Eyes of a tourist

My back yard! ^^

Wow. Living in Thailand has been too good for words. Other than the crazy humidity, the scenery is magnificent. Being in walking distance to our little “town' which consists of one street that has mini markets and a seven eleven, has been where we've bought Thai Teas, Iced Coffee, and amazing chicken and sauteed veggies that they make right in front of us! People have been right, Thai people are defiantly known for their smiles. They are all so loving and are excited to hear my attempts of their tough tonal language. I'm surprisingly catching on which has been a surprise since it took me years to get the basics of Spanish down. With Phuket being a huge tourist area, its nice being on the outskirts of Patong. They tend to be surprised hearing that we'll be living here for the next four months. They become even more shocked to hear that we are here to help their people as well.

In America, the estimated percentage of people claiming to be Christian is 83%. Here in Thailand, the percentage of people being Christians is only 0.7%, while the country is 95% Buddhist. A popular saying I have been hearing is, “If you are Thai, you are Buddist.” That's just how things are. Being such a small minority in an area of so many people, you can just feel your light wanting to dwindle. What's encouraging though is that the Thai people can see a difference in you than the other tourists that pass by. I was told that by simply stepping off the sidewalk to let a Thai person walk by shocks them. Having that respect from most tourists is uncommon.

We do our street ministry Monday through Fridays, so when we arrived we were given our Saturday and Sunday to explore our new home and city. With rain that poured down on us girls, and running through our town we decided to stay home on Saturday. Once Sunday came around, we did our morning worship and quickly headed out to the beach. Not quite knowing how our language barrier was going to interfere we waved down a tuk tuk and told our driver we wanted to go to Kata beach. Since there was so many girls in the back I got the luck of having to sit in the front of the car with our driver. That was interesting.

At first it was nerve racking trying to talk to him since he knew very little English, but our laughter broke the silence. As hard as it was to talk about things, we tried our best and laughed it off when it got too confusing. He asked me where I lived and if it was cold back in Minnesota. His eyes got wide when I told him how cold it was and that it had been snowing. Classic. Driving up a humongous hill, which is the most dangerous road in Phuket might I add, I could see the girls trying their best to hold on inside the Tuk Tuk while mad men on mopeds are speeding past us. Thailand driving is honestly something to see. On the top of this hill you will find an old temple for Buddhists and every time you pass by you'll be sure to hear honks from mopeds, trucks, and busses that are honking for safety, health, and good luck from their Buddha. The worshipping of idols is so intense here you can almost feel a darkness around them. Within every twenty feet your guaranteed to see a small temple or shrine worshipping their gods.

Driving through the city of Phuket to reach the beach the driver told me all about Phuket in the eyes of a tourist. He pointed out an area known for seeing lady boys, hot spots to eat, and the areas not to shop that would overprice me. Most importantly he pointed out Bangla road telling me that It was something I needed to see. He went on saying how exciting the night life is and that us girls would have a good time. He proudly told me that many more tourists and people have been coming to Phuket since the last 5 years, and sadly I knew why. Little did he know, Bangla road is where we will be doing our night ministry. Little did he know, we were there to shut those bars down and rescue those girls from a life of lust and neglect. Looking at Bangla road through the eyes of a tourist is perceived as seductive, alluring, and entertaining. But if you look at it with the eyes of the Lord you will see a land full of heart break, injustice, and Gods children that are in desperate need of love and salvation. I want to see a generation that will refuse to be tourists that turn their cheeks, but a generation that brings freedom, love and salvation to those who need it most.

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