also. A Thai said to me that Thai people really don't care what your credentials are or what you say. They care more what you do. Only when they see (long term) what you do & it matches with what you say will they be interested in what you believe.