in thailand, there is an idiom that says “run away from a tiger only to run into a crocodile”. there has been a series of devastation going on here. first, the earthquake. now, the flooding.
the tropical cyclone has hit the southern part of thailand, causing flooding in almost 10 provinces such as patthalung, nakorn si thammarat, trang, pang-nga, krabi and surrathani since march 25, 2011…a day after the earthquake. recently, there has been mudslide in krabi that killed 3 people. parents and children have to find shelters within their towns. temples and schools. shops are closed. 7-11’s shelves are empty as townspeople decided they need to store some dry food for the future. food crisis is heightening. in some areas, electricity has gone out. modes of transportation are limited to boat and walking…or i’d rather say swimming.
talking to a couple of compassion projects in the south, it is obvious that this is a new phenomenon no one has ever experienced. this is the end of march. here, it is supposed to be summer. we should be sweating our butt off; drinking ice and cold drink; turning air-con on and going to the beach. instead, at least i am tucked in warm blankets, sipping hot tea and complaining about the weather. in addition to the cyclone in the south, the high pressure from china has blown cold wind into the north and the northeastern parts of thailand. the temperature has dropped to 17-21C in the lowland and 2-7C in the high peaks of mountains.
what is happening to us and the world? the more i consume the news each day, the more i wonder if the end is near. it is obvious that people are looking beyond themselves right now. if they were so ignorant to the fact that we all must die, i am pretty sure we are all awaken to it. last week, 3 out of 5 people i know said that their churches have held a special seminar talking about “the last age”. revelation and prophetic books in the bible are the major topics churches pick up nowadays when in the past they were gathering dust.
yesterday, a friend of mine mentioned about the 2012 phenomenon saying that it is predicted that the end of the world will take place on december 12, 2012. there is even an official website for it. unbelievable.
but the word “hour unknown” rings in my head. Jesus gave a lot of description for the end of the day in matthew 24. i shuddered at the reality of the world. truly, He is coming. the only thing that hasn’t been accomplished yet is “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (matthew 24:14)
Jesus says, “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather…But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (matthew 24:26-27, 36, 42-44)
two questions i keep asking myself. 1) what am i doing with the people given to me? 2) what am i doing with the gifts/ talents He has given me? sometimes, the urgency around me makes me want to scream and beat myself because i am still sitting in the air-con office, drinking hot tea and eating a cinnamon roll (that was just my breakfast). i wish to be someone in the field, like john the baptist. but at the same time, the comfort has eaten on me. there is fear. there are 2 selves within me trying to get a better grip of the other. and i need to make a decision. being in this state gets me nowhere.
please pray for the thailand, especially people affected by the flood. pray for christians and churches in thailand to rise up and be the light God calls us to be. it is clear that we have got so much work to do. from the crisis in the south, the 1st place people rushed to is the communities temples. they feel safe there and they know there will be help. it is sad realization. i know that many more churches are working very hard to bring help to the needy. but what i am trying to point out is that – buddhism in thailand has been a stronghold of belief for thais. we won’t be able to change their hearts unless we live the life Jesus lived.
so lastly, i ask you to pray for every soul in thailand…that they will be saved by the love of God…
***picture from bangkok post online newspaper***