I think I mentioned Nim a few weeks ago. She lives near the road that I had learned to drive the motor bike on. Well, basically after meeting her, she told me that Faye and I were her only friends in Lopburi. And this was after just one meeting. All her friends live in either Saraburi or Bangkok. Neither city is too far away but she has a 5 month old and must keep house for her boyfriend’s family. I’m actually not clear if Gang is her boyfriend or her husband. The word in Thai “fen” can be used for either – I think it can actually be used for fiance as well. Anyway, the point is that Faye and I are now her only friends in Lopburi.
Yesterday we all went on a ‘tea-ow’ (outing/trip/etc) to Big C. It was very slow going and what came to mind during this trip was the Thai word for patience (‘jye-yen’; means “cool heart; to be calm/cool; patient” ) and the fact that I have was lacking patience. The Thai word for that lack of patience, what English speakers call impatience, is ‘jye-ron’ and means hot heart, to be hasty, impatient, easily angered. I don’t know if that complete definition was how I was feeling but I do know that I need to pray for more patience.
At Big C, we walked around slowly, shopped – I think we went down every aisle. Then we went to eat together in the food court and then we went home. Faye’s living with a Thai family for the month, so she headed in that direction and Nim came over to my house for a little bit, and then headed home.
This evening. Nim stopped by with Gang’s nephew and we talked for a little bit. We talked about this coming week and about Song Khraan (sp?) which takes place this week (I’ll explain in another post). We mentioned how this Friday is a special day, as is this coming Sunday. Last Friday Faye and I had to explain Easter in Thai at a special session at school, so it was very handy that we remembered at least some of that new vocab to explain a little bit about Easter to Nim. Nim then asked, “Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?”
Let me explain something for you. Thai has the common vocabulary – this is what I’ve been learning these last 8 months. But Thai also has special vocabulary that is used when you’re talking to or about the King or Royal Family in Thailand, or when you’re talking to/about a monk. This language shows respect for the person that you’re talking about – they are at a higher level than you (this type of thinking… I think). This is the same language that you must use to talk about Jesus. This language/vocabulary is in the Bible. So, even though I’ve been studying Thai for 8 months, I can’t explain the Gospel in words that give respect to God. I’ve been frustrated by this, but I am just now starting to learn some of that vocabulary in the module I’m now studying (Easy Gospel Readers). I can’t tell you how great it is…. Knowing the vocabulary is one thing. Understanding the worldview and communicating the Gospel in such a way that’s understood the worldview of a Thai person is another thing.
So Nim asked, “Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?” Between Faye and I, we explained as best we could (I pray that God made communication clear) why Jesus had to die on the cross. Please pray for Nim. We hope to ask her to church on Sunday. Pray that God would equip us well with the ability to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And while we don’t know all the words, may we be able to communicate the love of Jesus through our daily interactions with those around us. And please pray that I would surrender my time, my plans, etc. to the Lord and that He’d replace my hot heart for a cool one. Pray that there would be many Nims in my future here in Thailand, as well as for Faye. And pray that the people of Thailand would hear of the One who was crucified on the cross, taking the wrath that we deserve for our sins, and who rose from the dead. May we all celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!