OMF, a large mission organization in Asia, has produced a few videos pertaining to Thailand. I think they do a good job of helping to understand what Thailand is like and how it is different from home.
This video introduces Folk Buddhism and features some Thai and Thai missionaries…
Many of you are aware that some in our family are having digestive problems and have been for quite some time. Therefore we have been studying a lot about health, nutrition, diet, and common digestive problems and what effect they have on the rest of the body. Studying these things has been enjoyable, and I’ve also been able to make more use of my college major; Health Science.
Several of the books that we have read left Paige and I very impressed by the author that wrote them, and thankful for their contribution to health and wellness. God has designed the human body so detailed and specific, it is amazing the things that scientists have learned.
While thinking through these things, I came across John Calvin’s thoughts on Science as God’s Gift in his Institutes of the Christian Religion. It is a great passage reflecting on the good things that can be found in those outside the Church. May we all be thankful for the gifts of God wherever they may be found:
Whenever we come upon these matters in secular writers, let that admirable light of truth shining in them teach us that the mind of man, though fallen and perverted from its wholeness, is nevertheless clothed and ornamented with God’s excellent gifts. If we regard the Spirit of God as the sole fountain of truth, we shall neither reject the truth itself, nor despise it wherever it shall appear, unless we wish to dishonor the Spirit of God. For by holding the gifts of the Spirit in slight esteem, we contemn and reproach the Spirit himself. What then? Shall we deny that the truth shone upon the ancient jurists who established civic order and discipline with such great equity? Shall we say that the philosophers were blind in their fine observation and artful description of nature? Shall we say that those men were devoid of understanding who conceived the art of disputation and taught us to speak reasonably? Shall we say that they are insane who developed medicine, devoting their labor to our benefit? What shall we say of all the mathematical sciences? Shall we consider them the ravings of madmen? No, we cannot read the writings of the ancients on these subjects without great admiration. We marvel at them because we are compelled to recognize how preeminent they are. But shall we count anything praiseworthy or noble without recognizing at the same time that it comes from God? Let us be ashamed of such ingratitude, into which not even the pagan poets fell, for they confessed that the gods had invented philosophy, laws, and all useful arts. Those men whom Scripture [1 Cor. 2:14] calls “natural men” were, indeed, sharp and penetrating in their investigation of inferior things. Let us, accordingly, learn by their example how many gifts the Lord left to human nature even after is was despoiled of its true good.
Institutes of the Christian Religion II.II.15
One of our passions and prayers for Thailand is to see men raised up that are qualified and equipped to serve Christ by caring for His sheep. You could call them pastors. Right now there is a major lack. And some of the pastors or elders that are here, for some some reason or another, are burning out and leaving the ministry. In this video clip Dr. Dennis Johnson does a great job in summarizing the responsibilities of an elder or pastor.
Update 8-17-2010: After reviewing more of these resources and recieving input from another missionary, it seem s that some of these articles might be a little suspect. Particularly the “Trail of Blood” at the bottom of the page. So, although I don’t recommed all of these materials, I’ll leave them up on the site because I still think some of it can be useful to use.
I was recently directed to a website that provides tracts in Thai. There is also a short course on the Bible’s main storyline and a short booklet on “What is the Church”.
I have not read all of this yet, but it could be a helpful resource for all you Thai missionaries.