Sorry 'bout the delay in writing, but I have learned by experience that Thailand is truly a Third World country. Attempts at getting on the world wide web are greatly influenced by where in the wide world you are. I finally found a spot at the Orchid resort here in Phuket where I could get on the web. I found it when I saw a group of lap top carriers huddled in tight formation pounding away on their keyboards. So here I am pounding away too.
This is really not Kansas. Or in my case Tennessee. It is totally different culture with mostly entrepreneurial Buddhists selling everything from Polo to massages. Tailors and eyeglass stores are on every street. Running each one is a very nice man who calls you "boss" or someone asking "are you from Chicago?" The smell of sewage is mixed with the aroma of native cuisine and causes you to want to barf one minute and go to the buffet the next. The overriding mood is one of hopelessness. In the eyes of each and every living being is emptiness. They live in a society where it is no OK to become angry, but there must be much repressed anger burning inside over the situation in their country where there is so much poverty.
The missionaries here tell stories of spending years without seeing one convert to Christianity. One fella did tell me of a revival in one province where there had been 8 baptisms in 8 months. Just when I was about to remark, "I'm so sorry" he smiled and said, "God is really blessing." That's when I realized success is measure in inches not miles here in SE Asia.
I am doing well for those of you who are wondering. We get a great breakfast and evening meal each day at the hotel. Marty and I are involved in the "turn down" service each night where we leave gifts on the beds of each of the 275 missionaries. We get to dinner late, but the expressions of gratitude from the missionaries make it worth the sacrifice. Tomorrow the missionaries leave and we are left with one day on our own. I think we are going to take a boat out to a small island and do some snorkeling. I'm hoping sharks consider Baptist preachers dark meat. I am looking forward to being back in the States this weekend. I hope to write at least once more before then, but remember the world wide web is not as wide as this big old world.