We're back in Chiang Mai... I realized last night that it might have sounded critical or even rude of me to describe the Bible School like Dad's barn minus the cows. It wasn't meant that way at all. I just know that when I saw Jack's picturs of the Bible School, I didn't come away with an adequate understanding of what it really was like. These people are makiong the ost of a difficult situation, and even making improvements as they can. The men of our group slept above a stick-built garage that recently added 3 'western' toilets to the side of it. Most of the girls were grateful for that. I wasn't particularly fond of the squat pots at the camp--they're dark and mysterious looking, smell like out houses--but it's my theory that our bodies actually empty themselves better in a squat position--enough of that. Tonight we're in a decent hotel with a 'western' toilet!!
I was going to tell you about Dr. Simon. He was a pastor in Rangoon, Burma, in the late '80's and wanted to cross over into Thailand because it was becoming unsafe there. His wife didn't want to go, but when an uprising occurred in '88-'89 she agreed to go. They had people helping them across the border, but ended up having to leave much of their belongings behind so that his father-in-law could be carried (he was in his late 80's and could no longer walk). He took over this Bible School, it ended up being moved to the refugee camp, and has been there for over 20 years.
He spoke to us for quite a while, and talked about his love for his homeland. Most Karen people will tell you of their longing for a free Karen state, some are even militant sounding. He also talked about the Karen national anthem--I wish I had a copy. He said it's three verses, and very Christian. The third verse mentions how the Karen people are to take the good news and spread it throughout the world. Dr. Simon mentioned how this is happening now with the help of the UN, helping the Karen people become refugees. That's the first time I've heard a conservative Christian speak about the UN being a helpful aide in spreading the gospel!!
We're supposed to have a fun night tonight--go experience a traditional THai dinner and dancing. I'm eager to go home at this point. Please pray for endurance, and we're thankful that everyone hasremained healthy. There are a few kids who aren't too crazy for the food. I'm glad that Sophie and Katy aren't complaining. Of course, Katy knows that I wouldn't be too merciful. I consider it all part of the experience. Besides, Roger seems to find ice cream for us every day!! No one, including me, is losing any weight!!