in thailand 2006 – ii

P-san meets me for several hours, and we have a great discussion about end times, Ellen White, the need for more SOP books to increase the spiritual level of SDAs in Thailand, and especially at this school, etc.  She agrees that most SOP books available now in Thai are not translated very well.  Everyone tells me that.  That is really too bad.  I wonder how many English readers can understand or empathize with them?  God has blessed us with his words given to the prophet in our own language, giving us easy access to great truths that most of the world hasn’t even dreamed of.  I meet the Iraqi man studying theology here that i’ve heard about ever since Borneo.  Unfortunately, he seems to think higher of the Qur’an than of the Spirit of Prophecy!  Fortunately, i’m proven mistaken about this later 🙂  A friend i met in Borneo last year introduces me to some of his Japanese friends.  There are 5 Japanese guys going to school here, and it is really cool to talk to them in our language.

Is it legal to experience two miracles in one day?  That’s what happened on the 20th, giving me a double punch of God’s blessings (?!)  I head over to the College, a 5 minute bike ride thru a quiet neighborhood called “Australia”, down the steps and thru the back yard of the elementary school, and down the big hill to the campus.  The Iraqi said he’d like to talk more to me today, so i prayed a lot last nite for God to give me the right words to say to him, to stand tall for the truth, and at the same time show love and understanding to him.  When i sat down, a young man sat across from me, and introduced himself while we started eating the somewhat overpriced food.

I can’t believe my ears.  He just said his dad is the number one translator of Ellen White books in Cambodia (Khmer language).  Do i want to meet him?  “That would be the number one thing i would like to do next week” i tell him, as i wsa planning a difficult task of going to Cambodia, establishing credibility, explaining why this book is important enough to spend time to do, and getting a translator to commit.  This fortunate meeting just saved probably around one week of my life.  No way this is blind chance!!

My food is going down so much easier now!  I believe God gave me this experience just before talking with the Iraqi, giving me courage to do and say the right things to him.  Little did i expect he was planning so much more!  After eating i walk over to the counter near the bakery door where the Iraqi tallies each student’s bill for the bread and cakes the students carry out.  Within two minutes i learn that there was some kind of communication misunderstanding yesterday, and this man really does love Ellen White’s books, and he is not some kind of “SDA Muslim”.  I show him the original Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels today, and he seems pleased with it.  When i mention that i most want to get this book into Chinese and Arabic, he seems interested in translating it.  When i mention that i will be willing to sponsor him for some school, say, one semester (after hearing that one semester costs 1,500usd), he is more than interested.  He is already telling of people who may be able to proofread etc.!  WOW!  Talk about a turn of events!!!  I spend most of the afternoon with him, putting stuff on my usb drive like the esword Bible software, cia world factbook, all of the SOP material, and some stuff i wrote and the GC anime also.

In the evening i go to A-C’s house after vespers in the school auditorium.  I was told to watch out for the school programs, as they like to play Christian rock etc., but tonite’s program was about an evangelism trip taken up north by some of the students during Christmas/New Year holidays.  Inspiring to see kids working for their own people.  Then i go to A.C.’s house.  She is a Filipino who is incessantly talking.  She has a group of kids meet at her home every Friday evening, and they study the 1911 Great Controversy together.  Each of the 9 kids assembled this evening read a paragraph.  Then there is food which i decline, seeing as how i already ate, and that it is past 9pm.  While they are eating i show the GC anime, and share the original GC book with them.  Most seem a bit interested, and after they are gone, even A-san says that this original version, being small, may hold the attention of the students better than the thick book.  Sure hope this group can stay together, get on fire more, and not get off into fanatacism as some comments made could be taken wrongly.

I go to the big campus church for Sabbath worship.  The SS class is about the family, and someone makes the remark it is better to be married than single, and another makes a remark that because this is Asia, it is best for the married son to live with his or her parents.  Usual non-biblical, compromised talk.  The sermon is the last by the Filipino pastor, titled “Who is Jesus?”  Great!  He does a good job of telling that Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation.  That simple truth is now refuted by many in Adventism, including many leaders, one of which has commented on this blog before.  Just pray that the truth, the way, and the life, becomes the most important thing in their lives.

