25 April 2012

the narrow road.

so last night was hard.  i was burdened.  burdened by the stories of my friends, but so encouraged by the faith of them.

in thailand knowing Jesus is the exception.  its rare.  its even more rare to know a Christian who comes from a family of believers.  last night in our weekly bible study we were all in prayer for our friend.  a friend who became a Christian after her sweet sister shared the gospel with her.  after a long time, in fear of what her parents would say, she decided to tell them she became a believer and they didn't take it well. they told her she was no longer their daughter and her and her sister were stupid for believing.    she could have very easily abandoned christ and gone back to buddhism.  then her parents would accept her.  but this 18 year old girl chose Christ.  she chose life and the narrow road.

after hearing this story my heart was broken.  broken that my friends have to endure this.  broken that they have to live with the feeling of disappointing their parents.  broken that this is common and that most of my friends here have the exact same story.  broken that in no way can i even fathom what this may feel like because my parents have supported and encouraged me my entire life.

but the thing i'm realizing more and more is that the road i've chosen is not an easy one.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.(Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)

the way to life is hard and, if anything, this experience is teaching me that everyday.  as i look at the rest of my life i realize that its not going to be easy.  so right now i have the chance to decide.  do i travel the road ahead knowing what is in front of me or do i travel the easy road that leads to destruction?  god never once promised that following him was easy, but he did tell me that it would be worth it.  worth all the pain, hardships, and afflictions.  and he is worth it.  and he promises me that he will be with me on that road.  he'll carry me when i need to be carried.  he'll encourage me when i need encouragement.  

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed..."
(2 Corinthians 4:7-9 ESV)  

so i have to ask myself if my life isn't hard then what's wrong?  am i really walking on the narrow road? because if i am then it shouldn't be easy.  

as much as my heart is broken, i'm encouraged.  i'm encouraged because i serve an almighty God who is far better than anything in this life.  a God who promises to bless me a hundred times over for following him and the promise of eternal life.  and i get to experience a love that is worth more than treasure.

"Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
(Mark 10:28-31 ESV)

so god made a promise.  and he's a pretty good promise keeper.  please join me in praying for the thai believers.  pray for those who have to abandon everything they know and their identity to follow Jesus.  and be encouraged by them and be thankful for the Lord's promises in your life.  

23 April 2012

you know you live in thailand when...

So I decided to do a new series on the blog entitled "you know you live in Thailand when..."  I just feel like it may capture a little of the things that happen here and how much my life is different and a way to just remember the little things.  

Ok first things first.

you know you live in Thailand when...you start liking Thai superstars.

I mean never in my life would I have imagined I would be into Thai superstars but hey why not?  We were out the other day and our Thai friend pointed at a guy and said, "that's Dome and he's a superstar" so of course what I do next is run up to him and say "excuse me, can we take a picture together?"  He politely obliged and laughed and said "farang (which means white person).  I'm pretty sure he was super confused about why some white girls knew who he was (which we didn't know at the time, but now we do and he doesn't need to know that...right?)  Anyway, we were excited and then went home and googled him and then today on the Sky Train I totes saw him in a commercial....get excited!  We told all of our Thai girl friends and they freaked and every single one of them asked if we thought he was handsome.  Love it!

So here's the pic and a little video if you're interested...but you know you are.

me. kristen. dome. kristen's friend hanna.
(photo credit)

dear p'dome, 
you totally have some farang fans now. get excited.

20 April 2012


Last week I got to celebrate one of the biggest Thai holidays, Songkran or the Thai New Year, which is based on the Buddhist calendar.  Traditionally, Songkran was a holiday to honor and pay respect to elders by blessing them with water that had been poured over a Buddha.  However, over the years it has evolved to a country-wide water fight.  Now Thais and many foreigners roam around with water guns, ride in the back of trucks with barrels of water, throw buckets, spray with hoses and try and get everyone around them wet.  Which actually is a relief since April is the hottest month here so it was a small and fun break from the heat!  Throughout various times during the weekend I tried to imagine what it would be like if we did this in America and it just made me laugh.  I'm pretty sure people would not be as cool about having complete strangers drench them with water, but hey maybe I'm wrong.

just imagine this times a couple more million people.
(photo source)
The other amazing thing about Songkran is that if you are a foreigner (farang...as they call us) you stand out in the crowd.  And when you stand out in a crowd every single Thai person loves to spray you.  And even better is they love to target your face and eyes.  Awesome.  I mean I didn't mind getting sprayed but when we were with our Thai friends I would be drenched while they were only slightly damp.

seriously felt like this dude all weekend.
(photo credit)

Since we just got here we decided instead of going away for Songkran (like most do) we would stay in Bangkok and celebrate.  It turned out to be really nice because the majority of people in Bangkok leave and there is no traffic at all (which is a big deal here).  Places that normally take you 1 hour to get to suddenly only take about 10 minutes!  We had 3 days off of school so we decided to explore the city a little and have some fun with our friends.

We first went downtown where most of the water fights were and had a great time shooting people and trying to avoid getting shot at.  The whole time I just felt like a little kid again.  I mean what is more fun than having a water fight with a few million people?  I definitely got dominated by a truck with a bunch of people spraying freezing cold water on me while we were stuck in traffic...and that was no fun!  We also had everyone over to Lonnie's house and had a huge water fight and BBQ with everyone from the church.  We got to take river taxi cruise along the Chao Phraya River and saw some more of Bangkok. Then we headed over to one of the malls to a Songkran festival, where they sprayed everyone with foam and we got to go to our first Thai concert!  It was a blast and we really enjoyed a few days of relaxation and a much needed break from language.  It was pretty much the most fun thing I have done.  It was definitely weekends like these when I realized that Thailand is awesome and totally meant for me.

Now for all you people who want to come visit in 2013 although April is hot it would be a really fun time during Songkran.  So let me know...limited seating available.

Here are some pics from our weekend

songkran festival at the mall.

yay for waterfights. so much fun!

the foam pit.

this isn't me but it basically happened to me.  never thought i would almost choke on foam.

the truck that dominated me. 

i would say that kristen definitely has her game face on.

its always important to look good while shooting people with your pink princess gun.

oscar and p'tote (our pastor)

going down with the angry birds water guns.

walker ready to destroy.

poor paul had it coming to him.

the girls.

harry potter pics. and my favorite picture of all time.

can't fight it.

along the Chao Phraya River.

life on the river.
oh hey.

my favorite bridge.

kristin and me. looking fine all the time. or not. but i figured my mom would want to see an actual picture of me.  so here it is. love you mom.

love the way the light shines on the temples.  where there is darkness, let there be light.

ok so who is coming next year?

10 April 2012

Hap Birthday Clarky!

Dear Clarky,

Happy Happy Birthday to the cutest of all the cuties and my favorite 5 year old. Why are you growing up so fast without me.  You are such a big boy now that you can read and are playing T-ball.  I love being your aunt, snuggling with you, and playing basketball, baseball, football, soccer, and every other sport.  You need to be nice and stop beating me all the time.  I miss having Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson dance parties with you.  I wish I could be there to celebrate.  I love you very very much.  I miss you even more!


fer fer

07 April 2012

since you've been gone...

Dear Ronnie, Heather, Andrew, Jacob, and Mimi,

We made a little video for you guys to fill you in on what has been going on with your house.  We can't wait to see y'all next week!

   Kristen, Walker, Lonnie, P'Tote, Lonnie, Dang, me, and everyone else who helped