We used the farthest corner of the bar. The staff gave us permission to use it on this the Lord’s Day for a brief devotion. We spent time to quiet down our heart and turn it towards God meditating on Psalms 92:13-15. I particularly liked verse 14: They will bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green. There is no ageism in the Bible. It is so positive about ageing. Praise the Lord. Full of sap; and green too, in your sixties, seventies and eighties!
After that we set off to a local floating market called Bangnamphung. We took a train to Udom Suk and there we met Baby my sister in law who guided us on a “tour”. It took a cab, a ferry and riding pillion on a motorbike to get to the local market. It would have been impossible without her!
The weather was humid and hot and the “floating market” which opened only on weekends was filled with local people selling their wares and locals buying stuff and just enjoying a day out. We ate stuff along the way – fruits, fried stuff, local desserts, T shirts, and special garlic, and kitchen ware. Everything was cheap compared to Singapore. The colours, the sounds and the smells and movements all around combine with the humidity to make this an intoxicating and fun four hours.
Miraculously we prayed and the Lord was gracious to provide the 12 of us with a convenient transport on the way back. We were praising God.
In the afternoon, Zach, who is the person in charge of this Mission trip, and myself, met up with Noi the lady in charge of the Ruth Center. We had a good useful discussion of the project for this week. We were to build a concrete sidewalk, replace a section of rotted wood siding of a grandfather’s house, and replace a section of rotted wood flooring with waterproof floor material. The grandfather had a stroke and his left side is paralysed, and the breadwinner, his wife earns 150 baht a day helping out in a school canteen. The Ruth Center is helping this family, and we volunteers from the church are helping out with manpower and materials. May God bless the work of our hands.
Tomorrow we leave the hotel by 7.30 am to try to avoid the traffic jam of Sukhumvit. This means breakfast at 6am. Who cares if Germany plays a World Cup match with Mexico? I had better sleep early tonight.
Today I left home at about 9am and reached Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok at about 4.30pm. This was a whole day given to travelling by car, plane and train, and quite a bit of walking with luggage in tow.
We were here to do some building work among the poor for Ruth Center in Bangkok. Last year we had a camp cum missions trip and had worked with them. This year we wanted to come help them with a small team of men who believe that donating their leave, money and strength and skills are one way of serving in the missions field.
Tonight we went for a team dinner but where we went did not have big enough tables and seating for eleven persons. So we split up and enjoyed our Thai traditional dishes in a restaurant called INTER near the Siam Station of BTS.
I was caught in a roadblock on Sunday (see my Instagram). At first I thought it was an accident or some roadworks ahead but the wait was so long and drivers started coming out of their cars and so did I. Later we found out that President Kim Jong Un and a large security entourage with many traffic policemen in escort was passing by on the way to the St Regis Hotel in Orchard Road. I think it was at least 30 minutes from the start to the time we were cleared and the traffic flowed smoothly and quickly.
The historic summit between President Kim and President Trump will be held tomorrow at a hotel in Sentosa. Two powerful but unpredictable leaders meet with hopes of denuclearisation of North Korea, and a cash injection of American dollars to bring economic aid to a nearly broke country.
I feel far removed from all the concerns of US security and North Korean poverty. I am sceptical of any deal made for the North Koreans have a track record of renegading on agreements. Yet I cannot help but pray that some good will come out of the summit, and pray with hope I will. My hope is President Kim will open up the country to direct foreign investment in its economy, which will alleviate poverty, and bring modernity as well as the spread of the good news of Jesus Christ. My prayer is for the Spirit that broke down the bamboo and iron curtains to break down this last fortress of isolation and let God’s people go in to serve and bless the North Korean people.