After potluck with my Japanese friend, T-san, and the Borneo friend (A-san), i go to a branch Sabbath school held at a little govt. school around 3kms away.  We clean up while some others go round up the kids.  Only around 13 show up today instead of the usual 30 or so.  Can’t compete with a good dunk in the swimming hole on a hot day i guess – ha!  They sing songs and color awhile, then i teach ABCs and English names for colors.  I really do love kids, and i love teaching English too!  Sure hope they grow up to love Jesus first in their lives.

After a short nap i head over to the campus.  Is this a SDA school’s campus?  With around 40 minutes to go before sunset, there are teams playing football (half of them white guys!#%$), basketball, soccer, etc.  What’s with that?  Most of the kids are playing some kind of Bible game, and when they are done, some black lady comes over and plays badminton with her son in front of me.  Her husband sits down on the bleacher step just below me, and we start talking.  He is from Seychelles, and used to be a hard-working Literature Evangelist.  Well, i don’t quite experience the miracle feeling, but sure am glad God led me to him!  He may be responsible in the future for translating the Creole or French version of the GC book.  After that T-san and i go off campus to eat at a little shack by the road called “New Zealand” by the kids.  Others are called N.Y. and LasVegas.  On returning home i have a great time studying a couple of chapters of the GC with the family putting me up.  They really are getting more and more interested, and the husband especially, asking questions and talking about the book.

The next day there is a neat party of around 22 people, featuring Japanese cuisine – yea!!  I meet a lady there i had met at Setagaya Church in Tokyo over one year ago 🙂  I meet the father of the Cambodian young man who said his dad was the number one translator of Ellen White books there.  It’s too good to be true, but out of his lips come words telling me that my Vietnamese pastor friend has already contacted him about translating this book, he has already finished, and the Vietnamese pastor has already paid the 300usd for the translation.
(@-@)  Unbelieveable.  God’s ways are just too much.  We make plans to go together to Cambodia, and i will stay at his house a few days.  After that i meet the Iraqi again, and tell about the Clear Word Bible the pastor gave him (he already had big questions about it), and we make more plans for the translation of the Arabic GC.

I’m starting to feel at home here – must get going soon.  Actually, i had told them i was planning to return on Sunday, but then met the Iraqi so wanted to extend to Monday, then meet the Cambodian, so now i’m staying until Tuesday.  It is really cool to surf the net while seated under some trees with the wind blowing thru your hair and the birds chirping around you.  Not too sure about the dust getting under the keys tho….

The Seychelles man introduces me to a man who used to be one of the top 3 LEs in the world – a Zambian.  He is definitely interested in this GC book, and i promise to get them some English ones as soon as i can.  Yes, he says he can sell English books here in Thailand.  He also said that 4 Buddhists in Bangkok became SDAs after his contacts (not in a boasting way either).  I talk with the student finance people in the afternoon, and read some in the library before going to take my Arabic lesson in the evening.  Even the cats in the house are peaceful today 🙂

Finally after waiting 2 hours in the stiff breeze that is so cold the elementary school principal (form Alabama) tells the kids to get inside.  That’s what happens on a 22degree day here – haha.  I make it back to Bangkok, pick up my passport with visa, and after resting a bit at the Chinese church, walk around Limphini park.  The English students i so much wanted to see don’t come tonite:(  Thank you  pastor for letting me keep my suitcase here while i go to Cambodia and Vietnam!

The Filipino teacher at the school kindly gets up at 4:30 to walk with me to the bus stop where i can catch the 100thb (2.50usd) bus to the border.  It doesn’t leave until after 6, and arrives there at 9:20.  It is a nice bus, even with a toilet, and no blasting stereo:)  Now to Cambodia.  Hope to meet you again Thailand around the beginning of March!!

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