We left the camp on roads even worse than our coming to the camp. We were traveling in three vehicles for a couple of bumpy hours and then we were to transfer to other more comfortable vans. The short story is that our first driver misunderstood just exactly where he was supposed to drop us off so two of us ended up at the home of a Karen family who spoke no English. We didn’t know we were at the wrong place.
We spent two remarkable days in the refugee camp. I baptized ten of the 240 candidates in the river. We were watched by hundreds along the banks. We celebrated the 20th anniversary of the camp with ten choirs from a variety camps. The roads in and out of the camps required 4 wheel drive and even then we had to get out and walk.
— Pastor Bill
Below is the second part of a sermon Pastor Bill has prepared for his visit to Thailand. He preached it at First Baptist on December 28th and will be preaching it in the camps in Thailand.
Part Two of Two
Three quarters of my church members are Karen. Here, today I preach to you in English using an interpreter. Later today in St. Paul my Associate Pastor Saul Lu will preach in Karen using an interpreter. Karen people have changed my church for good. A few years after Karen people arrived at First Baptist a deacon in my church said to me: “Pastor, Isn’t it amazing how God works! How did God know that First Baptist Church of St. Paul would need spiritual revival at the beginning of the 21st century so God sent missionaries to Burma 200 years earlier.”
We were greeted by Marcia and Duane Binkley and Kyle Witmer in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Binkley’s have made this their home for many years. We were happy to be done with flying for awhile. We stored our gear in a van and pick up truck and headed south to Hot for lunch, about an hour and a half south of Chiang Mai.
Driving here is like being in a Nascar race only with the cars coming and going in all directions including coming right at you. Motorcycles buzz around you all the time like mosquitoes. Even though it is the dry season and has been dry for some time much of the scenery passing by is green and lush. There are fruit trees, rice paddies, all kinds of flowering plants including wild poinsettias in many places. Pick up trucks are as plentiful as minivans in a suburban shopping mall.
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Yesterday we walked around downtown Kuala Lumpur. It seemed there was a construction crane in every block. Tall glass and colorful office buildings towered over three and four story residences and shops. We ate lunch at a busy Malaysian cafe. It was muggy and hot and the air conditioning of a modern six level shopping mall was refreshing. I feIt like I was at a brand spanking new Mall of America. There was Christmas music over the PA and shiny decorations.