It is surprising how, after traveling to a different place for a number of days, long it seems to be when you stay at one place for two nights. But just so we dont get to comfortable we have a 3 hour plane ride to the another country this afternoon.
Yesterday the expereience at the slum ministry was one I do not think I was prepared for. We parked on the street, unloaded the van and i thought this isnt too bad. Then we took a left. We walked in a place where every square inch was covered by poverty. It was a maze of buildings as far as could be seen. Narrow walk ways lead you through the maze. Each home was no larger than most bathrooms. People laid on the floor, sat on chairs or stood on the hard floor. We walked pass a paved open area fenced off from the rest of the village. Inside kids were playing soccer. The building was vacant and rundown. The sign still read Santa Barbara mission, but the mission had long ago been abandoned. One of our group wanted to play soccer but he was kicked out of the game much like, i imagine, the mission was kicked out of the village. “We dont need your handouts and sympathy,” they seemed to say. We need people to come and bring us the hope of Christ. Not the hope that you can end poverty cause we are happy here this is our field, but what about hope beyond the chains of Buddhism, do you have that?
Then we headed back in the van to the Siam Center. We were dropped off in a new location away from the center to walk to the sky train. We passed countless middle aged men with young asian escorts. My fist balled in anger as I thought of that young girls dad and mom. I wanted to punch the men. I knew that would not be the right way to do things. Passed a brothel. Loaded on the sky train and headed from the slums to the ritz. BMW, Lexus, Armani, and the like replaced the run down shacks from the slums. Yet the need was still there. The need of Christ. The need to be set free from slavery. And wouldn’t it be grreat if, through reaching the ritzy, they as the thai people went to reach the poor? So it was not the rich americans coming to save but the Thai people themselves having been set free that want to see their brothers and sisters set free also?
Thats the heart and passion of what Siam Center Envision site will be.
Thanks for reading. More to come….