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We have come to the end of week two here in Thailand and are getting ready to move into a new level of intensity as we move into week three.

This week was pretty adventurous.  I ate my first Isaan delicacies…garlic sauteed bugs and some kind of stew made with fermented fish sauce, vegetables, and ant larvae.  The Isaan people seem to get a kick out of watching me eat their “jungle” foods.

I should have paid more attention to how “grandmother” was pulling the little wings off those bugs before she ate them.  Pastor Nikom said that he just eats the whole thing, no bother on the wings.  I guess he would also be one of those guys who eats peanuts, shell and all.  Well, my stomach had some problems digesting it later that night.

Bill was kind of relieved that they didn’t have time to cook up the 15 fresh lizards that were caught the night before.  Our host told us how much these things would bring in the market and in their terms, it was no small change.  So they wanted to honor us by cooking them up…maybe next time.

The huge flying round things that they had in a sack were being saved for another day too I guess. (see pic) I told Bill that I was starting to feel like we were on an episode of “Fear Factor”!

One of the girls at the meeting who likes to pick on us foreigners…in a nice way of course, remarked at how she would keep thinking of ideas of weird things to serve us…as she busted out laughing.  Thai humor I guess.  The reality is, they and many other people around the world, love to eat these things we call “bugs.”  I guess they are in good company, John the Baptist ate them too.

I know I made sort of a big deal about our city of Khon Kaen having a McDonalds, a KFC, a Pizza Hut, and even a Starbucks, but the reality is that there is only one of each in this big city and most people never eat there.

These places are not really easy for us to even get to yet.  Real life and real food happens at the street level and in the homes of the people of the multitudes of villages here in the Northeast.  Beyond those fast food chains, there isn’t a whole lot of diversity in Western food choices.

I probably wouldn’t go to these places in much in America, except Starbucks of course, but it does feels good to know they’re there.  In regards to a daily coffee, I’m not a fan of the Asian standard powdered stuff, so my choice here is expresso roast made in a french press…one lovely cup at a time. hmmm.

Ok, back to the ministry….Our meeting there in the village went great and the new believers were all eager to share as we had some special visitors.  A man who is the head of twelve villages was at the meeting with his wife.  He was checking things out and she was there to ask for prayer for healing.  After each of us gave some testimonies and shared the Word of God, she surrendered her life to Jesus and prayed to receive Him as Savior.

One of the young girls ran for some scissors and cut the “kwaan” bracelets off her wrist and we prayed for God to heal her body.  Pray for the husband.  I could tell that he was wrestling with everything.  If he comes to Jesus, I believe that a great many people who are under his authority will hear the Word of God!  His 12 villages constitute about 2,000 families.  Pray for him…God knows who he is!

Another new Christian at the meeting asked for prayer to be delivered from an addiction to smoking.  There was such a zeal present for people to be pleasing to the Lord and to give honor to Him.  It was a great meeting and we look forward to watching these new Christians grow in their faith from week to week.  I see myself growing…especially in my ability to sit Indian style on a concrete floor for many hours and be ok with it.  😉

Life is really different here, but we are adjusting well and enjoying taking each new step of faith as we go.  We are diving in wherever we can and seeking to keep a servant’s heart and a learner’s attitude.

I preached this Sunday at the River of Life Thai church here in Khon Kaen and exhorted the people to give away what they’ve already been given.  Along with many other things, I challenged them with the thought that it will take every believer in this city teaching others who will in turn teach others for this city to be reached and eventually for a nation to be changed.  A new believer was baptized at the meeting which is always a blessing to see!

Earlier this week, I also sat in on meeting with the Mission SOS team for the upcoming festival that we are having in April.  These guys are great to be around.  They pray and worship before every team meeting and really seek to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying about their work and direction.  We are excited to be a part of what we believe will be a a big event for the Gospel here at the college campus of KKU.

This coming week Jacqueline and I will begin to dive into the Thai language with our new teacher who’s nickname (every Thai has one) is “Piano.”  So, she is my piano teacher!  ….get it, Piano…teacher. Ok, moving along…her sister’s name is “Guitar”, so I guess you can figure out what they like to do in their free time, right?

We look forward to all that the Father has for us in this next year.

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