Thailand was different from the countries we visited in Southern Africa. First of all, Christianity is a minority religion, though legal and without historically facing political persecution. In Africa, we found that it is primarily Africans who are evangelizing and growing the church, while mission worker types are supplementing that work with special skills and leadership. One of the biggest requests from African churches and organizations is for funds. From what we learned, it seems in Thailand, the Thais, for whatever reason, are still reliant on foreign leadership. Mission workers in Chiang Mai are working hard to ensure partnership and sustainability. But the changeover to a new model of mission looks different here. However, it does seem that the CCT is much more sustainable when it comes to income-generation and funding its own programs.
Our second day in Bangkok (Fri 7 Oct),we set out to see the old city, Ko Ratanakosin. We took a boat taxi on the Mae Nam Chao Phraya (river). The river used to be one of the main thoroughfares in the city, and these water taxis are still used by local commuters. There are also still a number of canals in the city (it used to be called the Venice of Asia).
After 15 hours of flying and several more hours in the airport, we arrived in Bangkok, Thailand in the rain. We stayed with friends and fellow alumns from San Francisco Theological Seminary, Kaz & Naomi Nakoaka, who are serving a Japanese church in Bangkok. There's a night market down the street from their apartment, so we were able to start off with a bang--spicy green papaya salad and some sort of sweet and spicy pork with sticky rice.
(btw, I chopped off my hair before leaving for South East Asia)
We were pleased to see a woman in the pulpit, and came to find out that she is the evangelist in charge of the outpost. Often if there is no trained pastor, there may be a trained evangelist who leads the local outpost.
Author: Molly & Ryan Dowell Baum
Created: July 26, 2010
"We are the scatterlings of Africa/On a journey to the stars/Far below, we leave forever/Dreams of what we were ..." -Johnny Clegg
The Dowell Baum Team is at home in Kitwe.