I gripped the handle above the truck door and hung on as we jolted over a narrow, rutted road. On Sunday we traveled through lush orchards, rice fields, rubber trees, and fields of — yes — corn! The little village of Hoi La Bong is tucked away deep in this rich agricultural area. The road, Bro. Anond tells us, is an improvement. He remembers when there was no road at all and the people had to walk along the river to go into another town.
By our standards, though, this was not an “improved” road, but more like a rutted cow track. Then the unthinkable happened. We met another truck. No way two trucks could pass on this skinny stretch of dirt between two ditches. The other truck backed up and stopped with two wheels teetering on the edge of the ditch. We crept by, with two of our wheels listing into the opposite ditch. We made it. Whew! It was a slightly nerve-wracking experience, but not nearly like it would have been if we had been on the mountainside!
The church at Hoi La Bong is another struggling group of believers. They, too, are without a pastor. It was once flourishing and strong until their pastor’s double life was exposed. The culture here is a difficult one, rife with immorality, drugs and drunkenness. It is so common that it is not a scandal, but merely a source of sorrow, when someone falls. This pastor fell into sin and there was no one to take his place.
About a dozen faithful members met us at the little cement and bamboo church building. One of the members leads the services and they meet together every Sunday, although there is no one to preach to them. They read the Bible and sing and pray. One of their most urgent prayers is for a pastor to guide them.
Paul preached a good sermon to them, which they seemed to receive with thankfulness. Please pray with us for more pastors for these struggling Christians!
Hoi La Bong is the village that used to have an elephant. It was out working the last time we were there, and now we found the owner has sold it. It doesn’t look like an elephant ride will be in my future! They do, however, have water buffalo there. One of the ladies at church raises them.
We didn’t eat lunch at this village. The last time we were there everybody but me came down with food poisoning. We drove back into Chiang Mai and ate at Duke’s. It’s a favorite place to eat because the food tastes like the food at home in the U.S. Even the hamburger tastes like a real hamburger!
A quick trip to Tops when we dropped off the Camps at their condo and another stop to buy a toilet plunger on the way home and we were done for the day.
What do we do for recreation when the day’s work is done? Usually we are too tired to do anything and go to bed as soon as possible! Yesterday, though, we watched a dvd of the A&E series “Jeeves and Wooster” on my computer. Daughter Becky gave a set of the show to us before we left and we have been enjoying it. We have no television and no way of getting news, except from our super slow Internet. So far we haven’t really missed it. If anything earth-shattering is taking place, I can usually read about it on Facebook. Paul has to rely on me for news since I have our only Wifi gizmo on my computer.
Now to add pictures and post this with my poky Internet connection. I will either learn patience here or die!
Blessings from Thailand,