John T. Willis

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chiang Mai and Phayao

A few years ago, Evelyn and I went to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to participate in the annual Asiatic Mission Conference, where we spoke along with Paul Faulkner and Carl Brecheen and others. This was a wonderful experience with many pictures and memories. In addition to the conference, we traveled on the Ping River to eat wonderful fruits of all kind, rode on elephants, walked up the 365 steps of the Buddhist temple, and enjoyed many other marvelous occasions. I bought a couple of nice ties in the night market, which I still wear occasionally.

Chiang Mai is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, and is the capital of Chiang Mai Province. It is approximately 435 miles north of Bangkok. Chiang Mai has been a major trade center for handcrafted goods, umbrellas, jewelry (especially silver) and woodcarving. Technically the population of Chiang Mai proper is 150,000 people, but with all the surrounding villages and towns, it approaches a million people. The life is quite modern, and the food is excellent. One soon learns of significant cultural customs which challenge and inspire the visitor. Approximately a million people come through Chiang Mai each year.

Several of our missionaries are in Chiang Mai, and are doing a very significant work. Recently, Highland has placed a team nearby at Phayao. Derren Reese and his family and Ryan Binkley and his family are supported and have long time close ties with all of us at Highland.

Next summer, Evelyn and I will spend a month teaching and preaching in Tauranga, New Zealand, and are trying to make arrangements to visit our missionaries in Thailand. All these missionaries spend several years planning well for the work in Thailand. Most of these are our former students. We look forward to spending time with them if this works out. Some of our dear friends and former students and now colleagues at ACU: Larry and Pam Henderson, and Chris and Cara Flanders, have spent many years in Thailand and continue to do great work there, because they prepared themselves for this work properly. We are so proud of them, and salute them for their rewarding efforts.

The world is big--and it is small. I hope YOU travel often and appreciate all the different peoples throughout the world. Every person is created in the image of God. Each one is unique, and plays an important role in this world. Praise God for all his people, and for God's grace and blessings and works everywhere.

Share YOUR experiences with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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