Rainy Season began a last month, but it has just begun to come into full force this month. We love rainy season because it means some moments of respite from the tropical heat. Amen! And it also means another year of sustenance for the farmers of Thailand, who depend upon the rain to make a living.
Many people here in Thailand have had questions about all the storms hitting the gulf coast of America and have been praying for all who have been affected by these storms. We are inspired by the faithfulness in prayer of Christians on both sides of the world. When we pray for each other, the hand of God does mighty deeds. We see the mighty deeds of God on a daily basis here because of your prayers. Every week we see people being saved, lives being changed, orphans and abandoned children being clothed, fed, sheltered and loved. Every week we see the fruits of your prayers.
We love to hear from you and so we and the Thai believers can pray for you. We want to be a part of your life in this way and the Thai believers do to. They are truly prayer warriors!
Rainy season can be fascinating in Thailand, especially in Bangkok. There are many sections of Bangkok that are below sea level or just a few feet above sea level. During rainy season, it is common for many parts of the city to be flooded during the rains, which means that travel comes to a halt in those sections of the city until the floods subside. I (Mike) was waiting in a coffee shop last week with about a whole crowd of people who were waiting for the flood waters to dissipate so they could go home. Fortunately, our road cleared up quickly, but others had to wait several hours.
But when a storm hits Bangkok, they have to check the level of the tide. If the storm comes at high tide, they know that whole sections of the city will be flooded for several hours. Everyone in those sections has to adjust their lives around the tides. They know they must do all of their work and chores during low tide, because they will be unable to travel at high tide.
We do not have major problems with floods where we live. We have a 2-5 inches of standing water in the streets near our home and we try to avoid downtown Chonburi during flood times. The only negative effect we have with rainy season is a very minor one. We don't have a clothes dryer (very, very few people do here). We hang out our clothes to dry under an awning in our back yard. But it is so damp during rainy season, that our clothes could be hanging for three days and still be damp. So we go out there, we feel the clothes, and if they are damp but not soaking wet, we fold them and put them away. We figure the clothes will have to dry the rest of the way in the closet or on our bodies. But this is a small thing.
One person's inconvenience with the flooding rains in Bangkok, is another person's irrigation water for their rice paddies in the rural areas. Rice farming requires large quantities of water, so the farmers rejoice when they receive rains whereas the Bangkok residents groan.
In the Bible, rain symbolizes the blessing of God who provides for our needs. During the rainy season, we often think of how much God has blessed us. One thing we miss from back in Kentucky are tin roofs. If you have ever been in a house with a tin roof when it is raining, you will know the sound of the rain hitting the roof is very loud. We always enjoyed hearing that sound, because it reminded us of how good our Lord is. The farmers in Kentucky relied on God to provide rain just as much as the farmers do in Thailand. This is why rain also symbolizes our dependence upon God. It reminds us of how much we need the Lord in all things.
Our prayers are with all of you in the States who have been affected by the storms. We know that too much of a good thing is harmful and many of you have had too much rain, too much wind, and too much turmoil. We want you to know that we and your Thai family in Christ love you and are praying for you.