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Weekly Prayer Posts from Thailand

JULY 11, 2020

Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

Our family had the privilege of driving across South Dakota many moons ago while we were back stateside. We were pretty excited because this state was not only where our grandfather J. Russell Morse was born in 1898, but it was also where Mount Rushmore was located! The sun was still high in the afternoon sky when we arrived in the town of Sturgis. We spotted a Motel 6 from the highway and decided to stay there so that the kids could use their swimming pool.
 
When we pulled into the parking lot, the place was jam-packed with motorcycles! Unbeknownst to us, the world’s largest Motorcycle Convention was being held in Sturgis that week. Fortunately, we got the last available room in the place. To be honest, I felt pretty nervous seeing so many people in black leather. The rough-looking crowd, with all their tattoos and body piercings, was quite an intimidating sight!  
 
While Nangsar and I, along with Benjamin (3), were preoccupied with unloading our stuff from the car, lo and behold, our son Anthony (10), with his little sister Rebecca (7) had nonchalantly walked over to introduce themselves to these tough-looking bystanders! As we stood there frozen in shock, our kids came running back with their new friends in tow. What a wakeup call! That day we learned a powerful lesson about the importance of not prejudging anybody based on first impressions. These super friendly folks told us that some 70,000 motorcyclists would be rolling into town for the big rally and that even Willie Nelson was going to be there!
 
The next day we drove through the Black Hills. Mount Rushmore did not disappoint. The sheer grandeur and the scale of the carvings in the granite mountain were mind-boggling! To our minds, it certainly stood as a testimony to what Americans thought of their leaders. In the gift shop at the visitor’s center, I came across one of the most hilarious tee-shirts I have ever seen. 
 
On the front of the shirt was printed the image of the four Presidents as it was plainly portrayed on the mountain. On the back of the shirt was a picture of the backsides of the Presidents standing butt-naked while leaning over the ridgeline! Wow, only in America! I could pinch myself for not buying the T-Shirt, but Nangsar wouldn’t allow it. She said it was very disrespectful. There’s your Asian mindset for you!
 
Respect for leaders is ingrained into the minds of Asians from a very young age. This has its pros and cons of course, but overall, the positives probably outweigh the negatives. 
 
The Bible also teaches us to respect our leaders.
 
“Give to everyone what you owe them: if you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Romans 13:7
 
“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” 1 Timothy 5:17
 
So, there it is — having respect for one another seems to be a big deal for God — it should be a big deal for us as well.
 
Well, you can number us among those who honor their Presidents — especially those four up on the mountain chiseled into stone! But just between you and me — I still wish I had a Mount Rushmore T-Shirt!
Respectfully Yours,

Joni & Nangsar

🙏 Prayer Requests 🙏

Let’s continue to lift up our government leaders in prayer.

Leaders around the world are facing the unpleasant experience of having their authority challenged. Many are rapidly losing credibility in the eyes of their followers. Most have only themselves to blame for losing their standing in the public arena. Many, however, are facing the full force of a new spirit of disenchantment with a government that is sweeping the world. Leaders will need to relearn the truth about the importance of earning their approval through selfless service.

  • Please pray for Thailand as it seeks to ease up on its emergency rules.
    Thailand has now lifted all in-country travel restrictions. The official word is that there have been no new cases of Covid-19 reported during the past month. Restrictions on inbound travel from other countries are still in place.
  • Please join us in praying for the families who lost loved ones in a mudslide that occurred in northern Myanmar last week.Reports coming out of Myanmar indicate that nearly 200 people died in a major mudslide that took place in the Hpakant jade mines of Kachin State. The mining operations in this area use backhoes to remove entire mountains. Any jade that is extracted from the earth is kept for sorting. Everything else — dirt, stones, and boulders are loaded onto trucks and dumped over previously excavated hillsides.These debris fields are extremely susceptible to mudslides during the rainy season. In spite of this danger, people by the hundreds pick through these mounds for the off chance of finding a piece of jade that may have been accidentally discarded. Many have made their fortune by scavenging for jade in this way — thus the total disregard for the risks involved!